25th December 2022.

It was a joy to have both boys home with us for Christmas, unwrapping presents, singing carols, watching re-runs of Noel Edmonds making folk blub.

Don’t be daft.

25th December means the shops are shut and pubs close early, if they open at all. And Mrs RM INSISTED on cooking a roast when a reheated Crispy Beef would have suited the boys fine.

Matt took a stroll with me round Hillsborough.

Fancy a pint in the Spoons ?“. It was a lovely moment.

The Rawson Spring at 11am was full of the spirit of Christmas;

Groups of Old Boys out for a pint of Carling and a chat, a few couples, a bloke on a mobility scooter driving through the bar. NOBODY in festive jumpers (except the Spoons staff), and “Fairytale of New York” wasn’t TOO much of an intrusion. It wasn’t full, but it certainly looked like it had been worth JDW’s while to open early.

We brought up the options on the App.

That’s all she wrote. No food, no snacks, no nothing. I sensed the staff didn’t really want to be operating table service today, so we surveyed the options at the bar, which is part of what visiting pubs is about (see current heated debate on CAMRA Discourse).

I know this is the “season of goodwill to all men” but when someone asked for a taster of the Stonehenge I may have muttered “FFS” under my breath.

Ooh look, a Christmas pudding themed beer from Orkney. Why not ?

Lovely, it was. Cool, thick, rich. An NBSS 3.5 Christmas present.

I haven’t signed Matt up to CAMRA yet.

Mrs RM called. “FOOD ON THE TABLE !!!!!”.

Yes. We did finish our pints. We’re not animals.


  1. I’m reminded of the line from “Come On Home” by Everything But The Girl: “Every day is like Christmas Day without you, it’s cold and there’s nothing to do.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Let Matt know that cooking lager enthusiasm is as legitimate a hobby as all that real ale muck.
    He’s a natural on that Stella and a good choice to start a life long fondness for the lout.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I wonder how the Spoon’s staff felt about working on Christmas Day? Did Dim Tim put his hand in his pocket and pay them treble time – or whatever the going rate is for Christmas Day working.

    ps. good on Mrs RM for cooking you boys a roast dinner!


      1. Yes, with the honourable exceptions of your Matt and the bloke at the bar wearing a woolly hat, the rest of the customers in your photo, would fit into the “old codger” category.

        On a more serious note, I’m sure some people actually like working on Christmas Day, especially if they live on their own, or don’t get on with other family members. Others, might just be trying to escape the over-commercialisation of the whole thing, and the expectation that everyone should have that “perfect Christmas.”

        My sister – the one who lives in the US, always dines out with her family on Christmas Day, and tells me it is a common thing for folks to do out there.


  4. I’d add avoidance of Christmas to my avoidance of Wetherspoons, if I could, lol.

    On the subject of US Christmas, they do the family turkey dismemberment a month earlier than Christmas, don’t they? So, there’s no real need to do it again.


  5. “when someone asked for a taster of the Stonehenge I may have muttered “FFS” under my breath” and on the other 364 days of the year too ?

    Liked by 1 person

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