The nights are beginning to draw in sooner, the mornings are a bit crisper and we have just had gammon for dinner. It must be Autumn. But I don't mind. And not for the reasons you might expect (chestnut ales, a multitude of marvellous ale festivals, being able to wear your favourite cardigans...).
No. These are all glorious reasons for celebrate the arrival of the season of falling leaves. But none bring me as much joy, as much tingling anticipation, as much sheer, erm, delight as the sublime feeling of a pristine, factory smelling, uniform paged, unspoilt spine of a new Good Beer Guide (picked up from the sorting office after an agonising two weeks).
Blog will go on a back burner, emails will be ignored, texts will lie unreplied to, skincare regime will suffer, and washing up will sit festering (actually, this is always the case, new GBG or not.) There is important updating to be done.
With each page turn of the beautiful Breweies section, tanatlising teasers spur me on. Which breweries are no longer listed? Which previously unlisted beers are now included? What ticked beers have disappeared? What's my total tally this year? Not to mention all the thrill and excitement of flicking through the pubs section (which Real Ale Husband dutifully maintains now that I spend more time on beer ticking than sleeping.)
So, I'm off. Off to get on with it all, giving my ticking hand repetitive strain injury and potentially casuing Real Ale Husband to wonder whether he made the right desision when he said 'I will' in August. And, of course, to forlornly fondle Roger Protz's signature in last year's edition for a few more times before the tome goes to GBG retirement home (underneath the coffee table.)