ONE of the joys of writing this column is communicating with those who email or write.

Some are complimentary, and others are understandably critical.

All these have the courage and honesty to put a name to their comments and from so many I have learned so much.

Yes, I am behind in responding to some but I will eventually get there.

What is less pleasing are anonymous posts on the websites that proliferate.

Any such comment is totally worthless, because the writer will not give their name - anonymity is the coward’s way.

Of course any column has critics.

Those who wish to make their feelings known can always write to me.

But, be warned comments will only be considered if there is a name or address provided.

One recent caller was the doyen of Cotswold brewers.

Chas Wright from Uley, he is of wonderful value when talking about Cotswold pubs.

Our conversation included reference to such landlord legends as Ric Sainty, Bob Ashley and John Barnard.

We were both delighted to talk about the good news regarding the Red Lion at Ampney St Peter.

This much loved institution has been sold and so many of us are waiting in anticipation of its opening, and that its reputation for banter.

Argument and cheerful conversation will continue.

No-one hides behind anonymity there, nor do my Yorkshire friends.

Amused by my criticism of their national dish parkin (though some secretly agree) they give as good as or better than they get.

I shall not be deterred.

A county that has produced Geoffrey Boycott deserves everything coming to it.

I end with a huge apology.

Recently I posed the question, are the Cotswolds getting drier?

All evidence pointed to the fact they were.

Since then it has been extremely wet, with the clerk of the weather playing catch-up.

This is a time when dry weather is especially needed.

There is a Caribbean expression called ‘putting the mouth on it’.

You can now work out what that means.

Let John know your thoughts by emailing him at