Pubs

For growing numbers of people the weekend is an emotional wilderness where interaction is minimal and social life non-existent. What can be done to break this toxic cycle?

We English had a solution to this. Then the morons killed them off with smoking bans and they’re restaurants now, not the same thing at all.

49 comments on “Pubs

  1. Smoking ban killed and kills a lot of pubs. Apparently there is now a surge in new pub openings but they are not really pubs, are they? Fancy food, a small bar area, music, and worst of all, soft furnishings.

  2. Our pub was bought from the brewery by a couple of local lads last year. It still does food and has rooms but the bar area feels like a pub and it’s becoming quite popular again with a community spirit building. As it’s a free house the beer’s much better than the Badger they used to serve which helps.

    It’s gone from somewhere I wouldn’t recommend to a recommend when people ask me.

    (The Fox at Ansty)

  3. Opinion pieces by female journalists of the style “The whole world is X” often actually mean “My world is X”.

    Just because Paula’s weekends are void doesn’t mean everyone else’s are.

    Compare and contrast with Hannah Betts, who has the decency to write about her life in the first person.

  4. We’ve lost a lot of pubs, more than enough to know what we have left is precious, but there are still a lot around, not restaurants, just pubs, good for beer and chat and maybe a game on the telly, and hugely improved by making the smokers take their fug outside.

  5. BiND, I saw the Fox was up for sale a while back. I expected it to be turned into something, but didn’t know it had been turned into a good pub. I’ll try it out.

  6. My weekends are never long enough to pack in everything that I want to do.
    “…the weekend is an emotional wilderness where interaction is minimal and social life non-existent.”
    This absolutely doesn’t apply to me at all.
    “What can be done to break this toxic cycle?”
    If this does apply to you the solution is up to you surely. On the other hand maybe some people prefer a quiet life and avoid interaction on purpose.

  7. Because lots of people come into work on Monday saying “I wish the weekend was shorter” – yeah right.

  8. It’s the same with “youngsters can’t find partners nowadays…”

    In the past we used to have church socials, and youth groups, and matchmaking elderly aunts, and flirting at work, all chaperoned by older generations to protect ladies’ honour and teach the young lads acceptable social skills. All that has been killed off by the Proggies, and now the Proggies complain about the desert they find themselves in.

  9. “On Saturday morning, Peter got up and went to the supermarket. He carried his shopping home, and took care of his laundry and ironing. In the afternoon, he browsed a few record stores and later he cooked himself dinner; always something adventurous on a Saturday night. Afterwards, he hit Netflix. And in all those hours, in common with many of Peter’s Saturdays, not to mention his Sundays, he had no meaningful interaction with another human being. “The only person I spoke to,” he says, “was the lady who came over to verify my bottles of beer at the supermarket self-checkout.””

    “During the week, Peter, 62, is too busy to be lonely. His commute from Brighton to London means that his working life is “a tunnel” he enters on a Monday and from which no daylight is glimpsed until Friday.”

    Sorry, but whose fault is this than Peter’s? For one thing, he’s really not helping himself by commuting to London every day. There’s been a decline in how much people socialise via work, but if you commute 50 miles, you lose any of that. Find a job in Brighton and you might get into a social group via work.

    Also, you’re sitting down and watching Netflix on a Saturday. Do you think strangers are going to bang on your door to drag you out? Do you think the woman checking Id in the supermarket is going to suggest going for coffee?

    It’s like blokes I know who say they can’t get a girlfriend, and they go to beer festivals and tabletop gaming. Only this is worse. Those guys maybe aren’t too keen on stuff that women generally like. But they at least have some mates they play Risk with.

  10. Local farm shop took over failed pub that had closed in village nearby. Now has the shop in one part and the rest is bar and eating space. Decent well priced beer & food plus community spirit means it’s always got plenty of custom.

    The Spring Head in Mount Tabor outside Halifax if anyone passes that way.

  11. Reading the article can’t get away from the thought, it’s the absence of the people discussed from weekends makes them so enjoyable.

  12. RichardT,

    I recommend the meat pie.

    Mr Yan,

    Looks interesting, I’ll add it to my list of pubs to stop at if they let motorhomes stay overnight.

  13. Andrew M nailed it.

    “who has the decency to write about her life in the first person.”

    Well said.

    ‘For growing numbers of people the weekend is an emotional wilderness where interaction is minimal and social life non-existent.’

    No true Scotsman fallacy.

  14. “…the weekend is an emotional wilderness where interaction is minimal and social life non-existent.”

    It wouldn’t be if she had some friends.

    Lots of my friends have very different opinions about a great many things. I’m still happy to socialise with them and if we do argue about things it’s as friends.

