Returning to the theme of pubs, let us remind ourselves what these perfections of civilization be. When those feet in ancient times walked upon England’s pastures green, they would have encountered the taverna. This is what the romans did for us (apart from the roads and the sanitation, and the crucifixions etc.): they brought the taverna, or the wine baaaaaaar, as Alexei Sayle would whine. After that (quite a bit after that to be honest) came the coaching house or inn, with its offer of a rest-stop to Falstaff or Lydia Bennet or Pickwick, when ‘great roadside inns were still brilliant with well polished tankards, the smiling glances of pretty barmaids, and the repartee of jocose ostlers’, as George Eliot put it. But to cap these, there is the meritocratic medieval alehouse, the product of any household’s success at brewing beer and the very pinnacle of civilization. God bless us one and all. CHEERS !