Most people know I don’t bother with birthdays. I haven’t done in decades.

But, with my birthday falling on a Monday this year (and the fact I’ve worked the past two years on this date), I really wanted to have a day somewhere with the dog.

So, I made plans for next Monday. I was really looking forward to it.

And then my beloved broke her wrist.

I might reschedule. Back to 70 hour weeks for a bit then.


With a bunch of guys and the hound, I had a day in York yesterday.

There was beer and the dog seemed to have a good day.

We also got bumped into Gav from Lord’s Brewery and got to try their new imperial that we’d ordered for our place.

The Hold Steady

I’ve not had a lot of luck in catching the Hold Steady on tour. Mostly because they don’t often have dates beyond London.

I did once see them in Newcastle, at the Riverside, a few years ago; they were silly good. Last January, i had a ticket for a London gig, but there was a lot going on in the bar, so i ended up not going.

I actually made it yesterday, though. Sort of. I couldn’t stay over, since I needed to be home this morning for the dog. Train times didn’t work out (eight hours overnight), so that left the bus.

Unfortunately, with a late-ish start to the gig, I had to miss half of it. Next time, I’ll find someone to watch the hound.

Still, they were ridiculously good.

And, since we have a keg of their beer in the bar right now, I did squeeze in a visit to Hackney Church’s tap room. It’s well worth a visit.

Time off

It already feels like a long time ago, but we closed the bar for 10 days, so we could have a break and do some work in the bar.

Beginning in Peterborough, we visited familiar places.

A walk along the river was quickly abandoned due to an insane amount of flooding.

We did find a new (to us) micropub though.

After two nights in Peterborough, there was a day/night in York (which was also flooded).

Then, after a day at home, we were off to Edinburgh. We met up with a brewery rep for a couple of drinks; he introduced us to The Guildford Arms, a lovely old pub.

Another discovery was the Fierce bar, which had opened since our last time in Edinburgh. Fortunate, since we’re quite fond of their beer (we’ve had a few kegs in the bar). Weirdly, the bar person had been in our bar.

We spent the following day mostly in Leith.

It was good to fit in a couple of brewery taps, as well as some bars we’ve previously visited.

Of course, we took the customary picture of the cool T3 in Leith.


Yes, we went to see her a few months ago (feels like ages) in Nottingham. And she was great.

And we saw her again last night. She was greater.


Watch out, she’s going to be huge.

We want to be a cowboy, baby.

Fish & Chips

I’m currently reading a novel written and set in the US in late 40s. I should probably say 1940s in case someone reads this in 30 years time.

There’s a reference to someone living in a flat. Not an apartment, a flat.

The main character also, on one occasion, dined on fish and chips. Not fries.

I found it interesting.

I’m not finished the book yet, so who knows what remains to be discovered.


Most people know I’m rather fond of Glasgow. I am.

So, it was an obvious choice of location to see Queens of the Stone Age. I’d never actually been to one of their gigs before, having only seen them a couple of times at festivals.

And, on the night, I realised that it’d been some time since I’d been to an arena gig. And around a dozen years since I’d been to that particular venue.

It was a good one too.

The only negative of the night, in common with most venues, was the shocking choice of drinks. I mean, not everyone drinks lager.

Another negative, the day before, was the discovery that the 13th Note, my most favourite bar in Glasgow, had closed in July.

According to a guy in Mono, around the corner, someone new was brought in to manage the place. Their treatment of staff hadn’t been great, resulting in their joining a union and, ultimately, striking.

Of course, this was all second hand, and the notice in the window seemed to give another side to the story. Still, it was so sad to see the place closed.

On a positive note, new bars were discovered, such as the State Bar. A great little pub with a good selection of hand-pulls.

Harriet was a big hit there, with staff and customers making a fuss of her. They were even happy to see her back the next day.

It was the same in Sloan’s. While I’ve been there many times, it was the first time with the hound.

The hound was also brilliant on the train, not that she’s ever been anything but good. But that does mean that we can plan other trips with her.