There is a well-known ‘dream’ story, one to which I actually subscribed when younger, of a couple running a pub. When they retire at the end of the night they will, of course, discuss business and the people involved. When one is sick the other will always be available and when one needs to escape the other will, of course, be on hand.
Those of you who know me will know that it is many years since I have subscribed to this model. I am a firm believer in making one’s own path in life and carrying no dead weight. So the Plough is Gav and Gav is the Plough, there are no shareholders, partners or other support what you see really is all you are going to get until I shuffle off. So what does this change? what is different here to everywhere else? Well tonight I will share one thing that is unique to the Plough.
The symbiotic relationship that is Gav and the Plough runs very deep. I couldn’t be Gav without the Plough and, to a lesser degree, the Plough just wouldn’t be the Plough that it is today without me. I am a single man , there is only me and the ghost here every night so I don’t have the immediate luxury of a sounding block, although my mate Andrew gets it at least once a week and Jo is always on hand for a message.
So what happens when I close the doors and give Henry his nightly walk around the pub? I actually talk to the pub, in fact there is not a night that I haven’t headed up the stairs with some words for the old girl. This, you see, is not just a pub, not just a place to drink beer, it is my home and my sole purpose. I walked around the pub tonight, in that delicious peace that descends when you go home and I start cleaning, and once again I told her that she had done well. People enjoyed their evening and the atmosphere was great, in short the old lady performed the magic that she does.
In other news this years barmaid, our Lucy, has gone from being so timid as to give me cause for concern to being confident and professional behind the bar. I have said many times that for me the development of people is one of great things about this trade and I am really pleased to see that the Plough has been good to Lucy.
My stern view once again entertained my regulars recently when I ejected somebody with directions to the public toilets. In this instance the person came up the drive, paused to read the sign which advises that there are no public toilets, and then headed straight to the gents. When I challenged him the response was that he was aware that the sign said he “shouldn’t” but could he just use the toilets? I refused this first offer and asserted that the sign was more certain than ‘shouldn’t’ but, if he was having a drink…..
It was at this point that the man in question made a counter offer. He didn’t want a drink you see but he would ‘happily give you some money’. Having considered this new offer I decided to reject it and reiterated the absence of public toilets on the premises. The person grumbled and left at which point my regulars proceeded to dissect the interaction. Because my locals know me they quickly picked up on the flaw in the miscreants second bid. If, as he had suggested, he was happy to offer to purchase the use of the pubs facilities then that would surely have been his first offer to me. By choosing to enter the property with no intention to even acknowledge his misuse of the facilities he forfeited any option to negotiate terms.
Let me finish with an explanation of the word ‘character’. This is a term applied, usually fondly, in the third-party so for example ‘old Bob he’s a character’. It generally indicates that the person has something about them that makes them memorable, a quirk, a mannerism for example. It is not a blanket apology for being a moron! You cannot explain your bad behaviour, your stupidity or your generally irritating demeanor by simply repeating the statement ‘I’m a bit of a character’. In fact you don’t have the right to declare yourself a character, those you encounter will call you a character if they feel that you are one, otherwise we will call you many other things none of which are either pleasant or complimentary. Sorry, I just felt the need to clarify that point.