    The left’s insistence that anyone holding different opinions is an evil monster and shouldn’t be associated with is what isolates them. In my occasional forays onto dating websites it is only ever lefties who actually put on their profiles what their politics is and that they “don’t date Tories”.

    No wonder they are all lonely and bitter.

  15. Here’s an idea (in lieu of whining in the Guardian): Turn off your ipad, put your phone in a desk drawer, and go for a walk.

  16. Or, as in my case, you marry your best mate’s little sister – a not uncommon route back when.
    If you’re lonely living in Brighton you really do have a problem – check your deodorant.

    Most people can walk into most any pub and end up in conversation with a total stranger by the second pint. It doesn’t take a lot of effort.

  17. @Mr Yan. I’ve been to the Stone Chair in Mixenden which isn’t far from Mount Tabor. Its closed down now but was good for massive meals.

  18. “If you’re lonely living in Brighton you really do have a problem”

    Nah. I’ve been to Brighton. I’ve seen who lives in Brighton. If you’re lonely in Brighton you’re probably making the best of a bad choice.

  19. bis
    Brighton used to be a great place to hang out in….my sister and bil live there….lots of fun with a great attitude, a place where you could dress like you were 14 forever…now, there are tents of homeless on the pavements in the main shopping areas and the traffic is hideous due to the already narrow roads being made narrower by the formation of cycle lanes (that are barely used)….

  20. A gang of us were regular weekend visitors at The Grand in the old days, before the Irish buggers bombed it. I guess the town has changed a bit since then.

  21. Tim, do you really think that they were morons? No, this *is* an example when you should ascribe to malice rather than incompetence?

    @ Anon
    But not for a shrill Grauniad complainer – the churches are full of people who have old-fashioned ideas and believe in forgiveness

  22. @Bernie

    “Most people can walk into most any pub and end up in conversation with a total stranger by the second pint. It doesn’t take a lot of effort.”

    I have a feeling that the more pubs mutate into restaurants, the less good they become for mixing with people who you didn’t arrive with in a group, sadly.

  23. MBE

    Agreed. It’s about the bar area, and perhaps to a lesser extent stools at bars.

    The more they head towards eateries the less likely there is to be an “at the bar” focus. The kind of pubs trying to max out the food revenue are sometimes more likely to want to unclog the bar area (including no stools) so that it’s easy to serve people quickly and offload them (to tables etc).

  24. @Gamecock
    I believe john77 is a devotee of the happy clappy, Praise the Lord! gospelers speaking in tongues branch of the church. He really looks great in a shift & headscarf.

  25. @ BiND

    There’s a pretty decent car park at the back which is generally quiet as the locals walk (to have a drink). If you happen to be on the way past ask for Rachel or Karl (the owners) and I’m sure they’d let you stay overnight in the motorhome. Probably not have any hookup services though.

  26. Opinion pieces by female journalists of the style “The whole world is X” often actually mean “My world is X”.

    How very true. Some bint in the Telegraph was claiming the full English breakfast is dying out because ‘everyone’ is vegan or eating labneh.

    Generally I have every sympathy with older lonely people but if you are 62 WTF would you be working 24/7 (unless you’re c-suite) and why add a commute to that? And why live in fucking Brighton FFS? It’s chockfull of cunts these days.

    God helps them who helps themselves as they say…

  27. Whenever I fell like a trip to the sea-side, I send a message to Brighton, and tell them I’m not coming as they are so determined to make my driving life such an expensive misery, and taking my spending power elsewhere.

  28. MyBurningEars said:
    “I have a feeling that the more pubs mutate into restaurants, the less good they become for mixing with people who you didn’t arrive with in a group, sadly.”

    Yes, and not just the restaurantish ones. The other sort, the big boozing pubs, also tend to be full of groups who came there together (or arranged to meet there) and stay in their groups. The old pub bar sociability and etiquette seem to have vanished in many places, sadly. As I think someone said above, it tends to be the rural and real ale pubs that keep the old ways.

  29. @RichardT… “The old pub bar sociability and etiquette seem to have vanished in many places, sadly. As I think someone said above, it tends to be the rural and real ale pubs that keep the old ways.”

    I moved to the sticks a decade and a half ago and have never regretted it. Grown used to my own company. That said, occasionally, I miss the city pub scene – haven’t had a decent pint in years (or a Chinese meal), miss the gang, the lock-ins, the diversity of voices (white British, admittedly, albeit a significant Irish contingent). If you know of a ‘rural’ pub worth shit please let me know.

  30. I know, bis.

    I respect his right to believe whatever he wants. I just speak up when he says the ridiculous. I’m atheist, not anti-theist.

  31. When Peter retires, he might travel the UK and explore a new culinary continent: veganism

    Think I might have found a cause of his loneliness….

