Now I’m (nearly) up-to-date on the blog, I thought you’d like some spreadsheets. “About time” says Duncan.
Actually, it was 582, after a few ups and downs, e.g. a Middlesbrough pre-emptive came good, and I’m ignoring the Jolly Tap in Wakefield that missed the publication of the Guide for now.
What I did then was to list those 582 on a big spreadsheet and TRY to find out the opening times.
Here’s a representative extract from the current list.
Life was so much simpler when nearly every pub opened 11:30-3 and 5:30-11:00 or whatever.
I reckon I spent most of December scouring Facebook for clues to opening hours, then compared them to the website/What Pub/Google and tried to guess which was correct. Official CAMRA advice is “If planning to visit a pub, instruct your butler to phone ahead and make a table reservation“.
Then the task is to try and arrange travel and accommodation as effectively as possible to visit pubs in the same area. There’s no point visiting Newcastle before Thursday, as Full Circle Taproom will be closed.
Like BRAPA, I aim for a couple of days a week where I can pick up multiple ticks, but the days of six Guide entries in the same town are long gone. A prize for whoever can guess which town holds FIVE (5) ticks for me if I can ever get there.
Once I’ve got my ticks I delete those pubs from that Opening Times spreadsheet, mark them in the Guide and update the GBG spreadsheet. Note how many counties have a solitary pub left to do.
As of today, I’ve 437 to do, having visited 145 since 12 November. Solid, unspectacular ticking. And remember, a Doom Bar is as effective a tick as a pint of Pliny the Elder.
Once once you complete a (fictional GBG) county you get to plaster pink marker all over the map in the Guide.
How satisfying is that ?
So, can I do those remaining 437 pubs before the new GBG “lands” (ugh) ?
I guess that depends a lot on health, family disasters/other unforeseen complications, freak weather and my ability to plan travel to the outliers; the Scottish Highlands and Islands, the Isles of Scilly, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.
As Weller sang in that song named after my recent Barry micro;
No, if I do finish the Guide, I won’t start collecting butterflies.