I belong to a Facebook group whose members post old photos of my home town — school pics whose young and eager-looking pupils are now in care homes, the beach on whose promenade stroll carefree Edwardians unaware of the express train of war coming their way, and various other nostalgic shots guaranteed to make most…

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When I was at school I used to get my smartest mate to read through the rules of any board games I bought so he could then show me how to play it. This saved me a lot of time and effort while he got to test his intellect. I was reminded of this great…

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I arrived in Newport mid-afternoon, parked the car outside the hotel. The sound of Newport was the sound of screeching seagulls and barking sea lions, while the smell was of the briny sea and rotting fish (down on a deck below the harbour a seagull pecked at a salmon’s head), alongside the catch of roasting…

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On the edge of the Czech capital Prague within one of a cluster of historic buildings is housed the Břevnov Monastery Brewery whose output is a mix of traditional lagers, which the former monks would recognise, alongside some newer styles. Pulling open the doors on the long structure emblazoned with the welcoming words ‘Pivovar’ (which…

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On a dark, wet, cold and windy evening the warm glow of a railway arch in the new Wood Lane development was extremely welcoming. The Prairie Fire BBQ Tap Room is the first tenant to move into a row of over 30 arches and our welcome felt even warmer by the choice of 16 draught…

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Sorry about this, but I like. No make it love. I love beer. I am unapologetic in my love of beer and the pubs and bars where I drink it with the gusto and bravado of a buffalo running free on the range. Let’s step back a second. Why do I feel the need to…

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Not that long ago, labels on smaller brewers’ bottles looked pretty much the same – dated imagery such as heraldry, dragons and other nonsense. The rationale for investing little effort into making products look more differentiated and professional was it gave the impression the brewer was more interested in superfluous marketing than producing beer. There…

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In the days when large companies operated heavily subsidised staff canteens, I was working for an investment firm whose head office dining room was a ten-minute walk from my satellite building. Such was its exceptional value for money that some workers dined there every lunchtime but, alas, I was all too frequently diverted into the…

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Peeling plaster, the guts of the walls visible as if wounded in a titanic struggle; metallic ducts range freely alongside one wall just beneath the ceiling; a concrete floor, implacable in the face it offers to the world, the scrape of the metal legs of a bench on which you sit; a bar built from…

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I know who you are, I’ve seen you in my dreams, read about you in a book, glimpsed you in a film, I know who you are. It’s that moment of recognition when you arrive somewhere, which could be a city, a town, a locality, a shore, a pub, the home of a person who…

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