My March preview clearly had a sense of foreboding;

“Mid month, floods and plague permitting, I’ll be taking the new campervan for a run down in Dorset and Devon.” I wrote.

Events, dear boy. Events. Sunday the 15th saw my last pub. Who knows when the next will be ? And frankly, who but us cares ?

Stay home

I then wrote;

“Gigs in Manchester tonight (Big Thief) and Hackney (Maria McKee) on the 31st with some local stuff in between.

I reckon the McKee album out this month will be a year’s highlight, and I’m sure you can’t wait for my track-by-track review.”


That Maria McKee record was, indeed, the saving grace of a traumatic month.


And the lights on the bridge
William Blake and the grid
And the whisper room that winds around Saint Paul’s
Sir John Soane, found me in his parlor all alone
Weeping at the beauty of it all“ – Down to the Heart of London

My melancholy playlist, oddly the most viewed post this month, was headed by Ms McKee, whose instagram records the sort of central London walks I can only dream of now I’m stuck in Waterbeach.

Spring colour

Just as well I’d packed in trips to the Lakes, southern Scotland and the Cotswolds before the closedown.

2 GBG pubs together
Kirkoswald made for BeerMat

It was great to make some inroads into Dumfries and Galloway, and finally tick Stranraer off my bucket list.


But nothing came close to the magic of Gloucester Cathedral.



I actually managed 27 new Guide pubs in the first two weeks, at least allowing me to finish Worcestershire in style Bewdley.

As good as it gets

That was Pub 4,108 of the current Guide. 90.7% and out.

Pub of the Month – The Grapes, Stranraer. Basic, buoyant, beautiful .



Beer of the MonthDraught Bass at the Imperial, Gloucester. A sentimental choice.



Good job bottled Doom Bar is so good, eh ?

April Preview

One day at a time. Just like in the Lena Martell Number 1. Sorry, not the punk version.


      1. OK, I guess I should listen to it again and give it more than 30 seconds before I decide that it is c**p.


      2. I cannot say I hate it, but it is not something that I will ever listen to again.


      3. Yes, I thought that it was well worth the seventeen minutes.

        From where did he pick up those frequent Lancashire vowels though?


  1. Whilst we do not know when we will return, we do know that we will return (probably). To look forward gives us the hope to keep us going, hard though it is when we do not know the specifics we are looking forward to.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Martin,
    I’ve suggested on that discourse “Isn’t it best for the GBG just to skip a year like our annual conference and so many other things ?”
    Those extra months would mean you could make the 100%


    1. I agree with you, Paul. Not because it would help me complete the GBG (no usebif we’re still in lockdown come Christmas) but became a hard copy will be pointless if no pubs are open.
      Good to see young Ash speaking such sense (as usual) about the GBG on Discourse. The Guide is to my mind the main point of the Campaign, directing you to places which serve well kept cask beer.
      You and I might diverge where I recognise the merit of keg beer places like Candid in Stafford but you’ve not hit me yet 😉


      1. I’ve mentioned before of the confidence I have in Ash but commented several hours ago on the Beer and Pubs Forum that it’s “the first time ever I didn’t vote for any of the NE candidates”.
        I’m no longer sure about “the main point of the Campaign” and haven’t bought the 2020 GBG as I’m not sure how well it would direct me to places which serve well kept cask beer. I got on well enough in Congleton without it.
        I accept the merit in a great diversity of “beer places” and if people want to pay £8 for a can of ‘grapefruit murk’ in Stafford that’s their prerogative.


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