2020 IN REVIEW – DECEMBER

December was long this year, wasn’t it ?

We finally concluded our house sale after digging an enormous hole and seeing how fast water drained away, and set 11 December as a date to become official Northerners.

I made the journey from Waterbeach to Hillsborough’s Big Yellow Storage 8 times in 9 days, moving equivalent numbers of Fall LPs and Mrs RM’s shoes and spice collections.

And then on the 11th, said farewell to the Chung Hwa and the Sun,

and hello to the Blind Monkey. Which is closed.

These first 3 weeks in Walkley have been so busy I haven’t had time to be frustrated at the wealth of closed pubs on my doorsteps. Look what glories await in the Spring !

The sun shone on the most important day of the year, and I spent my birthday in Dungworth eating artisan ice cream and picking up a keg of Bradfield from the brewery.

You folk seemed surprisingly keen to read about my aimless wanders in search of closed pubs and brutalism, so I made a special effort on Christmas Day (an important day to some) to bring you Bass lamps and brown tiling. I’m all heart.

Easy to forget some of us we were allowed to visit pubs for a little while in December. Well, not Manchester or Sheffield, obviously, but before the plague descended East Angular was entitled to purchase an alcoholic beverage with an unwanted sandwich that magically kept Covid at bay.

I wasted my window of opportunity (2-11 December) in family diners like the Cuckoo,

and the Swan & Angel, where I observed the first case of punters kicked out of a pub for “lingering“.

How I long to return to a pub and linger over a pint, eavesdropping on domestic drama without the muffle of perspex and clatter of plates.

So, thank you, scientists, and NHS, and Matron May Parsons for getting the vaccine out and into arms within a year. (My parents get their second dose on Sunday, and a weight will lift from my soul).

Despite the lack of pubs, it made December magic, again.

14 thoughts on “2020 IN REVIEW – DECEMBER

    1. I’m sorry, Dave, it’s my fault you missed it. I’ve set an alarm to wake you up at 9am (BST) every morning from now on with the spoken message “REMEMBER 22 DECEMBER !”. Hope that’s OK.

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  1. The silver lining on this, the very last day of 2020, is the lifting of any pressure to go to the pub and stay there til Midnight. One of my favourite times to be in a pub (circa 1985, annual townie pub crawl, stimulants, huge drinking capacity, Motown & Ska in the legendary Magazine Leicester) has become one of my least favourite (half empty pubs, unnecessary discos/bands/tickets/buffet, Scottish piper (?!), way too drunk, very nasty hangover). Happy New Year everyone!

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      1. Sounds about right Bill. Even in the years before the plague, Leicester town centre pubs had mostly closed or gone down the ticket only route on NYE. The traditional pub crawl around a select half dozen of our regular boozers had become impossible, the whole thing killed off by licensees who presumably wanted to control the customer flow. I couldn’t do it now anyway, but when even our village locals started booking bands/discos so you couldn’t hear and socialise properly with friends, and began charging for food we didn’t want, we finally admitted defeat and now largely ignore the whole silly business. The casual, highly social pre-Christmas drinks, and if you’re lucky the Christmas Day pre-dinner swift-couple in your local are the highlights now. Or they ‘were’ of course…

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  2. You’ve hit the nail on the head there, (Real) Mark. The introduction of food nobody wants, and discos that kill conversation whilst also being unwanted, are major reasons why I stopped going out on New Years Eve; that and licensees making the night a “ticket only” event.

    If I have to pay an admission charge, just to get a drink, then the venue ceases to be a pub and becomes a club, instead.

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  3. Am I reading things right that you’ve now moved to a spot where the Fat Cat has become one of your locals– the very one where you and Simon and Roger Protz got together many moons ago? It does my heart good, and it seems to me that alone justifies the move, and then some. 🙂

    Hope you don’t mind me just taking a moment to thank you for the many pleasures your blog brought me in 2020, a year in which pleasures were sadly in short supply. Thanks for all you do, Martin– your words and photos really do bring a smile to my face on a regular basis, and one day I shall be allowed the privilege of buying you a pint or two to repay the favor. Or rather, the favour!! 😉

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    1. Indeed I have, Mark. In fact, it’s why I mark the Fat Cat (10 mins walk) on the maps in the endless posts I’ve been doing as I start t0 acclimatise to Sheffield. There’s at least half a dozen Good Beer Guide pubs in 10 minutes walk in all directions, but of course it’s NEW pubs I need to be visiting again soon.

      As always, thanks for reading and encouraging me and the other bloggers, Mark. Encouragement is the best gift.

      Favor, dear oh dear !

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