Well I’m nearly at the end of my first week at my little pub on the smaller island, what a week. I will start this post in best Tommy Cooper voice, you will have to do that bit in your head, ’20 pirates walk in a bar’. That’s it you can stop the voice now, there is no punch line that is just a typical night on the island.
When the aforementioned pirates walked in somebody commented to me and we struck up a brief conversation. This fellow came from Oxfordshire and enquired as to where I lived, I felt very proud to say “Shanklin”. After a couple of pints I walked back up the hill through the old village and once again was astounded by how enchanting it is. I carried on past the pub to the cliff top and spent 5 minutes sucking in the most glorious views simply because I could. It’s still have to pinch myself from time to time and remember that I don’t have to ‘go home’ this is not a vacation I am one of those privileged to live here.
The pub may not look very different but in my world it is well progressed. Significant supplies have been ordered, which is a real mission from the other side of the Solent, and a lot of the internal infrastructure is done. The decking has been stripped back ready for oiling and the damaged tiles in the bar have been stripped and replaced. The next missions are to finish the deck and sort the public toilets. The gents currently has the doors removed in the hope that it dries out enough to sand back what’s left of the plaster and paint. I know that longer term I have to address the penetrating damp issue but in the short term a dose of paint and some new skirting will improve it no end.
The fact that I am reaching decoration jobs is great news but I have to remember that there is a huge volume of clerical and regulatory tasks as well before I open. It’s great to see the interest that is stirred by being on site full time as people realise that things are progressing and I have had some really positive feedback from people. It’s also good to change people’s perceptions from ‘another revamp’ to a lot of structural love and attention that has been overdue for way too long.
I learnt a good lesson yesterday when struggling with a next to useless petrol strimmer, always check the exhaust direction. After revving this thing up and getting it all running I heard a strange noise just noticeable over the little engine. Shutting the engine off made the noise immediately recognisable and it took me a good ten minutes to work out how to reset the fire alarm!