I remember that some time ago I wrote some posts along the lines of ‘you know you are a publican if’ and I think that it is a pertinent time to revisit that format so sorry not sorry I guess.
So I am writing this sat at the place that most of the normal UK public want to be. I am sat on a bar stool with a pint of draught beer, come on I am rocking this. Oddly this is exactly the same space that I occupied on the Saturday after the Friday closure order and 4 weeks on it feels very similar.
So you know that you are a publican if you are drinking draught beer and you are alone, its a pretty good test. You also know you are a publican if you are currently facing the single biggest crisis pubs have ever faced. That is not an exaggeration, my pub has survived a couple of world wars but this is actually more of a threat. If the pub had been bombed out it would have been rebuilt, wars ended and we went back to the pub, this is different. Of all of the custodians of the Plough I am the one who has the keys when the future directly rests on my shoulders,
Yes we can succeed or fail that is always a risk but if you fail to hold the wolf away from the door during this then the pub is lost. All of that history, all of those landlords but if you mess this up you are the end. I will not fail, that is not even a question, but sometimes you realise you are holding the future of hundreds of years of history and all of those ghosts are looking at you thinking ‘wow never saw this coming’. On a bad day those thoughts can bring a cold hearted man close to leaking.
So right now you know you are a publican if…. hang on I need to clarify something here. A publican is defined by me (the only one that counts in my blog) as somebody who loves their pub, who feels the responsibility of generations, a true custodian. Some of us love our pubs, I don’t mean we like the building I mean we love the wonderful thing that we are custodians of. Some of us are proud to introduce every new face to our old lady, some of us can’t see a distinction between our pub and us, we are publicans. I am more Plough than I am Gav, that is what it is like, to me, to be a true publican this old lady is my everything.
Anyway where was I? So to be a publican now… well you smell of paint because there is no way those hundred odd jobs are not getting done while we have a chance is there? Arthritis may not be a qualification but typing is a struggle right now I can assure you. Feeling lost though that is a constant, feeling like you have taken hundreds of years of careful hard work and now you have somehow lost the helm. You are drifting with no idea where you are going and there is nothing that you can do to steer the ship.
I think that is the single word that sums this up more than any ‘lost’ I can deal with any situation, after all that is what we do but the unknown…. that is a struggle. I don’t know if I am shut for weeks or months. I know that we are all struggling but imagine if, rather than saying don’t go to work, they said stop being you. That is what true publicans are doing, we are working harder than ever but our personality is on hold.
The banter that we have with each and every one of you is what makes us without that we live a very strange, and newly emerging, life and I for one do not like it.