A week in a place gives you time to get know most places, though A Year in Stockport (Penguin, £6.99) isn’t long enough to scratch the surface there.
Due to teenage colds and Mrs RM’s “Borders burn-out” I’m a bit stuck in our apartment, and haven’t even made to Sliema yet, which does have craft.
But I reckon I’ll have been in, or at least peered inside all the bars in town by tonight, which is less impressive an achievement than it sounds.
The best view of all is from the top of the cliffs at St Thomas Bay, though sadly the pill-box styled building is yet to be converted to a micro.
It’s a village without edge, which makes the occasional reminders of the Spirit of ’81 slightly surprising. Si would love it the comedy punk touches.
Mrs RM has been sticking to the local wine, which makes sense, but I have found the odd beer beyond the Cisk/Farsons.
On the row of restaurants leading to the marina, the Bulldog looked resolutely shut till Summer when we walked past on the first day.
But the beer menu, though looking like it had been out in the sun since 2008, at least hinted at something exciting, the sort of place you stumble on in Genoa.
When I popped back the next day it had a plastic seat propped up against the door to keep out old folk like me (presumably), and was acting as the village social club, full of youths playing pool and waiting for a disco that never happened.
No-one turned to stare at the oldie, a pleasing feature of Maltese bars, and my eye focused on what almost looked like a pump clip.
“Is it Maltese ?” I asked. Clearly being local is seen as a bad thing, as I then had a vigorous explanation of how it wasn’t really Maltese but used imported ingredients.
“I’ll have half”
“No draught in Winter” said the nice man in the Phoenix T-shirt, before making an heroic attempt to pour the bottle into a nice glass.
I can’t say the Bulldog is cosy, but I entertained myself watching locals miss easy shots, tried to identify the R’n’B on Shazam, and read the Brewery fluff.
A 1980s red phone sat on top of the menus and rang for ages. I thought it was an art piece, but it was just daft phone placement. Very BRAPA.
That Rubin was very good, tasting its 6.5%, but no-one else was drinking it. Just like Britain then. But without Brewdog.