The pub: not just for Christmas

"I thought the Sarries were going to get run over..."

Ummm... pardon?

The old guy with a camouflage jacket, half an Oakham JHB and a beard you could lose a gassed badger in points at my t-shirt.

It's this one.

"Yesterday... did you not see? The way Munster muscled up... but fair play to Farrell, he kept the score ticking over".

I didn't see Saracens beat Munster in the Heineken Cup on Sunday. I was too busy drinking beer / falling asleep / wash / rinse / repeat on a train straight outta St Pancras. In fact, I was reading through the results as the hirsute chap began to talk at me.

I drank deep from my pint of Oakham Green Devil. We started discussing problems with modern-day scrummage (the phases still allow the front row to hit a retreating brick wall), the inflexibility of most second-row forwards, favourite playing positions back in the day (me: hooker, because due to playing volleyball I could chuck a ball and due to my lack of height I could dangle enough to actually hook the ball. him: wing, he could run fast within a one-yard corridor from the touchline and could pass to A.N. Nobody and then jump if anyone came near him).

We talked of our rugger heroes (me: Bill Beaumont, Wade Dooley, Brian Moore. him: Barry John). We talked about the stupidity of boxers who return to the ring and risk death for the sake of funding a lifestyle they've become addicted to. We talked of how too many professional footballers have too much time, too much money and too little sensible support to save themselves from becoming chronic gamblers and/or gak hooverers.

We loved the tale of how a local drunk driver had been given his license back even though found guilty. Because if he re-offended, he'd get a life ban.

We talked and drank and laughed. Because I wore a certain t-shirt in a certain pub at a certain time.

You just don't get that on Twitter or Facebook.

You get that down the pub.

Sometimes, I need to remind myself of that.

It's a grand place to be. After all, pubs aren't just for Christmas...