With the heat ramping up in readiness for the record breaking temperatures a week from now, I found myself in Rochdale for a Saturday six tick extravaganza.
Daddy BRAPA was here, and so too, was third choice mascot Pedro the Plum making a rare appearance. Colin was still on spin dry following our Cornwall epic, and with rumours that Keane Lewis Potter would be leaving Hull City, his namesake Otter was left on the shelf , 'free to speak to other tickers'.
|Pedro puts a brave face on, but prefers Plum Porter|
We started in Littleborough, loitering impatiently between pub entrance and street corner which seems to be the standard BRAPA position at 11:50am on any given Saturday.
The pub was tucked away, behind a Health Spa of all places, where loud ladies with heavy cardboard boxes filled up a car boot and shouted things like 'take me to the beach'.
|Daddy BRAPA optimistic for the day ahead|
Swish, modern and fancy (and lacking identity and character) Hare on the Hill, Littleborough (2285 / 3848) was a solid enough start, definitely one for the beer purists rather than pub fans, it offered one of the better kept beers of the day .... the beer plasma even gave you a calorie count and it was a complete coincidence that I opted for the least calorific, 140, which is the equivalent to two slices of four cheese pizza, maybe. It tasted more like a homebrewed fruit mild than a stout, but never mind. The music was Bangles and Belinda Carlisle, the 'old gent hare' pub mascot was terrifying and looked just like an old school friend, Milner. No wonder Pedro stayed securely in his bag.
We took the bus back into Rochdale, and I'd been wondering where the Neighbours spin-off series was going to be located .....
Rochdale has long since held a special place in mine and Daddy BRAPA hearts after a series of late 90's trips to Spotland, usually on a Tuesday night. Our original favourite pub the Cemetery Hotel got trashed by Hull City idiots before one Sky TV 3-0 defeat (we were sensible enough to leave early when we sensed it was 'gonna kick off'), the landlord barred our fans forever, and I've not been back since!
And it was at the Cemetery where we jumped off the bus and walked a few minutes down the road until Rochdale became Bamford.
Of course, you can't check in on Twitter at a place called Bamford without L**ds fans thinking it is all about them.
I'd been constantly worrying that my six pub plan today would be hard to achieve if Daddy BRAPA (as is his want) was to get back to York for a reasonable hour.
Personally, I'll stay up til 5am and wake up on a beach in Dumbarton if it means getting the six ticks in, but I have to be mindful of the old Dad on days like this.
So now was a good opportunity to demonstrate how useful Uber can be when you are in the suburbs of a major town, and to save us another trip back into Rochdale only to go out the other side again, we got a nice bloke called Abdul to drop us half way up our bus route at a dirt cheap price.
Quite often in BRAPA, it is a toss up between saving time and saving money. And I'd always go for time unless I'm on an overnighter / holiday.
|Pedro pleased to be out ... and a new Hull City notepad makes its debut|
|"We are here to serve .... as Rishi Sunak would say" an actual Daddy BRAPA quote|