Not content with the fact that the traditional British pub is fast disappearing at an alarming rate because of changing social and economic habits post-Covid and the promised economic recession, it seems that things could get even worse.

Indeed the pub/catering group Weatherspoon’s have just announced the imminent closure of 39 of its pubs, arguing that they want to be be “…in front of the game.” Rather like the slow death of parts of the British High Street as the retail trade looks to redefine and re-position itself as online shopping becomes ever more popular; so it seems that pubs will have to change and be quick about it.

However, in my recent, yet limited experience of the honest-to-goodness local pub, it seems to me that your average chap who enjoys a couple of ‘small beers’ now and again is being battered into submission. I glibly mentioned a modest consumption just then - but just how many blokes actually go out for a couple of beers of an occasional evening compared to even 5 years ago I wonder?

Over time I have built up a deep well of experience in the art of enjoying the pub experience without, hopefully becoming a) a bore. b) a drunk. c) a boring drunk - and perhaps one day I will share them with you at some length and at your expense. Recently however, if you should look into the average British pub of an afternoon or evening, you would be lucky if you spotted anyone in-situ at all.

Moreover, the landlord of my local pub tells me (It’s called research!) that many pub landlords and managers are seeking to cut the hours that their premises are open to the drinking public; one told me that if he only opened from Friday early evening after working hours, Saturday all-day and Sunday lunchtime and afternoon he would be more than happy as his staff outside these times cost more in wages than money he takes across the bar.

Nevertheless, it would probably be some time before this happens as generally, mature men will after a few quiet beers, convince themselves that they have the looks of George Clooney, the sexual potency of that nasty-piece-of-work on ‘Happy Valley’ and the wit of Stephen Fry. But in reality we are talking Andrew Lloyd Webber, Ken Bruce and Alan Carr, in any order you like.

Finally, I would like to rain blows on pub landlords who say - “Thanking you” and then slap your change into a puddle of beer on the bar after they have served you… and while I’m at it - when did the humble bag of crisps start getting all ‘ethnic’ and cost more than two quid a packet?

Putting all these really annoying things to one side, a pub is still a great and safe place to go for either sex, (I didn’t mean it like that!) and I believe it is one of the finest institutions ever to be invented in God’s own country. Indeed, have you ever had the misfortune to visit an Australian or an American so-called pub? If so, I rest my case.