Welcome to December, the month of retiredmartin’s birth (22 December, make a note). How will YOU celebrate the magical day ?

Odd doing these stocktakes now I’ve completed the Guide, but life goes on. November may not have seen me progress towards a target as such, but it was rather hectic;

3 nights in Cologne, 4 nights in Tromso, 4 hours in Gdansk airport, 1 afternoon in Ossett.

Plenty of fresh material; I reckon I’m about 72 posts behind but I WILL catch this month, honest.

Mrs RM ticked a few things off her own bucket list;

while in Dusseldorf I caught up with my 2019 Pubman of the Year,

and some other bloke, who took a liking to the Uerige

Back home, Fifty seven (57) pubs, all (bar one) different, including twenty-two (22) GBG23 entries.

Mrs RM just looked scornfully at my UK travels map and said “No much Scotland or Wales !”, so must try harder, but not while BRAPA is there.

PUB OF THE MONTH – Shirker’s Rest in New Cross

where it was a privilege to meet both Andy out of Deserter and top beer writer Will Hawkes and talk travel and last minute City winners.

BEER OF THE MONTH came late, Kwak at the Strait & Narrow in Lincoln. Jane would approve.

EDIT : I also met BRAPA, the privilege of my life, in Maidstone.

I’d have insisted on meeting Pauline, too, but she’d fled the county in terror.

T-Shirt of the month award goes to Shalita from Lewsberg, my Gig of the Month, having traumatically missed both Julia Jacklin and Lizzy McAlpine due to “events”.


Tradition dictates that I spend my birthday somewhere I haven’t been before, which gives me limited choice unless I hop abroard again. Carluke ? Never been there.

Plenty of blog posts to do, and some pubbing with folk called Mudg(i)e, hopefully.

And oh yes, it’s coming home.


  1. Tromso is really far north isn’t it? It really doesn’t strike you how far north it is until you look at it on the map. And thanks for making me look thinner than I really am in the photo…


    1. You really looked after yourself during the lockdowns, Dave, look better than ever. Can’t speak for Dick…

      Yes, I only appreciated how far north Tromso was when I did those map points (and when the flight home took 2 hours to cover Norway).

      It’s also not very far from Russia.


  2. 22nd is a Thursday I think.
    Which means it’s the day I have to issue the period accounts, it’ll be the last day in the office before Christmas so hopefully not too late..

    Ever been to Willenhall 😄


      1. The Walnut Tree is nice

        Maidstone is a soulless town but redeemed by a number of good pubs.
        Did you climb up to the Gallery at the Little Gem?


  3. Shetland calling. OK, I’ll give you that, Tromso is pretty damn far North. Was the beer any good?
    NB: we get auroras here and we’re fed up with orcas.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Although we’re sick of the sight of orcas, they’re tolerated because they eat seals and seals eat fish. Loads of men make their living at the fishing and the rest of us enjoy eating what they catch.

      Liked by 1 person

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