Just back from Birmingham, where all the hotels are full of people on life awareness courses. Sigh. That's going to keep the Chinese and the Indians at bay.
Anyway, on my way back up, I stopped off at a pub in Cheshire somewhere. More a gastropub with a restaurant, and I was there at about 1:30. I was the only person there.
When I asked the barman why it was so quiet ( I had seen several others shuts round about) he said it had been like this since just after New Year. They were all right as they had quite a good trade at the weekends, but 7 or 8 other pubs in the area had closed. They used to have a weekly lunchtime trade ( not great but enough to pay for itself and contribute a bit towards the bottom line) but that was all gone.
" There's no money around, of course. It used to cost me £70 to fill up my car last November. It's now £92."
There you have it.