My “Social Distancing” days are falling into a routine already, and I hate routine.

  • Wash hands
  • Make Mrs RM coffee.
  • Wash hands
  • Clean all clothes used yesterday
  • Write blog post
  • Wash hands
  • Make Mrs RM lunch
  • Wash hands
  • Clean house
  • Wash hands
  • Travel a few miles up the A10 and walk for 2 hours
  • Wash hands
  • Stare longingly at a pub that I can’t now go in
  • Write blog post without a pub in it and wonder who’s interested now

etc etc

The walks are vital, even if they are in Grunty Fen, just off the A10 south of Ely.


Wiki tells me “The area made national headlines when Isle of Ely MP Clement Freud asked the Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher whether she had plans to visit Grunty Fen where residents were concerned about the level of wage settlements. Thatcher replied that the 97 residents were a happy, agricultural community with a low rate of unemployment”.

At least two of the UK’s top pub tickers in this extract

I’m confident this is the most comprehensive post on Grunty Fen you’ll find anywhere on the Interweb.

Dennis of Grunty Fen

It’s one of the lowest-lying bits of England, whatever that means.


I set off from a layby in Witchford, armed with useless photos of the village information board.

Erected in 1977 to commemorate the release of the Sex Pistol’s God Save The Queen
Tourist map fails to identify main attraction (see below)

cheered by a dry but eerie sky.

There’s your big skies

Air in the lungs, hardly any cars on the Fen roads, no pressure to get to a pub before it unexpectedly closes early.


It’s liberating to walk aimlessly, though it helps to have your Explorer OS map with you when everything is this flat.

View from my drone

For five points, how many folk did I pass (at 2 metre distance) on my 90 minute amble ?

a) 0-1

b) 0-10

c) 0-100

Those logs on the ground are seats

The walk is recommended for fans of straw bales, green algae, and aggressive dogs.

Fen life

Witchford Wiki is a bit minimalist, despite a lot of new houses popping up and a largish business park on the A142.

The main activity remains car dumping. Someone dumped a car in the lane between our house and the Indian restaurant, complete with cheese and mouldy books on the seat, presumably as a social experiment.

Tourist attraction

I wondered if I’d been unfair to Witchford, routinely ignoring it on 1,372 trips north, but the best I can find is the cherry blossom and a nice bit of fontage.

St Andrew
Also St Andrew

I thought this post was going to be of urgent interest to Duncan and Simon, with the cunningly named Village Inn making a GBG debut this year. When I went a while back it was a typical village pub, funnily enough.

But it’s first year in the Guide lasted less that 6 months; truly the Swindon of pubs.

Not a great sign

Good lunch to Punch finding a new tenant this year.

23 thoughts on “GRUMBLES IN GRUNTY FEN

  1. We’re all still interested RM! Ok,ok, so no pubs, but you take a good(ish) photo and write so well…. I have you in the same category as Ian McMillan the poet who I follow on twitter….. you bring little jolts of joy with your observations, thoughts and puns…..oh and the dreadful music πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Keep going with your tales.

    I got back from my walk and was subject to a harsh interrogation.
    “Did you go in the Lathkil?”
    “But you went in The George?”
    “Are you coming in the house?”
    “No, pass me the jug, I’m off the Bulls Head off-sales”

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Another post idea. I do like making you work. How about some obscure music reviews\recommendations? These walking posts are great. Try to add in some hills though.


      1. I’m from Liverpool, my local (hopefully still open after I come out of solitary confinement) is the Willowbank in Wavertree, sadly missing from this year’s GBG. I can be relied upon to come up with a Zappa tune to suit any occasion.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Interesting area, Wavertree. Guess you saw my post on the area and the Handyman then ?

        “Whatever Happened To All The Fun In The World” would fit right now.

        I bought quite a bit of Zappa ’70s vinyl in the ’90s which I’ve hardly played but am glad I’ve got.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Just read your Handyman post. Glad you liked it. The beer there is lovely, however I find the furniture far too uncomfortable and I am not one for standing at the bar. The place was a shop for tradesmen, selling everything needed for plumbers, carpenters and the odd six inch nail collector. Prior to that it was a bespoke rocking horse factory/shop, hence the horse’s head outside.
        You must have visited the Willowbank at some point on your travels, in my humble opinion the best pub in Liverpool. It’s my local and I have ran the quiz there for the last twenty years, so I may be slightly biased.
        Keep up the good work.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Hills ain’t all that they’re cracked up to be.

        If you’ve ever lived amongst them, then it’s wonderful to get away, and to see the occasional sunrise and sunset.

        It’s also good to look at the distant sky, and to know what the weather’s likely to be more than ten minutes in advance.

        Cycling also becomes a possibility for normal people.

        Hills make it cloudy, rainy, and drizzly too.

        Liked by 1 person

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