These first two weeks of Pubs Return have been a challenge in rule observance. While Mrs RM is programmed to do the exact opposite of what she’s told to, my problem is incompetence.

Here’s my Top 3 RetiredMartin failures to follow instructions;

1987, Corfu – Failure to observe instruction to only start the “Impromptu Greek Dancing” when the moussaka had been cleared.

“But it’s impromptu” said I and a mate called Simon (no relation).

See the source image
Not to scale

1998, Harare – Failure to observe signs warning me not to intrude on Zimbabwean Presidential Palace while looking for the cricket ground. Approached with bayonet and moved on.

Easy mistake

2010, Reykjavic – Failure to keep big toe out of the Blue Lagoon on a guided tour that expressly DIDN’T include use of the Blue Lagoon.

Ten minutes actually cured my toe of unspeakable diseases but may have traumatised a number of Germans.

See the source image
Actual big toe not shown

I’ll gloss over 2007, Colon, Panama and the boy on a bike in a Cathedral.

Pubs need people to follow the rules. Book a table, wash your hands, follow the one way arrows, SIT DOWN (but not with THEM), don’t take your glass back, don’t sing.


I didn’t expect the Red Lion in Kellington near Goole to need me to book a table for a half, and I was right (see their Facebook page).


Pubs near power stations, in this case Eggborough and Drax, don’t stand (or sit) on ceremony.

Eggborough Power Station - geograph.org.uk - 349053.jpg
R.I,P. Eggborough

I walked the village, simple but well tended, catching up a couple of joggers at the lovely church. “She made me stop !” said the younger, as I overtook them.

Church on a hill

3pm opening, the new 10am.

Can it really be that big a place ?


I walk in, looking nervously round for the “greeter” and instructions, clutching a slip of paper with my contact details filled out in pink marker.

But there’s only the one Old Boy who somehow beat me in, and I can edge up to the bar without knocking anything over.

The welcome is genuine, the pub is spotless, the beer range spot on.

Note hooks for GBGs

£2.50 for your local Brown Cow, an NBSS 3.5 of a pint. The A19 is a reliable stretch of road for beer (see: Burn), though it’s closed at Chapel Haddlesey. My local knowledge* helps me blend in seamlessly.

We talk roadworks and regeneration in Goole, queues for hairdressers and shopping in Pontefract, and the challenges of maintaining a village pub with folk still nervous about leaving their house.

20 minutes chatting in a pub (27.5 minutes for Si) is an injection of life to lift the soul, it really is.

*Knowledge so poor I’ve been spelling Haddlesey as Haddesley for 20 years


  1. I think they should still allow people to sing in pubs so long as they open a window and point their mouths out into the street. 😉

    That Red Lion looks to be the length of three pubs side by side! Did it seem exceptionally large on the interior?

    Have you really visited Zimbabwe? I spent 8 months in Senegal during my third year of college, 1986-87. Happy memories of those days, and what I now see to be an impossibly responsibility-free existence!


    1. I volunteered to do some work for the NHS there in ’98. Just a 2 week assignment but saw Victoria Falls, crossed into Zambia and broke down on the road to Mutare and had to change £20 for a gazillion Zimdollars.

      Small beer compared to 8 months in Senegal, which I see is a mere 132 hours away !

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think I’ve got a trillion dollar somewhere. Small children were selling them on the street for about 10p.


      2. The trillion dollar one is worth a trillion dollars. Think on that.
        The 3 of us on assignment went to the poshest hotel in Harare (Meikles), had the best steaks on the menu, wine and Castle on draught, and the bill came to something like 3mill Zimdollars. About £20.


  2. Now been to seven different pubs since The Great Unlocking, all of which know well and how much trade would expect to be doing at times of visits. It is early days, and three seem to be doing fine; but the other four been desperately empty. Do fear a tsunami of closures on the way.


      1. Small samples so risky drawing too many conclusions. Of the seven: three entirely wet; two predominantly wet but do side line in fairly basic meals; one a mid-range food pub; one an out and out high end dining pub. Three of quietest were in that middle range – with virtually no one eating. High end dining pub and two of the wet leads were the ones with plenty of punters.


      2. Interesting.

        The high end pub in Hampshire I visited was as busy as ever, and the simple boozers seems to be full of blokes happy to take risks. It’s that middle ground that structures.


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