Only two days to the 25th, when I was really hoping to have caught up on the blog so I could start my extended highlights package, which this year will include a special award for the best pashmina (or male scarf, I’m no sexist).

First up, here’s my thoughts on the most recent BRAPA burst into the Fens (see his report here) the survivors’ tale, if you like.


You might think I might be mad to be ferrying Simon round rubbish flat bits of the country every month, but I need to be sure of a place in “BRAPA – The Movie“.

And I get a 27.5 minute walk in while Si does his thing.

Starting in the Townhouse, a surprise Ely re-entry into the Beer Guide (ousting the micro, for whatever reason).


This was a regular a decade ago with rare beers like Wolf and JHB and a sense it was promoting cask to Ely’s clubbers (I use the term loosely).

It’s an old-fashioned sort of place, the sort of unmodernised local favoured by youngsters you’d find in Humberside market towns, which is why Si liked it.

Sober BRAPA contemplates billiards

Simon was sitting at the front of the pub, rather than with the handful of locals round the bar, which I thought was odd.  But it turned out he was just getting a quiet space to brief his team on ideas for his next blog title, something to do with Michaela Strachan I think.

I bought a coffee, cheap and cheerful though oddly served in a glass cup, which is like serving beer in a jug.

The beers looked very exciting, didn’t they ?

Grain is the new Wolf
Some beer brewed by rugger players I think

Simon hadn’t finished his mandatory 27.5 minutes in the Townhouse, as the train had met some problems at Manea, which itself is the very definition of a problem.  I thought he’d probably just struggled walking up the hill (the only hill in the Fens) from the station with a bag full of Beer Guides and presents.

View to the fun pub over the road (the Hereward not the Cathedral)

A decade ago Ely got a new pub.  Not the Spoons the residents had voted 52-48 in favour of, but one of those dreadful Smith & Jones rip-offs that somehow seems to thrive.

I’m not sure whether the Townhouse or the Hereward has the cheaper shots.

Bad taste award

I made Si walk half a mile to my car, parked out in West End to annoy him. Note he doesn’t complain about this in his blog as he doesn’t bite the hand that feeds.

I could have eaten my hand if the frost had caused it to fall off in the cold, but instead I settled for a vegetable samosa in the Premier shop in Little Downham while Si braved the maudlin Mackem in the Plough.

You’ll remember this is the pub which sets its opening hours to confound BRAPA, who wasted the equivalent of six months Wotsits money on a pointless taxi trip earlier this year.  I’d also found it closed, twice, but at least I’d walked.

Simon got his tick, and his hilarious entrance through the double door.  All I got was frostbite and a picture of Santa.  And a microbrewery.

Possibly the real one
No Brewery Tap with daft hours

Next up – the fake cider hand pump.



  1. “Bad taste award” I was thinking exactly this and then I saw your caption. Agreed. And why do Canadians and ‘mericans feel compelled to quote what they comment on?

    Liked by 3 people

      1. “In my case, it’s an odd combination of laziness and the desire to be understood; i.e. I want you to know exactly what I’m referring to, without my having bothered to summarize the passage in my own words. ”

        (sorry). Actually the quoting works for me. I wake up at 6am and can’t work out what on earth comments relate to, particularly when they’re on posts from a day ago (ancient history). Main thing is that people comment.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. “And why do Canadians and ‘mericans feel compelled to quote what they comment on?”

      I believe it’s called an affectation.

      Us colonials over on this side of the pond tend to feel inferior to you lot with your history and whatnot, so we put on airs at times to compensate. 🙂


      Liked by 1 person

      1. “down here we have never felt more confident in ourselves”

        You guys have been like that since 1776. 😆


  2. “And I get a 27.5 minute walk in while Si does his thing.”

    My first read of that was you getting a 27.5 minute walk-on in the movie. 🙂

    “Sober BRAPA contemplates billiards”

    I think you spelled ‘tipsy’ wrong. 😉

    “Note he doesn’t complain about this in his blog as he doesn’t bite the hand that feeds.”

    Doing his best impersonation of a wise man at this time of year. 🙂

    “All I got was frostbite and a picture of Santa. ”

    Wait, how could you take the picture if you had frostbite?



      1. If I’m ever in England I’ll make a point of carrying an off colour highlighter in case I see him I a pub somewhere. Hopefully when he is south of pint six so I can run away.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. “Bit like he nearly did when I asked if he wanted Hot Nuts in the Sun.”

        Tsk, tsk. Everyone knows hot nuts don’t require the extra heat from the sun. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Just to avoid misunderstanding, he’s allergic to nuts (no jokes), which I didn’t realise as I thought he’d been taking the mick out of allergies in his previous post.


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