I am growing more convinced that the pub is ageing me faster than anything I have done before. Because the weekend is not time off of work there is no longer a border between weeks and no sooner than the beer is in the cellar it is time to place orders again. The pub is like one of those hamster wheels the faster you run the faster you have to go to keep up.
I have worked all of my life at full speed but this is different perhaps because there is no longer even a faint line between life and work. One of the best examples of this is night-time reminders, something that I have always done. When I was in Engineering I would awake during the night and think of a task that I had forgotten or needed to add some priority to and write myself a note for the morning. I would wake up to pages of notes on hotel notepaper every morning, it didn’t disturb my sleep as such it is just how I function.
I don’t have a pen by my bedside any more because I no longer need one. The last thought in my mind at night is always the first thought in my mind in the morning, again I have always been like this, and that is now enough for my morning reminder. Rather than waking up to a list of calls to make, items to price and decisions to make I now wake up and think ‘the ladies needs another toilet roll’* Everything is now somewhat more holistic in that every thought and action is related to the pub.
Amongst this madness I still get embarrassed when somebody asks how the works are going or what is happening next door. There are tasks in the planning but the brutal truth is that standing still is actually so demanding that it seems to be consuming my very soul. The Plough is literally consuming every moment of my life and I am acutely, and always, aware that she needs more.
The structural engineer’s work is in though and builders are now quoting, well chin scratching, the task of removing the centre wall in the old pub. Replacement windows for the bar area are also being quoted again with much associated chin scratching on account of the most peculiar angles involved. The windows mean that we can tidy their general appearance which is a source of much, humorous, consternation to at least one of my neighbours.
In other thoughts from here isn’t the memory a weird thing? I recently saw a picture in some trade press of a tired looking class 91 loco in a service shed at night and it occurred to me how odd it is that, amongst many memories, I can remember the smell of those buildings. Diesel or electric there is a smell associated somewhere in my mind with rolling stock sheds but I don’t know why? I have no idea why I stored this memory or what use I thought that it would have. So that is next on the list of things to fathom out about memory just as soon as we have worked out why I can remember every word of a song from 1980 but not why I just walked into a room!
A quick check up for those that worry about me, you lovely fools. Ms Nature continues to cause me issues but aggressive ‘physio’ allows me to alternately push her back or give me another reason for the pain and at least stop her gloating. I do eat, its erratic and strange but that is not new and in fairness my lifestyle is as healthy as the next workaholic publican! I am now even known for wandering away from the pub to remind myself of the stunning views that are the reason that I live here. One of the problems with being a publican though is that invariably if I walk into a different pub I attract the very people that I and the respective bar staff are trying to avoid!
Since I am ending this post at the end of my week, god only knows when I actually started it, it seems fair to share the trading position of the Plough. Once again she has shown herself to be erratic, eclectic and nearly as impossible to live with as any of the women that I have met! A fair, but unexciting, bank holiday led to a slow week and a momentous push on Thursday to close up in the top five trading weeks. That is the thing with the Plough, something that I am becoming more confident in, just when you think it’s all gone wrong she will pull one out of the bag that you neither saw or could have predicted.
It may be a tough lonely life but it’s still the best one that I have had.
*actual thought may vary