Well I guess I should start by apologising for the appalling lack of posts, what can I say I have been busy. So the Plough now has two members of staff, the super human party animal that is Nick and the charming yet shy Lucy. My roster skills still suck with staff working quiet shifts followed by me being run ragged but hey that’s how I roll. Nick managed a manic Saturday last week and proudly proclaimed that after two months it is the first time that he has earned his wages! Wages… how serious is that? I have two members of staff… real people who I pay… never felt so grown up*!
Those of you who know me will know what a real achievement it is for me to have staff, people who work for me in my pub. As the consummate workaholic this is tough and many of my regulars know me well enough to smile when I step behind the bar to save a thirty-second wait. On the other side of the equation I know that the opportunity to be landlord rather than barman is one not to be missed and it is certainly what the pub needs.
I was almost overwhelmed to see Steve Till and his Mrs visit over festival weekend. Steve is an ex colleague but also a mate who I have known for years, to have him walk into the pub on a Saturday was one hell of a surprise but also lovely. It is always amazing to see people who are, in reality, having a courtesy visit stay for longer than they expected. As always it is strange to talk to people about my old world, I miss it and certainly miss the people, but it reminds me that this old lady is my life. It is an opportunity to realise that for all of the thousands of air miles, the amazing (and sometimes near impossible) achievements, I have now found my home and this pub will always be that.
To al of the people who ask how or why I do this I have the simplest answer so far. It is 2 am Guns & Roses are blasting out in the bar and I am, once again, amazed that I am even allowed to do this for a living. Seriously this is my entire job, I cuddle some women, I shake some hands, I randomly insult some people and I introduce others to some of the most amazing drinks and for that I get to call this wonderful old lady home. There are clearly worst deals out there so no chance of ‘twist’ I am happy to ‘stick’ with my hand.
That seems like pertinent timing, the mention of hand, since I am in some significant level of pain right now. I managed to scrape the skin graft right at the point where the skin graft catches a nerve. The irritation is beyond anything that a human should have to endure but more importantly it is refusing, as always, to heal. So to join the fact that I am now typing some right-handed letters with my left hand due to searing pain I now have a delightfully exposed tendon in the mess that is righty’s scar. Some of you will remember this hole and the pristine white tendon that it exposes, most of you wouldn’t wish to study it. As the crepe paper thin skin tries to regrow the tethering defeats it and the tendon tears back through. It’s a challenge but hey we have seen worse and it’s just day job now really.
To close I will address the question of success once again by comparison to the Ship, a pub that still holds a special place in my heart. I have a picture of the cellar (behind the dartboard) just after Christmas with the biggest stock of empties that I had achieved. I know that those empties were more than the last long-term tenants had managed and I remain extremely proud to have enabled that level of sales in such a short time. A quick count up confirms that I traded more than that this week, last week, the week before that…, the Plough drinks more than that on a quiet week. This is a truly great pub and I am, once again, truly privileged to hold her keys.
*‘grown up’ can be switched with ‘scared’ at will