The closest pub to my gaff had already ceased trading by the time I rolled into town a couple of years ago. It wasn't alone either. Two more former hostelries also stand abandoned and forlorn within a mile of my front door. I quickly became convinced that my would-be local, in spite of its listed building status, was destined to eventually become a residential property. So imagine my delight when, out of the blue, the old place was purchased and reopened as a boozer in the Spring of 2022. Since then the pub has become something of a bolthole for me on a day off, a place to while away an hour at lunchtime with a book, either indoors, or, during the heat of the Summer, out in the yard (it can't really be called a beer garden). The pub was open for a couple of hours on Christmas Day, allowing me the perfect opportunity to stretch my legs, enjoy a pint and have a bit of a chinwag with a group of friendly strangers at the bar, before returning to the solitude of my flat.
As I mentioned previously, I didn't do too well on the eating front during the busy run-up to Christmas, variations of toast and porridge mainly, so I was determined to enjoy a decent meal on the big day itself. When I got home from the pub I roasted every vegetable I could find in the fridge, threw in a few pieces of Quorn, piled the lot onto a monster Yorkshire pud and doused it all with lashings of gravy. It may not look (or sound) that appetising to most readers, but my goodness it was welcome, delicious and filling. The only problem was that following the long, exhausting festive period at work, the bracing wander to the pub, a midday pint and such a hearty repast, within a very short time I could barely keep my eyes open. Long story short, I was in bed by a little after 6pm and didn't stir for a full eleven hours. What a glorious and much needed lump of sleep that was.