I know that I have tried to explain where I find my life a number of times but hey, lets try again.
So recently the ‘don’t need to make money’ comments from a certain quarter were clarified when it transpired that said quarter ‘knows’ why I am here. This story, which is a new one and therefore worthy of record, is that I received compensation for my accident. So, most of you guys know this, let me be unequivocal on this, the accident was life changing in many ways but only one of those was good and that was that it (as these things do) showed me who my friends were (love you guys). There was no compensation, no financial boost, it slowed my pub search and life in general.
So how did some ugly, scruffy old man end up owning a pub? Come on you know the answer really don’t you? So the secret, the ‘magic’, well gather in close because we very clearly can’t have everyone knowing can we….. Well I worked, hard, no not that hard but much much harder. I mean I worked 20 hrs a day I was on call 24/7 for 20 odd years I never spent time with my family I worked so hard that colleagues actually doubted I was human. You see even a scruffy old git can earn a couple of quid if he is determined and if you know me you clearly know determination.
So that is how I got to be here, I sold my life, my time, my blood sweat and tears, my family life and that brought me my Plough. No Lotto wins, no compensation, no inheritance, no criminal backers, no drugs money just every last bit of me, every tiny bit of my body and soul. Just for reference, I didn’t get here with a pot of cash, when I opened the sofas were owned by the credit card company and the change in the till was my overdraft. I literally threw my shirt in the pot because, as I mentioned, I am a determined sort of bloke.
Now question 2 is why? Why I am here? Why the Isle of Wight? Why a pub? Why the Plough? Well now it gets difficult. I have studied Engineering and Law but I think we need a psychologist here, in his absence I will give it a go.
So the first thing that the psychologist would tell you is that I am not put together well. I am basically a mess of issues ignored and boxed away by my workaholic personality, hey it works right? So working in the Phoenix way back then made me feel part of something so amazing that I knew I had to come back as the ‘Tel’ of my own place I genuinely think that man sealed my fate as young boy (cheers to the ‘old man’).
So when I took the Ship it was just an opportunity that arose out of a silly night. It was only a pub, only a bit of rent, bit of fun. Now those that know me well, and one in particular (Andrew), knew that I can’t do that I am not that person. The keys for the Ship included a Carling bottle opener that to this day sits in my office, it was that important.
When I came out of the Ship in 2011 it was Andrew that saw the itch, saw the discomfort, knew that I was never going to stay away. The truth is not having pub keys killed me, every time I checked my pocket it was a reminder making me feel incomplete. I genuinely missed those keys more than any woman it was a real hole in my life.
Now this is where it is hard to explain, what was it that I missed? Was it haemorrhaging money? was it living in sub zero temperatures? Never sleeping? was it battling against the odds? fighting on all fronts at all times? Did I yearn for the scary weight loss, the hypertension, the zombie like state and the inability to function on anything more than a basic level? Obviously not. Was it the access to beer? the company? the gratitude for saving the local pub? No it wasn’t even that. I missed smelling of beer and that magical moment after you close the pub and you are still inside.
I cannot begin to explain how privileged I feel now to be sat inside a pub that has been here for centuries. This is my home, I am so proud of this old lady and never tire of the smell and sounds of the pub. You know I can walk every inch of this majestic old lady with my eyes closed, not just the bits you see but every inch of the place that I am so proud to call home. I live on the island that has always been my sanctuary and I own the most wonderful pub.
So I guess I have done my circle and I am, almost, back to the Phoenix on a Sunday listening to some old boy singing Sweet Caroline or (sometimes) back to Reflections with the mania that was a Saturday night.
So for the accountants out there that is the ‘story’ some dumbass worked his life away to buy a pub. I was always going to lose all that I have lost, always going to carry that pain but (determined) always gonna end up where I am and I couldn’t be prouder of the Plough.