It is good to be back inside a pub. Any pub will do. Any drink will do, as I think Jason Donovan once chirped.
My first pint came in a glass with the rather fortuitous quote…
Pubs are far from out of the woods. In fact the pessimism that pervades is that everything is on a delayed fuse and the collapse of small business hospitality and all things associated with it will merely occur some 6 months down the line.
We shall see.
Having said that, locally at least 2 new ventures are coming to fruition, with one delayed from last year. One small bar has shut, it looks like one pub has been waiting for full normal to return or simply won’t bother opening, another definitely is not. So being honest, the immediate carnage of pubs and breweries falling by the wayside has yet to occur. Small mercies I suppose, and that isn’t in any way to undermine those that have all ready been lost.
Variety is the Spice of Regulatory Enforcement
No Hale & Pace type bouncers were to be seen on any establishment door, the staff and the punters kind of made it up as best as each venue would try and do.
All businesses accepted pen and pencil applications for track and trace (a curse on any place that is app-only).
The thing about these regulations is that everyone has that slight need for rebellion; the casual/incorrect way of wearing a mask. Or simply not wearing one at all (exemptions accepted). Giving incorrect details for the nonsense that is track and trace. The lack of hand sanitation practice; even after a loo visit, it is actually quite gratifying to witness even to a scrupulously clean person such as myself.
I took great joy in watching older people amble towards a pub exit, mask on chin, cig hanging out of mouth, to be lit up just before the threshold was crossed.
I took as much joy from drinking some well kept cask beer as I did from a few pints of Carling Black Fruits.
I did not take any joy from electric tape carpet arrows on stairs guiding me to pass on the right, we are British damn it, pass on the left.
I took great joy from the first post piss up kebab in over a year.
I didn’t experience the joy of a chocolate pizza as I wouldn’t ever buy one. Some food is still too filthy for words.
The actual busyness of places is hard to quantify, trying to get into a Spoons at tea time was never really going to happen but all other places had an ebb and flow to them, as did the flow of human life on the streets.
And that is it. Here is to another week of gas-lighting headlines, doom and gloom followed by hope to still frustrate a caged populace and wreck sanity and mental health some more.
With some optimism, roll on June 21st.
Thanks for reading.