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One of the upsides of the lock-down is that several writers, who were once ardent bloggers, have returned to blogging, resurrecting blogs that were long moribund, or even deceased. With opportunities for travel severely restricted, and new beer launches either on hold, or carried out virtually, there hasn’t been much in the way of new stuff to report on.

Consequently, we have seen the welcome return to beer blogging, of writers such as Adrian Tierney-Jones, and pub landlord extraordinaire Jeff Bell aka, “Stonch.” After some fervent activity to begin with, Jeff has again gone a bit quiet, bunkered down in his lovely old pub, the Ypres Castle, in the equally lovely town of Rye.

I can’t think of many better places to be confined to, than this ancient Cinque Port, with its vantage points looking out across Romney Marsh, as well as out to sea, and even with the pubs all closed, there are some lovely walks in the vicinity. In addition, if you’ve got a pub of your own, you can at least get stuck into some of the stock, as it would be a shame to see all that lovely beer going to waste.

Adrian, on the other hand, has been rather prolific in posting on his blog, Called to the Bar. I really like his slightly off-beat, style of writing which really shows the passion he has for beer and pubs. Recent topics have included a pub in the Vale of the White Horse, plus reviews of beers from St Austell (Proper Job), Augustiner (Helles) and Westmalle (Tripel).

Veteran bloggers, Boak and Bailey have described the latter as one of their top world beers; it’s just a pity I haven’t been able to track any down for myself. Waitrose stock Westmalle Dubel – which is a dark beer, but the brewery’s Tripel seems very elusive.

Veteran blogger Tandleman, whose output of late had been somewhat sporadic, has also made a welcome return, with posts covering a number of beer and pub-related topics. His article about beers from the past, that he particularly misses, attracted over 60 comments from correspondents, including me, all suggesting their favourite beers that are no longer available.

Kirsty Walker, who blogs as ladysinksthebooze, has written a lengthy piece entitled, The Public House That Roared. The article explores the concept of the perfect pub, as laid out by George Orwell in his well-known piece about the fictional Moon Under Water, but seen from her own perspective against the backdrop of a now closed Warrington pub she remembers with fondness from her youth.

Also resurfaced are Pivini Filosof, a translator and writer originally from Argentina, who has lived and worked in Prague since 2002. His latest piece is a series of interviews from several Prague bar owners, about how they coped with the lock-down, and their plans now that the Czech government is allowing pubs to reopen – albeit with certain restrictions.

The above are just some of the returning bloggers who have caught my eye, but I’m sure there must be several more. Welcome back lads and lassies, it’s good to see your return to the fold. I have included links to several of the posts mentioned above, so why not check out some of these fine writers for yourselves, and see what they have to say.

Of course, we shouldn't forget all those bloggers who never stopped posting articles to keep us entertained, both pre-pandemic as well as during the current crisis. Their number is quite large, so rather than list them all out, take a look at the entrants on my blog list, on the left hand side bar of this blog. Thank-you all for keeping me both entertained and informed, especially during these troubled times.

I’ve been meaning to post some comments of my own on these blogs but haven’t had as much spare time as I thought I would. Writing this blog takes up quite a chunk of my time and there are a couple of garden projects I am working on, that take up even more.

I’ve also been back at work full-time for the best part of a month now - in a responsible and socially distanced way of course. I’m not one of those able to work from home, as much of my job involves testing or inspecting items, manually filling in paperwork and releasing finished products for sale, all of which require my physical presence. We are operating at present with less than a third of our usual staffing levels, which does mean distances of 2 metres between people, are quite easily maintained.

Yesterday (Wednesday), was supposed to be the day of the Prime Minister’smuch-vaunted, "great return to work," but there wasn’t that much extra traffic on my journey into work that morning. My eight-mile drive takes me along mainly rural roads, so perhaps this wasn’t surprising, although I did notice a lot more commercial vehicles about, whilst out for my walk at lunchtime.

We’ll have to wait and see how things unfold, but whilst the situation might be different in the big cities, here in rural Kent it’s pretty quiet. It’s really a matter of carrying on as best one can, by keeping one’s head down, not taking any unnecessary risks or putting others in danger. All pandemics eventually come to an end, as they either burn themselves out naturally, or vaccines, designed to stop their spread, are developed.

In the meantime, we will all just have to remain patient.
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