CHRISTMAS EVE AT THE FAT CAT

Christmas Eve just doesn’t work without the pub, does it ?

A year ago I nursing a half in Dutton’s while I waited for Matt to have a post-work Punk with his new workmates (in Spoons),

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though in 2017 we ended up with an Arrogant Bastard in a dingy Los Angeles Travelodge as the bars were closed.

A damp squib this year, of course, but I was determined to TOUCH a pub, so took the fast lane to Kelham.

Yes, I’m barely a quarter hour’s walk from the Valley of Beer, passing some gorgeous stonework on the way.

Kelham looked lovely but lonely, but the approach to the Fat Cat always puts a spring in your step.

4pm on Christmas Eve. Even Cambridge pubs would have been heaving with Old Boys on their 5th pint by now. But in 2020 you just get a gaggle of lads tossing a coin to choose between Kernel in from the Kelham Island Tavern or Pale Rider from the Cat.

I’d already ticked the takeaway from the KIT, and I wanted to peep in (with my zoom lens) what is still one of my Top 10 pubs.

Oooh. Ain’t it lovely.

And ain’t it sad, confined to filling milk bottles full of Pale and Stout. 4 pints for a tenner; they might last Mrs RM till midnight.

Ten minutes later I caught the “revellers” sinking their cask straight from the 2 pint containers.

Makes you proud to be a Northerner.

25 thoughts on “CHRISTMAS EVE AT THE FAT CAT

  1. How long do you have to live in the north before they let you call yourself one? When I lived in Maine it was only second generation that was allowed to say they were Mainers.

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    1. Someone (possibly our neighbours) said “If you WANT to be a northerner then you’re a northerner” which was reassuring. I’ve always preferred the North (anything above and including Stoke except most of Cheshire).

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      1. I can’t keep up with it, I really can’t. Is that the idea ?

        There was a TV special about the Hebrides last night; they may be the only place you can go for a pint soon (if you wear a kilt).

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    2. I’ve lived in Yorkshire for 35 years, and before that I had more than 10 years on the wrong side of the Pennines, but I only have to open my mouth in Sheffield to be spotted as a southerner. My heart has been in the north for most of my life, so that will have to do.

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      1. Sheffield Hatter,
        These past thirty-five years you would probably have been better off in Stafford, a proper town not troubled by an accent, neither the Midlands one of Cannock to the south nor northernish one of the Potteries to the north.
        You wouldn’t have been labelled “a southerner” by the locals in the Railway as you regularly quaffed your Draught Bass.

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  2. “Christmas Eve just doesn’t work without the pub, does it ?”

    Does virtual on your laptop with a can in your underpants work as a replacement?

    “A year ago I nursing a half in Dutton’s”

    That looks quite nice.

    “though in 2017 we ended up with an Arrogant Bastard in a dingy Los Angeles Travelodge as the bars were closed.”

    Blimey! That could very well be a close 2nd to this year.

    “but the approach to the Fat Cat always puts a spring in your step.”

    I see that Matthew has the advert out for his soon to be barber shop.

    “But in 2020 you just get a gaggle of lads tossing a coin to choose between Kernel from the Kelham Island Tavern or Pale Rider from the Cat.”

    Sigh.

    “And ain’t it sad, confined to filling milk bottles full of Pale and Stout.”

    Agreed.

    “4 pints for a tenner; they might last Mrs RM till midnight.”

    Heh.

    “Makes you proud to be a Northerner.”

    You’re on your way to being accepted! 🙂

    Cheers

    PS – Happy Holidays!
    (I know you don’t like the ‘other’ one) 🙂

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  3. Happy Holidays Mr RM as best we can do. I’m already missing the thought of missing the beery family at Manchester next month ☹️

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  4. Martin,
    Being probably able to count the Christmas Eves I’ve spent in a pub on one hand I’m not sure about “Christmas Eve just doesn’t work without the pub, does it ?”
    Using pubs more on the other 364 days of the year fits in with the “a pub is for life not just Christmas” policy and you know that I prefer pubs quiet.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I don’t sing in the carols at King’s College on Christmas Eve but it’s still an essential part of Christmas !

      Know what you mean, Paul, I tend to avoid the frantic pre-Christmas rush, just as I avoid the Christmas shops by never buying presents.

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      1. Can’t get away with dressing up s a choir boy anymore ?
        I used to like the last working day before Christmas, a lunchtime to early or mid evening crawl of Stafford pubs unusually lively bordering on raucous but that was it before the proper curmudgeonly spirit of Christmas descended on me.
        i do though remember one Christmas Day in the Beacon only open three hours and rammed so that the “halves only” rule for the 8% Sarah Hughes Snowflake was abandoned. That was before my mother in law in Sedgley died.

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      2. My father loved listening to the nine Lessons at Kings on Christmas Eve on the radio though I’m not sure if that was from his three years in Cambridge.

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