So this goes out to all of those who think that any of this is easy. To those who see a, relatively, calm persona and presume that they see all. To the people who think that there are two doors to unlock every day (not you Tel I know you know better) and to those who think I sleep well at night.
We are approaching my second Easter bank holiday, by the time that you read this we will be in it, and it is no less stressful than the first. Two tons of beer are arriving for this week, take a moment to consider that, 2 whole tons of beer. I have awoken every morning for the last week with stock on my mind, my first waking thought is quite literally beer. I am determined to have enough beer but also have to consider stock on hand, dates and impact on next deliveries. The principle that you can’t sell it if you don’t have it (thanks Andrew) does not sit well against sell by dates.
I awake every day with the Plough on my mind. Some random thought that is bothering me will invade my first attempt at consciousness. That is the thing with this trade it is nothing less than all-pervasive, it owns every part of you. So how do you think my progression from career to pub went? Do you think, because I only open two doors, that it was easy? It was, in short, the most, scariest thing that I have ever done in my life. It is a privilege to be a name on the roll call that is the Plough but it is not one that was easily earned.
Obviously I started writing this before the bank holiday, then things went crazy and here we are. Was it a good bank holiday? well yes and no , it was good by my standards because we had limited crazy periods and that is what I want for the Plough. The eighties are gone and manic pub life should have followed them, we are not the society that we were then and those days are, sadly, gone. So we did ok we did a bit more than we could have and a bit less than we could have. Weather was good which drives trade to the front but also was not so good that they could stay there all day, I will take that any day.
I had a visit from Essex and my frustration at early visits (when you may be the only one here) was overcome on Sunday when friends returned to a bar that was, on average, 5 deep. I know what my old lady can do and sometimes its nice to share that, to stand sweating on a cold deck admiring the wonder that is the Plough. It is also nice to look back at a packed pub and see my staff working well, to see Nick behind the bar is to see me he owns the bar in the only style that we know #ploughlife
So I am racing towards the second trading anniversary, I know only two years why does it feel like so much more? So what does it feel like? The frustration remains that I am operating in less than a third of the property, I ache to solve the problems and finish the build. It drives me mad that I cannot open the garden or hold a function I genuinely feel that I am letting the pub down by not moving faster. I pour every minute of my life into the Plough but still collapse into bed feeling guilty and running the task list through my mind.
Do I like the Plough and the life that it brings? Wholeheartedly yes. I still regularly turn down well paid fantastic opportunities because this is my life. For those of you who think that this is a job, think on. I feel privileged beyond belief to be here, I remain immensely proud of my past career and follow every wheel that turns on steel eagerly but I really couldn’t be anything other than the person I am, I adore the Plough and #ploughlife (thanks for the tag Nick). I was asked tonight “what do you do” and even I can feel the pride that comes with “I own the Plough”, not so bad for an uneducated chancer.
I will leave you with the thought that for all you say I still wander around the Plough seeing the filthy shell that I spent every penny that I could find on. She is an amazing pub and will continue to grow because I will look after her but no matter how great she looks she will always be my list of jobs.