Wow where did the time go? I am now on day three of week three in the Plough and genuinely don’t have a clue as to where the time went having said that I have no clue what day it is most of the time so I guess it is not such a big surprise. The pub continues to move from strength to strength with the obligatory curved balls such as internal walls randomly filling with water. I couldn’t be more pleased with the performance of the old girl and the support that I am getting from the community, she really is a lovely (and well-loved) old lady.
I have always said that the Plough, like the Ship before her, wants to succeed and its only bad operators and contracts that hold them back. When I left the Ship I had a number of moments when I thought that the success was so influenced by the lovely people who it would be impossible to replicate, I am pleased to report that this is not the case the Plough has attracted its own crowd and they all hold the pub dear.
I remain the only member of staff on the ‘team’ which allows me to spend time with the people who use the pub which is good. My regulars are now starting to challenge some aspects of my life as they realise that there is no time to eat and little time to sleep but when asked if I am bored of doing it all myself yet the answer remains an emphatic “No”. I am frustrated at the slow progress in other areas which results from always being behind the bar but I am still happy to be here. Righty is still arguing about the new regime and is currently deploying vicious lock ups at highly inappropriate times but, as most of you know, I am quite adept at hiding these experiences so all good so far.
The pub is continuing to retain customers, both locals and tourists, both for multiple drinks and over multiple days which is reassuring. One of last weeks tourists, on his last visit, actually sought out the locals at the bar and told them to look after and support “the best landlord I have met” because he and his family had felt so welcome which is pretty impressive feedback. I had probably the worst attempt at trade espionage the other day when somebody came in to scout the pub on behalf of friends in another venue. After trying several of the beers he questioned hours and made some suggestions that bordered on sabotage before the ale got the better of him and he explained why he was here. The dawning realisation that he had just blown his own cover was great to watch as it washed over his face.
For those that have access to any social media and are therefore concerned for my welfare after 3 van loads of police and an ambulance parked outside the pub on Thursday I can tell you to rest easy. The police were attending an incident that was nothing to do with the pub, it was in fact a domestic altercation some way down the street. Much shepherding and careful stewardship ensured that there was no opportunity for interaction between uniforms and young men with full beer glasses, such meetings rarely go well, so I guess it was a small success. Fair play to a number of people for defending the pub against the obvious gossip, we know the Plough is a great pub and always a great atmosphere, just got to keep spreading the word.
The question that I get asked a lot is why I did this and it’s a difficult one to answer. The other day I was on a call with the old job and realised that while they were all in offices, earning wages and being pretty normal I was walking around polishing tables in a sleepy daze. Later that night, well actually early the next morning, I walked through the bar, sticky with beer, locked up and tidied the cellar and the pride I felt for the old girl trading well was all the answer that I needed.
I will leave you with a theory from one of my customers, a roofer who you will doubtless meet if you ever visit, I think it sums up island life quite well. This self-employed guy never works Monday but solves this by paying himself double time on Tuesday, he tends to have Thursdays off as they are the landing strip for the weekend and hell nobody likes working Friday do they? That ladies and gentlemen is why we smile more on the little island, there is no burning ambition to be a millionaire just earn a penny more than you can spend.