and I love retiredmartin just the same.

Here’s some suitably naff power pop to meet my contractual requirements with Mark Crilley, and celebrate five years of the blog, as I was reminded by WordPress this week.

If any of you actually know this Colin James classic (I picked up the tape for $3 in Adelaide) I’d love to know.

You’ll be aware I’m not one for pointless reflection; the best is always yet to come.  But I need something to write about and milking the past is good for blog views.

As are posts complaining about opening times, like this early one from Hull.

New Adelphi

You might be interested to hear that I actually joined WordPress in July 2015, spending a good couple of months honing my craft failing to publish my posts via Twitter.

The first tweet announcing the blog came on 9 October that year, a real slice of heritage pub for Pub Curmudgeon here;

Those early posts were short and dull.

Mudgie gave me encouragement to start the blog as well as lots of helpful advice, and kicked off the running blog gag that Stockport isn’t in Manchester.

Manchester’s finest.  Before the £1 increase, anyway

RetiredMartin isn’t a beer blog, it’s a diary of a life well spent, but I did read Boak & Bailey‘s helpful steer on writing about that time, and their advice to imagine you’re talking to a large audience.

Not THAT audience though

In the nearly 3 months before the blog became “official” it attracted a grand total of 14 visits, about one a week, and all from an ex-colleague called Neil with impeccable music taste.

Mudgie promoted the blog, and I attracted the creme de la creme of the American pub fans to leave indecipherable comments about Tetley Bitter recipes, before I redirected them to Ron Pattinson and the Mudges.

Dick the Tick
PubMan of the Year.  And Dave.

As the Southworths, Mark, Richard, Duncan, BeerMat, that bloke in Hampshire and the Canadian became regular commentors (commentators ?), I spent longer on the blog than actually visting pubs, and so from April 2017 had to start making up the material.

Craft bar, West Brom

In time the posts acquired those maps you love,


little annotations at the foot of the pictures, the Blog Map, and yet more adventurous snaps of pub life.

This Lubeck shot is my favourite, a reminder of what we lost in April 2007.

Tibia Tick

Nothing as good as THIS one from BRAPA, mind.

Still angry, Si

Simon had started his own blog the year before, and we noticeably both adapted our style to become more observant of pub life than beer style at the same time.

I’m happy to admit I steal openly from BRAPA, but at least I know that Scotland doesn’t start at Hadrian’s Wall (yet).

Intrusive photography ?  Me ?
Martin the Owl pleased to be shot of BRAPA

It hasn’t all been plain sailing.

In 2016 I wiped the photos off the blog and some of them have never made it back, and I get one angry reader a year who thinks I’ve taken liberties. They’re usually from Hertfordshire, which explains a lot.

Art if you ask me

Experiments with colourisation of photos from Wales to bring them into the 21sst century weren’t universally popular, particularly with Pashmina Pauline, one of the many escapees from Yorkshire who read this blog.

Still, all great fun, even if I miss those grammar corrections from Russ.

My only wish for the next 5 years ?

Blog view map

That Denmark annexes Greenland* so I can get that huge block of ice coloured in.  We should have been in Greenland this month, where I planned to pop in Nuuk Wetherspoons and view my blogpost on New Milton or whatever.

*What’s wrong with that ?








34 thoughts on “IT’S BEEN 5 LONG YEARS….

  1. And a great run it has been. I can’t say how much joy this has brought to me. Maybe a sad comment, but it is true. I have seen and done things that I could never have imagined. What a great view into the world. To quote the Heads “what a wild, wild world.” And much better for having this blog in it. I have said it before and I will say it again. The triumvirate of BRAPA, LAF and you is some of the best stuff online.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I enjoy reading your blog -always makes me want to go to the pub (we actually only visit a pub once or twice a week ) & i love the lovely photos & maps & occasional mentions of me & my accessories (although I never refer to a Pashm*na -always a scarf ! ) keep up the good work -I wish I had the commitment to write a blog -I forget where I have been very quickly but I do take many photos to aid my memory

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You really should do a blog Pauline. Keeps the brain active and once you get the mechanics it’s easier than you’d think. You can probably hold a camera more steady than Simon and BeerMat, too.

      NB One or two pub visits a year is still more than 95% of the public, well done !

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Although your angry reader is pretty polite compared to the comments BRAPA got for his post on Legendz in Stalyvegas.

    I take it that the title is a tribute to Eddie Boyd’s blues standard of that name?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Time for this disease to “disappear” so we can start on another 5 years. Thank you for filling in the 50 weeks per year when we were not visiting and, of course, the last few months.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Many congratulations Martin, on the blog’s fifth anniversary and for making it this far; especially with such a prolific output.

    Your blog is always the first I turn to, as with it being updated so often, there’s always something new and interesting to read. I honestly don’t know where you find the time to do all this, and to reply to the many comments your posts attract but, like all your readers, I’m glad that you do.

    You mention Pub Curmudgeon’s pivotal role in helping to get your blog off the ground, and I’d like to extend a thank-you to Mudge as well, for pointing me in your direction.

    I do recall getting the odd comment on my blog, from your good self, prior to the start-up of your Retired Martin site (comments about our respective visits to Cesky Krumlov, spring to mind), so I sort of knew what to expect when I started following your blog.

    As ever, some interesting observations, thoughts and comments on your blog; not solely on pubs, but often on life in general. Also, your love of the quirky and unusual strikes a chord with me.

    The line of yours that I like the most is, “The best is always yet to come.” May this be the case for many more years and may this wise philosophy be adopted and put into practice, by us all!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Five years…where does the time go? I’m constantly amazed at how you keep going and keep coming up with new insights about the minutiae of small villages, massive cities and everything in-between! Always entertaining, never dull and never afraid to expose the pubs where your beer was bound for the plant pot (or worse!)

    Like you and like Paul (above) I’m also grateful to Mudgie for his initial encouragement and advice as he helped us waifs and strays into the world of blogging!

    Here’s to the next five years of getting back to some semblance of normality! Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. With wonderful observations so well illustrated it’s the one I turn to most.
    Going so far beyond ‘this beer in that pub then that beer in this pub’ it deserves at least another five years.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Your book.
        Will the thousands of comments form the second half of the publication and then we can all say that they should be in a separate book ?


    1. Greenland is probably off-bounds to visitors atm, as it continues to fight off an unwanted purchase bid from the Orange One in the White House! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Congratulations Martin on 5 great blogging years. Inspiring stuff and may you have many more…
    …into your mobility scooter years and beyond 😉

    Sounds a bit ‘Bud Lightyear’ that – doesn’t it…?


  9. Well done on 5 years and as others have mentioned, with such great content and output I don’t know how you did it.
    I did a years worth of pub visits a few years back and really flagged towards the end and that was only one post a month!! 2 or 3 a day really is a huge effort.

    Love this blog though and the way you kept it going through the lockdown was inspired. Here’s to many more years. 👍

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Ha ha. I’ll take that!
    Yeah, I used to do a round up of the month, in hindsight the wrong way to do it!!
    I moved it to instagram after that, few pictures and a couple of lines of comment whilst in the pub.. Not resumed as yet 😢

    Liked by 1 person

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