Last night in the pub… till December

It might not appear that odd, me writing about what happened last night in the pub. I think I’ve written quite a few posts about such an enjoyable occasion. However, this post is somewhat different, because the title, ‘Last night in the pub… till December’ means exactly what it says, tonight was the last night in the pub until at least December. The new regs mean we can’t go out unless to exercise or for essential shopping, and all pubs, bars, restaurants, cafés, bistros, clubs, hostelries are closed.
This happened before in March, and when at last the bar was lifted and the other sort of bar was open, we went joyfully to the Dolphin. So much care had been taken to make sure we were safe; seating rearranged, screens put between tables, antiseptic hand gel everywhere, no bar service only table service, everyone in masks when they were on their feet, closing strictly at ten – which means instead of hanging about gossiping with friends when time has been called, we should be out of the pub and the doors shut and bolted.
Now, sadly, things have taken a turn for the worse, and even more sadly people are very ill, some in hospital, some in very grave situations, so the regulations have changed again, and pubs etc. will be closed until December 2nd… or until it is safe to return.
So we sauntered down for the last time for a month or so; we can buy beer, we can get beer delivered; even though beer is important we don’t go to the pub just for the beer. It’s meeting up with friends, or meeting people we don’t know and getting to know them, it’s us two sitting wittering on about stuff, catching up with each other even though we’ve been together all day, it’s seeing things, overhearing things – it’s just being in the pub!!
So tonight we drifted down, put our masks on and entered through the back door as there is now a one way system. It was quite busy, but not packed, everyone sitting down or if they were on their feet, masked up. We wandered through and sat socially distanced from Pat and Terry, two pub chums. What a pleasant evening. We talked inevitably about the American election, we talked about paddle steamers, bowler hats, sailing, dock yards, Stanley Spencer, the Carry-On films, religion, Lundy Island, beer, playing the guitar, Bonneville motorbikes and much more. That’s what pub talk is all about, something and nothing, nothing and something.
Au revoir Dolphin until December! Luckily you’re able to serve take-away food so we will enjoy your fish and chips at home on Friday. Until then we shall drink Otter beer at home and look forward to opening time.

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