  32. Full English is going strong at Wetherspoons pubs, and if you want to start some heavy dating sans premarital sex ie no pressure, check out “Katamon swamp”.

    I cracked it. No pressure to have sex before marriage, you perform like a devil when dating women, in multiple!
    —disclaimer, you have to be a rightwinger and wear a skullcap.

  33. Just rolled in from my local after a very agreeable early doors session. The food is great but it’s full of standing at the bar drinkers too, 50/50 male & female. It was closed for over a year, as the previous owners couldn’t attract any trade at all. Probably because they were arrogant authoritarian arseholes. Running a pub is fucking hard work and a way of life. Too many people seem to think it’s a 9-5 take the money and run business venture. When the new family took over, made it cosy and welcoming, let the families and the dogs and the muddy walkers back in, offered some great food and ales and worked bloody hard – bingo. Busy pub again. The smoking thing didn’t help pubs, but what really kills a village local is poor management, corporate blandness, shit beer and a stubborn refusal to give people what they want.

  34. @Andrew M

    Opinion pieces by female journalists saying “I was wrong about…” are also rare

    …Apparently I wasn’t alone in successfully de-toxing from my MegM habit; when a publication asked me to write in a for/against debate about her last year. I received a dismayed email back when I confirmed that I would be happy to condemn her: ‘Oh – we thought you liked her!’

    ‘I did – but I’ve gone off her.’

    ‘Oh, that’s what everyone says! Sorry, but we’re looking for people in favour…’
    https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2020/01/how-did-i-get-meghan-so-wrong/

    Twat of the week on BBC Question time – Mr Fox eats her
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSwH6qHyAO8

    @jgh +1

  35. “a stubborn refusal to give people what they want”

    Closing your doors between the hours of 2:30 – 18:00 being a problem.

  36. Closing your doors between the hours of 2:30 – 18:00 being a problem.

    The problem here is that if you can’t generate enough custom during the 2:30 – 18:00 period Monday – Thursday to pay the staff and keep the lights on there’s literally not much point in opening.

    *Former barman at MacMillans, Halifax during the 80’s.*

  37. @John Galt

    +1

    Our hotel’s pub was closed 1400-1700; 1700 was when large ‘factory’ next door closed.

    We tried a rear projection giant TV for Sat footie, it was marginally profitable but too many arguments/fights

  38. @John Galt… afternoon closing hours.

    I appreciate the problem. Truth to tell, my principal aversion to rural v big-city pubs is one of anonymity. In London no one ‘knows your name’ as the old Gary Portnoy number goes. In the countryside information and gossip are currency, ergo you’re obliged to keep your mouth shut and stick to the weather – or take a taxi to some distant metropolis. Years ago I lived in a medium-size conurbation, and errant behaviour during a night out would be broadcast city-wide the following morning – had to drive 120 miles to one of the two larger cities if you really fancied a pint, or in extreme cases catch a flight to London.

  39. @ Gamecock
    As you live the wrong side of the pond, perhaps I should explain to you that “full of …” is colloquialism e.g. “full of beans” does not mean that a young person has had all their muscles and internal organs replaced by beans and is not the same as “full”.
    Your reference is not only misleading (by selecting numbers out of context to highlight the problem caused in the Anglican communion by the “woke” US Episcopalian Church since they ordained as a Bishop a woman who would have been disqualified from episcopacy if she had been a man) but is also out-of-date. The 2018 data published in 2019 has average weekly attendance somewhat in excess of a million, 2.42 million at Christmas services and up to 5.55 million at special services in the run-up to Christmas [there would be an element of double-counting if I just added those attending the two categories of special service as some people attended both]. At the very least attendances were more than quadruple the figure quoted in the UKipgraph (formerly Torygraph).
    My local CoE church is less than full normally because several years ago we split the Sunday morning congregation in two because it was a bit overcrowded. Attendance subsequently declined thanks to a “hard-line evangelical” curate (although it has recovered a bit since he moved on). However it is still several hundred on a normal Sunday and could not possibly fit into the chapel occupied by the charismatic church across the road, nor could the other Anglican church congregation in our small town, nor could the Roman Catholic congregation nor could the Methodist/URC congregation.

  40. @john77 January 19, 2020 at 6:33 pm

    I see it as hidden/personal Christianity

    I no longer attend CoE church as all round here went modern in mid 90s, except the High Church ones which were already on the woke path.

    Sunday traditional un-sung matins with sung hymns, communion once pm is what I attended. However, no longer offered

  41. @ Pcar
    I sympathise. Fortunately our congregation was big enough for those who both preferred the traditional service and had no children to comprise a viable minority which I joined when the boys left home.

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