2020 IN REVIEW – AUGUST

Rules, rules, rules. Pub-going seemed to get a little harder in August, though perhaps that was just the reality of Cornish and Devonian publicans being paranoid about the arrival of the London plague.

Standing at, or even approaching the bar, became a capital offence.

Yes, the Castle in King’s Nympton had really made sure you couldn’t stand at the bar.

Being confined to the outside tables was a real downer; you get a totally different atmosphere outside in the garden and you can’t take photos of pub mirrors.

And those perspex dividers make you feel safe, in the same way that folk with leprosy were housed in leper colonies for their safety in Ben Hur.

The dreaded table reservation also became the expectation;

Table for retiredmartin, just for a quick half, near a plant pot please”.

Oddly, a few miles away, in George Nympton, my request for a reservation was met with derision.

And the wonderful Craft Union seemed able to run their pubs as pubs without killing us.

Greene King had spent some £3 billion in making their diners Covid-compliant and lacking in atmoshphere, with £37 million alone devoted to elbow-operated toilet occupancy signs.

Some village pubs didn’t have £37 to make their pub interiors safe and just stuck up an outside bar. It was still a tick, and I was motoring through the GBG now.

But pubs remained quiet, outside those 3 days a week when Rishi added billion to our children’s tax burdens by making my posh lunches (a dozen of them) half-price.

My Dad loved eating out with me, but the city centre boozers saw no benefit, of course, and I was struck by how quiet Manchester was when I helped Matt move from Salford.

It was another month whizzing round the country, from Redcar to Ilfracombe to Portscatho Beach.

ILFRACOMBE TOURIST BOOM

A personal highlight arrived at the Manchester BrewDog when Matt, at 19, managed to take his own jumper off . #ProudDad

Less convinced by his BrewDog lager choice, though.

I paid a return visit to the Olde Sun in St Neots. Golly, it was wonderful.

TOP 100 PUBS – YE OLDE SUN, ST NEOTS

Cambridge pub legend Tom took on the community-owned Hare & Hounds in Harlton and wowed me with the welcome and cask quality (and the pie, the best food of the month).

wp-15970456061295842677668428825137.jpg

I couldn’t quite work out why I felt such joy in revisiting the Hare & Hounds, years after it closed.

And then it struck me. The village had its pub back. After FIVE months cooped up watching Narcos they were able to chat to their mates, complain about Tom’s music choice (Blur, Nick Drake, John Grant) and hold court.

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And finally, staircase of the month. Well, come on down (as it were), Hyde Park in Mutley.

21 thoughts on “2020 IN REVIEW – AUGUST

  1. You couldn’t resist eating Bass as well as drinking it, I note from the bill! Shameless product placement but I guess that’s what they pay you (or your Dad) for?! When the story of the virus in Britain is written the ‘eat out to help out’ scheme will, I suspect, be viewed with some incredulity by future generations, given what went before and after. Interesting reading these retrospective blogs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My Dad is a sea Bass fan. Filled his boots in August but he knew it was “problematic”.

      I actually thought EOTHO was a good thing in encouraging older folk back outside, and the infection rates stayed low to the end of August. We know what happened then.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Agree. In the context of now being implicitly told by Govt that pubs and restaurants are death traps and must be avoided at all costs after telling them what to do to be safe and then urging us back. I guess the truth is that our scientists don’t have a clue about transmission of this novel virus and is entirely reactive.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Shops and schools are death traps ( ten times more dangerous than pubs i think I read somewhere ) but they’re not all about beer so Boris won’t have a word said against them.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Probably highly significant, and explains why the street scenes from such places show everyone wearing a mask.

        If you keep cases down to just a few, and your tracking is exemplary, then you can establish these highly revealing facts too.

        Sadly, those charged with getting masks couldn’t even source them for front-line medical staff here, so you can see why the public weren’t encouraged to demand them, can’t you?

        Liked by 2 people

  2. “Standing at, or even approaching the bar, became a capital offence.”

    Fer fook’s sake. They’re aiding in their demise!

    “And those perspex dividers make you feel safe, in the same way that folk with leprosy were housed in leper colonies for their safety in Ben Hur.”

    Or how well they work as sneeze guards at all you can eat buffets. 😉

    ““Table for retiredmartin, just for a quick half, near a plant pot please”.”

    Did that work… anywhere?

    “with £37 million alone devoted to elbow-operated toilet occupancy signs.”

    They were talking about the sign, and not how you peed inside, right?

    “It was still a tick, and I was motoring through the GBG now.”

    That’s practically underpants territory. 🙂

    “when Rishi added billion to our children’s tax burdens”

    Meh. You and me (and the rest) will all be dead by then. 😉

    “and I was struck by how quiet Manchester was when I helped Matt move from Salford”

    Blimey. That photo below says it all; and I don’t even live there!

    “A personal highlight arrived at the Manchester BrewDog when Matt, at 19, managed to take his own jumper off . #ProudDad”

    You sure he wasn’t just turning it inside out to save on laundry?*

    * oh, wait… silly me.

    “I paid a return visit to the Olde Sun in St Neots. Golly, it was wonderful.”

    Sigh. If I only I could make my man shed/pub look like that.*

    *- actually, if only I could get my man shed/pub finished! (at least, structurally)

    “And finally, staircase of the month. Well, come on down (as it were), Hyde Park in Mutley.”

    Gee. I wonder why? 😉

    Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Did turning the bar into a No Go Zone work ? Good question. I guess it made some folk feel they were in a safer, less pubby environment. If the virus really does travel as far as that South Korean report (20 ft away) suggested than it probably was best we were seated immediately. But it made pubs much less attractive for me and BRAPA.

      Like

      1. Funny how you’re not supposed to have people, other than your household, sit at the same table to eat (or drink!), but you can sit beside someone on a plane for over 4 hours doing pretty much the same thing.*

        * – Vancouver to Toronto is a 4.5 hour flight

        Cheers

        Liked by 1 person

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