Pubs are falling at an increasing rate. F2C details another one.
I like pubs. I really like to spend some leisure time in pubs. The trouble is that pubs don't like me any more. They make me go outside with the dogs and the horses and carts. I used to really love going to the pub but now, well it's like going to the dentist. Except that at least the dentist fixes something. The pub just makes it worse.
So I don't go any more. It's not a protest, it's a reaction to being made unwelcome.
Instead I visit, and sometimes host, smoky-drinky. Private parties, no staff, no members, not open to the public, where we can drink and smoke indoors and behave like real, civilised people instead of permanently offended infants. If any permanently offended infants don't like the smell, fear not. You are in no danger of being forced to learn to operate a washing machine or of buying soap. You won't be invited.
Not so long ago, I considered our local Smoky-Drinky as a one-off. A rarity. A strange thing, a weird reaction to the weird world we live in. Then I found that Leafar set up a London-based smoky-drinky equivalent. It's the same idea. No legal problems because there is no business transacted, no staff, no members, no public access. Like a pub, but not a business.
It started as an idea. A speakeasy for smoke prohibition days. like those American speakeasies it is spreading fast and accelerating with increasing pressure from the antismoking Nazis.
Dioclese and Dick Puddlecote have now joined our ranks.
They might well find, as I did, that it starts as a nervous and almost sinful feeling among a few friends, then it expands. New people appear, new friends are made, just as in the old days in the pubs. The original pubs brewed their own beer, and that is beginning to reappear in Smoky-Drinky too. No charge, no money, no business, no members, no public. No fixed premises. Ghost pubs.
We are still here, antismokers. We are still here, CAMRA. While your pubs fall, ours rise. While your small breweries die, ours are formed. They won't appear in any good beer guide. You won't find them and even if you do, it's invitation only. We cannot, by law, be open to the public. Nor can we register as a club.
Real pubs are rising again, in their original form, and the antismokers need have no fear of them.
You won't even know where we are.