Monday 20 June 2022


When I was at university I went to the pub most days. Sometimes twice, afternoon and evening sessions. The first in the student union bar, the second in the Cardigan Arms.

In my first few years in the real world, it was much the same. Friday lunch, Friday evening, Saturday evening, Sunday lunch. Those were obligatory. There were usually a couple of weekday evenings, too. Friday evening was the highlight of the week, kicking off straight after work. A pub crawl around a part of Leeds where the Tetley's was good: North Street, Cross Green or Hunslet. I almost forgot the club. Burley Road Liberal Club. We'd be there playing snooker a couple of nights a week.

Down in London to program, my pub visits weren't much reduced. A couple of lunchtimes and a few post-work evenings with colleagues for a start. Then a couple of evenings with other friends. It could easily average out to more than one session per day.

This isn't a confession of rampant alcoholism. Many sessions were only a pint or two.

Now I think of it, it was in New York that I started to lose the pub habit. I never drank at lunchtime and rarely went for beers after work with colleagues. The only exception being Friday night darts at Manhattan Brewing. Otherwise, it was just the occasional visit of a local Staten Island bar. As they were pretty crap, I didn't bother often.

Though in Rotterdam, I usually called in Boezembrug on the way back from work. Just for a bottle or two (no sane person drank the draught beer) and a game of pinball. And try not to get bothered by the annoying anarchist hippy. 

Swindon was surprisingly good for pubs. And beer. Which encouraged me out quite often. Though less than in my single days. Drinks sometimes on a Friday lunchtime with colleagues. The odd time after work. Every now and again the odd pint in the pubs on our estate. Weekend evenings in the Old Town drinking Morrels and Wadworth. Or down the railway Village for Archers.

Settling in Amsterdam, pubs might be on the cards a couple of times a week.At least the first time around.

Melbourne revived the pub man in me. I dropped by the Canada most days on the walk home from work. Just to cool down. With a schooner of Cooper's Stout. Plenty of visits later in the evening with the local pubs with draught Coopers.

Definitively back in Amsterdam, pubs played prominent role again. At least three or four sessions a week.Saturday and Sunday Happy Hour in Rick's Café. A few jars in Café.Belgique once or twice a week.

After the kids came along, I'd take them to the pub on weekend afternoons. Café Belgique if I could be arsed to go into town. Bedier if I couldn't. Evening sessions were pretty much a thing of the past.

When the kids became teenagers, the afternoon sessions dried up. What was left? The odd evening with mates.

Now I'm down to once a week. Saturday afternoon with Andrew and the lads down Butcher's Tears. And that's it, pretty much.

Why do I visit pubs so much less? Part of it is just being at a different stage of my life. But money has a lot to do with it, too. A couple of drinks each for me and Dolores can top 30 euros. I can't afford to do that six or seven times a week.

When I started drinking, it was almost exclusively in pubs.This may seem strange to those not quite as ancient as me, but beer used to be cheaper in pubs than in shops. I almost never drank at home just for that reason. Plus bottled beer was way inferior to a good pint of cask.

The latter consideration might also play into Dutch pubs being less attractive. In the UK, cask will tempt me into a pub. While here pubs don't sell anything better than the Abt I drink at home.


Anonymous said...

Are those ashtrays on the table in the last photo?

What kind of effect did smoking bans have on pubs and the kinds of customers they had, if any?

Ron Pattinson said...


yes, it's a very old photo.

What effect did the smoking ban have? None that I noticed, other than breathable air. It might have more impact on the old-fashioned pubs with just half a dozen customers sitting at the bar all chain smoking.

Arn said...

What was your profession that took you to all these places?

Ron Pattinson said...


I was a computer programmer.