Next up should have been the micropub in Brough which I know you’re desperate to read about, but on “Freedom Day” I have to bring you a report on my first trip to the bar in what seems like years.
I was going to have a day off the beer as I mentally prepared for a trip to Merseyside tomorrow, but then I saw this;
Regular readers will know that I actually live in the Blind Monkey (for mapping purposes), and it was a powerful combination of pizza and pints here that sold the S6 postcode to us as a retirement destination a year ago.
But apart from a pint in the rain in May I’d been holding off revisiting “my local“, put off by the entrance via the back door (I know that’s daft) and the table service (I know that’s not daft).
But at 15:59 I was standing outside the Monkey, as excited as a small dog on polling day.
A young chap was in front of me.
“Minute to go, mate” I told him, irritated not to be first in.
“Oh, I work here” he said, worryingly.
But at 16:01 I was at the bar, allowed to the front by a rascal who could see my desperation to be first (see also : a rush to the barriers of Doncaster Rotters to see New Order in 1985).
Now, where do I start in listing the joys of service at the bar. Well, being able to see the beers on offer is low down the list.
You get to say “Hello, nice weather” to the Landlord and their lovely team. It might be the only social contact you have if Mrs RM is working that day.
You get to stare around aimlessly, taking in the pub tat.
You get to share a remark about the Euros with the bloke behind you, something about a £1k TV getting smashed during the final.
And you get to carry your pint back to a table of your choosing,
without the fear that you might walk off without paying if you end up pissed. May I never ever hear “Would you like me to set up a tab ?” ever again.
I could now enjoy Pint 1, and 2 and 3, without any interference from “servers” asking if I was OK, but still free to chip in with conversation at the bar from the next table.
In truth, the Cwtch was struggling a bit in the Sheffield heat, so I switched to some gorgeous Magic Rock and Tiny Rebel keg BECAUSE I CAN and had sunk 3 pints before leaving to collect my kebab at 16:50.
It was life-affirming, and an experience that could only be improved with a Charley’s Special kebab and some Beer 52 cans rescued out of the garage.
And, yes, I did wear my mask up to the bar.