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Well here I am back blogging. Well a bit. Why did I stop? Mostly I was just completely knackered after the Manchester Beer and Cider Festival and from my ongoing duties as Chairman of Rochdale, Oldham and Bury Branch. Basically after a long - well very long - period of commitment to beer, CAMRA and my own beer blog, I was just burned out. I simply couldn't be bothered and spent my on line beer time on Twitter instead. Simple, nothing much to think about, but keeping up involvement. Actually the cessation of all official CAMRA stuff couldn't have come at a better time for me and, maybe though I hate it, the closure of pubs has likely done me no harm either in terms of having a break. I am on holiday really, though certainly the lack of pubs and its concomitant lockdown isn't much fun.

But of course I do miss pubs. I miss my locals and by extension my friends. It's where I met and meet most of them and where I am invariably at ease. I am lucky enough to be known by name in four pubs I can call my locals - well more really, but these others aren't my locals. Each appeals to me and accordingly is missed by me in a different way, but it is what it is and I don't think I have to worry too much about those four opening again, as they are all owned by my local family brewer (which is on the good guys list). I do fear for many pubs when this is all over though. I also fear for at least some brewers and while I always felt a shake out in the micro brewer sector was coming, I didn't imagine it would come in this format. Sadly, as always in these things, it won't be just the good brewers and good guys that will go to the wall.

I have been following closely the efforts made by many brewers big and small, to keep beer coming the customer's way. This is a good thing and I have availed myself of the services of Pictish Brewery, a local Rochdale one, whose excellent cask beer - re-racked but you can't have everything - to keep me going at weekends - well Friday only so far. I've put it on handpump and it has been excellent and much better than bottles, though I have had a little success in that respect with Proper Job, which is almost as good in bottle as it is in cask. It has been expertly conditioned in the bottle and is highly recommended.

As I write it looks to me as if we will have a few publess weeks yet. I read some dire predictions with increasing weariness, much as I read some dreadful stuff from armchair experts about Covid-19. Who knew so many people study epidemiology to expert level from the comfort of their own homes? Like many things in life I just don't know, but in the meantime, I'm just staying at home wherever possible. It's all I can do to usefully contribute.

I do look forward to getting back to normal, so to follow this, tomorrow hopefully, I'll publish a held over blog as part of my ongoing series of Sam Smith's pubs. And I hope you have been reading and enjoying my breweriana tweets.

There has been some funny and uplifting stuff on Twitter. That's been fun. Not so much fun is to read about some pub companies who have been a bit less than supportive. We shall remember them.

I've lost a bit of weight too, which is also fun, but I have a wish to eat chocolate and crisps which I didn't really have before. Must stop buying them I suppose, but you need some fun. Oh and my shed is painted. More soon.