The new Good Beer Guide (2023) has arrived !

Well, in York, anyway, where BRAPA has his Privilege copy while the rest of the “ticker community” (all six of us) remain on tenterhooks. Or is it tender hooks ?

Simon has been dutifully sending us pages of the GBG via WhatsApp, probably breaking CAMRA law, and forcing me to consider Life’s Big Question.

“Shall I attempt to complete the Good Beer Guide for a second successive year ?“.

I’ll be frank, I’ve been a bit directionless since Rousay. Completion is great, but what now ?

It’ll be harder this year, with elderly parents, and I might never again find the energy to drive 10 hours to the Highlands. Could I summon that motivation born of desperation ?

I could “retire” gracefully to a holiday park in Rye and over-indulge in the Ypres Castle, I guess.

Or I could read enriching books that folk keep urging me to dip in to, books about Social clubs and football and the KLF. Or I could actually read Blackpool Jane and BRAPA, which will take me well into my dotage (Dotage is an underrated village in East Sussex).

But once I see the scale of the task to complete the GBG again, I might just be swayed.

Think of the joy in pinking Devon;

It may come down to something as simple as “Would I need to subject Mrs RM to another torturous 5 days in the Channel Islands ?“.

Talking of Mrs RM, what does she think ?


  1. \My father is also retired, though he’s 10 years older than you. I’m sure my mother would love him to go out and tick pubs. But he sits in his chair and watches When The Boat Comes In, Upstairs Downstairs and something that plays the hits of the 1970s. A lesson for us all there, or something.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Matthew, I’m 10 years older than Martin, so that makes me the same age as your father, but I’m still working – albeit just three days a week now.

      A four day “weekend” allows me to catch up on jobs around the house and/or garden, visit different places with my good lady wife and, most importantly, go out pub exploring, hiking (the two are often mutually compatible), socialise and catch up with old friends.

      In short, life’s what you make it, although I wouldn’t go as far as subjecting anyone, let alone myself, to 5 torturous days in the Channel Islands!


      1. Yes! Plant-based Strictly Celebrity Pub Licking On Ice. With special guest appearance by Liz Truss (she’s gonna need the gig)


  2. It’s a big question with retirement. Not as easy as people think. How do we spend our time in a fulfilling way? I never thought it would be an issue but it clearly is one. You need some structure and meaning. Hard when you finish a monumental task like you just completed. We can laugh at the self help business, but their core question has meaning.

    Liked by 1 person

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