March 2020

Well, BRAPA is safely back from Spain to find all our pubs closed; the two events are unrelated.

I’ve suggested Si start a new blog series called “Saucy Si’s Saturday Sipping Suggestions“. He could have reviewed this bottle of Kernel Saison I got from Ely’s Bake Shop yesterday,

Wondered what happened to Kernel

He could have but the first thing Mrs RM said when I got home was,

Is it too early to open that bottle ?” I never learn. She doesn’t even like “sour beer“.

Bake Shop was empty, and I paid contactless, but even then I was conscious of the risks of shopping. At all.

Certainly after seeing a woman ejected at the tills for trying to buy an excess volume of Doom Bar (possibly) I’ve decided that Tesco is to be avoided.

Plenty of wine, no need to panic

I’d actually gone to Ely to get the ever demanding Dave a picture of some hills.

Instead I got distracted by missing cats, mystic cats and Clapton ultra stickers.

A lot of aliases there
Missing a g


Ely is a cat loving nation

Clapton FC ultras in Ely ?

In the park with a hill leading up to the Cathedral I jumped off the path to avoid some joggers,

and stumbled on the mythical flautist of Dean’s Meadow.

Listen closely and you’ll hear her playing Zep’s “The Battle of Evermore“.

I used to take the boys to a little copse behind that tree to explore but it’s been fenced off now, so this is the highest point in the city. Must be almost sea level.

Climbing up on Ely Hill

As you’ll see, Ely is matching Cambridge for solitude.


Loads of signs of communities working together.

Can you get me a bottle of Doom Bar, Vic ?

Noticeably, the chain pubs were open (but looked quiet), the independents shut.

The wonderful Fountain

My parents were excited to hear that Ely is about to get aWetherspoons, the Fenland equivalent of a Suffolk town getting a Waitrose, but I guess I shouldn’t start queueing for opening night just yet.

Spoons here, apparently

I’ll bet the Craft Union pub, denoted below by the mobility scooter, will be one of the last to close tonight.


Another Clapton Ultras sticker. How I long to be able to go to the Anchor & Hope right now. Patience, patience.



  1. I know you were social distancing Martin, but a more appropriate title for your video clip would be Song of the Wind, by Santana; unless you turn the sound right up, that is!

    I remember that walk through the cathedral grounds with you and Mrs RM. Must have been almost three years ago, but it seems like a lifetime away at the moment.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I have still to comment on your Stretham post Martin, but it would be unkind in these straightened circumstances to criticise the cleanliness of my accommodation that evening.

        Will that particular pub survive this period of extended closure? How many others will go to the wall as well?

        It did serve me up a decent breakfast the following morning though, so it wasn’t all bad! šŸ˜€


      2. It was looking plainer last week than I remember it a decade ago when I guess it went a bit upmarket to attract trade from folk looking for more homely B & B.

        Hard to say whether the pubs will reopen, isn’t it? The demand may well be there, but will the publicans have moved on.


  2. Lovely photos of what looks like an excellent place for a stroll. My wife and I have been walking every day, but sadly just around our same old familiar neighborhood. Hopefully we can go a little farther afield one of these days.

    What a glorious day it will be when we can all once again go back to our local pubs and restaurants. We’ll have a new appreciation of what a great pleasure it is, and not one to be taken for granted.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. My best memories of Ely are Greene King XX Mild in the Prince Albert but it’s a long time since I changed trains there and 33 years since I stayed in the city.
    As they’re anagrams maybe Ely should be twinned with Lye – but are there any other examples ?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Etu,
        There’s a Silent Street in Ipswich but that’s five letters different from Silent Monkey.
        With about a thousand towns and 10,000 villages in Britain there must be another two that are anagrams of each other. And we’ve got several months to think this over now.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, there are quite a few but mostly they’re just a bit flat, such as Trenant (Cornwall) and Tranent (Scotland).


      3. Etu,
        Ah, yes, thanks.
        That’s a couple of pairs, and there’s probably quite a few more.


    1. The Greene King XX Mild in the Prince Albert, was on top form Paul, the night I visited with Mr & Mrs RM.

      It was without doubt the best pint of the evening. šŸ»

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I had the Mild there last year and it was as good as your pint that night. Along with the Free Press in Cambridge one of the best pints of Mild in the country.


      2. Paul, I see that some wag has posted a picture, now doing the rounds, of his having moved the stack of Daily Mails from the newspaper stand to the empty bog roll shelves at a supermarket.

        It wasn’t you, was it?



      3. Etu,
        No, you won’t get me in a ‘supermarket’
        But you do remind me of being in Sheffield’s Bath Hotel last year when two customers, possibly lecturers, were discussing what best to do with the free Metro paper, take one it for immediate recycling or just leave it. They thought my interjection of “or maybe put a match to it” to be quite amusing.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Haha! Actually it was Kentish Paul to whom I replied, but I like the tale, TSM šŸ™‚

        The other Paul has “form”, you see…

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Levens is one of many places I’ve never been to but I’m thankful that I had three nights in the Lake District last March.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Martin,
        Yes, not just the Lake District but 39 nights away in eighteen months and 390 pubs from Bristol and Brighton to Broughty Ferry last year.
        Memories from all that makes being grounded now not quite so bad.

        Liked by 1 person

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