Small beer, some might say, but perhaps we should all be thankful for small mercies, coming as it does after nearly six months, when pubs have been unable to trade. If anyone had said to you, 18 months ago that the nations’ public houses would be closed for lengthy periods of time, you would have thought them crazy.
So, whilst the event itself marks the return to some semblance of normality, following what must be the strangest 13 months that any of us have ever experienced, how did I celebrate this small step along the long road to freedom?
Strange as it may seem, I didn’t set foot in a pub garden. I had some important papers, connected with the settlement of my late fathers’ estate to deliver to the family solicitor. This will enable him to apply to the court for a grant of probate which, when granted, will allow the estate to be settled. I’ve been busy working on this since mid-January, so I’m sure you will understand why this had to take precedent over a lunchtime pint – despite the lengthy wait, and however well-deserved.
Tuesday though, is different, and I fully intend to call in for a swift one at the Greyhound, Charcott, in celebration of my birthday and the fact I will have reached state retirement age. I have my bus pass as well, now and will be using it on Wednesday morning, to journey over to Tunbridge Wells, where I have an appointment at Cotswold Outdoors.
I have booked the day off from work, not just for my boot fitting, but because a crowd of us, from the WhatsApp Beer Socials group, will be gathering in the garden of the Nelson Arms in Tonbridge, where two tables have been reserved for us.
I am really looking forward to meeting up with friends and acquaintances after what seems like an age. Looking back, the last time we gathered as a group was at the start of last October, and then there were only six of us. Remember Boy Hancock’s absurd “Rule of Six,” well there will be two times six this time around – but no mingling (like that’s not going to happen!), and come rain come shine it will be SO good to enjoy a well-kept and freshly pulled pint of cask beer, in the company of friends.
My time will come tomorrow, so on that positive note, I’ll end this piece now, with a full report to come in due course.