I’m legally required to publish an Awards issue for my Patronised readers; it’s a bit like a company AGM but without the power points and biscuits.
You’ve had the monthly micro analysis, here’s the annual accounts.
Place of the Year – Gloucester
It just shows; you can visit a town a dozen times and never see it. Shame about the rugby fixation.
Beer of the Year – Draught Bass
But my favourite photo of a pint of Bass comes served in a John Smiths glass, of course.
Liverpool’s White Star, on a night I completed Merseyside, was a wonderful reminder of life outside the GBG.
I got used to visiting pubs outside the Guide in 2020, relieved to have ANY pubs after the first cruel Lockdown. But since GBG completion is an Olympic sport, here are the results from the retiredmartin camp.
The Ticking List:-
January – SIXTY-SEVEN (67) new GBG pubs
February – FORTY-THREE (43)
March – TWENTY-SEVEN (27) (in 15 days)
April – ZERO
May – ZERO
June – ZERO
The mere act of ripping off that first 50p voucher to get my sub-£2 pint of Doom Bar at the Spoons in Blyth was almost spiritual.
July – TWENTY-ONE (21)
August – FORTY-THREE (43)
September – THIRTY-EIGHT (38)
October – FORTY-NINE (49)
November – NINE (in 3 days)
December – ZERO (moved to Tier 3)
GRAND TOTAL – 297 (in 232 available days)
Not bad, but disappointingly my progress halted at 94% of GBG20, and will struggle to reach that in GBG21.
Pub of the Year – The Hare & Hounds, Harlton, Cambs
Not a new pub, not a stunningly different pub, not even a pub with a mobility scooter outside.
But I went 3 times in short order when Tom the Publican came to run it for the local community, and experienced one of those rare “Wow” moments of pubby wonder as the whole village brought it alive (and drank all the Bass before I got there, but good for them). Note the masks at the bar.
At the risk of going all David Brent, their pie was as spectacular as their beer.
And all we did for pubs was muck them around, opening, closing, opening if you eat, suddenly closing.
Without any pies or Scotch eggs, Craft Union, my Pub Co of the year, had it even worse.
I have two personal awards this year. Blog Commentator of the Year was Russ, whose return in the Spring cheered me almost as much as the re-opening of Chung Hwa. I love the fact he reads the stuff rather than just looking at the pictures.
And my #PubMan of the Year 2020 is Curry Charles, whose company on pub trips over many years was particularly appreciated as we made our first tentative steps back into the pub in July.
About time too, Charles will say. A worthy successor to Joan.
2020 was the year I made the Daily Mail website, and I want to thank Mrs RM for not publicly disowning me after that.
Another great year for music. My post on melancholia was one of my best-read, and you’d love this Top 5;
5. Fenne Lily – Breach
4. Lomelda – Hanna
3. Soccer Mommy – Color Theory
2. Taylor Swift – Folklore
- Maria McKee – La Vita Nuova
I’ve written enough about “Right Down to the Heart of London” already. It got me through March.
But the best thing I actually heard this year was rather older.
I’ve missed the cinema this year. Maybe 2021.
Back-seat driver of the year –
Mrs RM Duncan McKay, for forcing me to drive my 998cc Aygo up the hill with 3 passengers from Hebden Bridge to Wadsworth in January. Which feels a long time ago.
At the top of that hill, the Hare & Hounds had the best charity collection box of the year.
And finally, my usual thanks to my muse, and the inspiration for this blog. Thanks Mudgie.
Sorry, this was the only photo I had to hand.
Calm down, Russ.