Mrs RM keeps getting me to nip to the One-Stop for another four pack of Punk,


and our specialist wine importer neighbour keeps leaving bottles of Languedoc-Roussillon on her doorstep.  Once they’ve been soaked in disinfectant for 3 weeks they’ll be fine.

But I’m resisting the temptation to drink during the lockdown. “You still sometimes hear CAMRA blokes say “I never drink at home” as though it is a good thing.” writes Mudgie in a typically excellent piece.

And of course it is a Very Good Thing to only drink beer in a controlled environment in the company of other old codgers.

Controlled environment. Codgers.

I’ve been compiling a spreadsheet of all my pub visits (where I put cash in the coffers) in 2019; I’m torn on whether to share it with you.

BUT if any of you can guess the number (+/- 25) of pubs I’ll do an analysis and award you two pints of (virtual) Doom Bar. Guess which pub I visited most and I’ll chuck in a Bass glass.

The Lockdown drags on, perhaps for ever, and appears impeccably served by the residents of Waterbeach.

This was the A10 that runs close to retiredmartin Towers at 5pm today;

A10 North to Ely
A10 South to Cambridge


Of course, the media paint a rather distorted picture. Tune into LBC and hear  Derek from Leatherhead report he’s just been out for a drive to see all these people out for a drive. And weep.

Hypocritically, I drove half way to Cambridge to do our weekly shop (mainly potatoes) from the well-organised Co-op in Chesterton. Follow the arrows, don’t browse, in and out in 5 minutes.

Time for a quick bit of exercise in town.


The stretch from the Cam to King’s College would normally see me pass 500 people on a sunny April afternoon; Japanese tourists, students, Primark shoppers, even pub men.

I must have seen a dozen people.

Old Divinity School

The busiest thoroughfare in Cambridge, deserted.


Actually, so quiet it was no fun at all. I even missed the cyclists whizzing past your ear.

Stay safe folks.


    1. I’m sure that’s right. Saw some photos of central Manchester the other week that were very similar. Can’t say I’ve seen anyone much on the streets leading into Cambridge either, perhaps we’re just more compliant than those Londoners on Westminster Bridge.


      1. Obviously at present all of us will only have a limited experience of the “outside world” so it’s impossible to form a general picture. I’d certainly say that on the sunny days we’ve been having recently there have been plenty of people out and about round local shopping areas, possibly even more than there would be on a normal working day. I live in an urban area, but no main road near me would be remotely as quiet as your pictures of the A10.

        The level of activity has also progressively increased over the past five weeks.


      2. I cross over the A10 for a walk most days and that’s normal. The A14 also looked empty when I crossed it into Cambridge.

        The only shops I saw open in the Cambridge shops were the mini-Supermarkets, chemists/drug store and a couple of grocers on the outdoor market, so no-one out casually shopping.

        Oddly, I haven’t that noticed THAT many more delivery vans, either.


  1. Yes, lovely photos Martin, but as others have pointed out town and city centres will inevitably be quieter at present. Lots of abandoned bikes though!

    Matthew and I drove out to a local farm shop this morning, and there was definitely more traffic about than on previous Saturdays. Some of us were in at work yesterday, in order to correlate and submit a corrective action report to our new notified body. One colleague who had driven in from Sheppey, reported the M2 motorway as busy as a normal, pre-lock down, weekday morning!

    As I wrote on Mudge’s blog, we are already seeing a tacit relaxation of the lock down. Shops and businesses are gradually reopening. My own company is planning to restart production at the beginning of next month, albeit with smaller numbers of personnel to maintain adequate social distancing.

    The company has a letter from the Secretary of State for Business, underlining that manufacturing is a critical part of the UK economy and confirming there is no restriction on manufacturing continuing under the current rules, providing the guidelines for safe working, from Public Health England are followed.

    In other words, despite the difficult balancing act between health and the economy, the government are quietly encouraging a return to work, and for those of us still reliant on a monthly wage, it seems the right thing to do.


    1. I’d expect the High Street to be quiet but I’m not sure where all the folk who live close to central cambridge (around the parks, not in the shopping centres) go for their walks. Vehicle usage is quite low and there’s no cars on the road! .

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Hmm, looks like we’re maybe stuck with about eight hundred hospital deaths a day then, who knows?

      That’s around three hundred thousand a year as a rate. Then there are the others.


      1. The level does sadly seem stubbornly high at present, but it will come down eventually, as it has in other countries.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, it’s a bit of a pity, when even Venezuela seems capable of holding it down to just a handful.

        Still, mustn’t grumble.


    3. T’other Paul,
      I’m not “reliant on a monthly wage” since my knees failed but I’d rather still be earning a weekly wage than stuck in the house, and garden, all day long.
      Did you reply to the Secretary of State for Business underlining that pubs are a critical part of the UK economy ?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m tempted to write that letter Paul, although I suspect others from within the hospitality sector will have already done so.


  2. The Co-op convenience store seems to be well-organised in the “village” here, and with a baker’s, greengrocer’s deli etc. just a short walk away we’re fortunate in not having to queue at a big supermarket.

    They even have tomato purée, now that all that pasta has been thrown away.

    I suppose that Pontcanna is to Hampstead, what the Blackpool Tower is to that thing in Paris – the name of which escapes me.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Has nobody guessed yet then? I’ll go for 827 pubs in 2019. Most visited pub must have been that micro at Spurn Head based on mentions alone!


  4. 1054.7. Most visited Piccadilly Tap.

    I imagine the stabled bicycles will be owned by commuters who arrive in the city by other means then cycle the last leg to their destination. Marylebone Station is quite a site at the weekend, and I suspect every day at the minute, with all the bicycles left in the big city by home going workers.

    Why did Derek from Leatherhead leave his house? If it was just for a drive as is mooted he himself should be prosecuted under the emergency legislation before those he moans about is arrested. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. I am probably not without sin so rather than throw stones I’ll just hang him instead.


    1. Being called Derek is bad enough.

      You are closest to guessing my number of pub visits so far. The 0.7 may be crucial.

      I’m ashamed to say that Marylebone isn’t an area I know as well as you, but the Stags Head is a Proper Pub without too many tourists and beer bores.


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