Well isolation is clearly causing some distress amongst my readers as I have been swamped with messages about my drinking buddies. So things may have got a little heated last night but when I lit the log burner and threatened the duck and stool with a warm exit things calmed down.
To be fair when you are stuck with the same people/ducks day in and day out tempers will fray, it was probably as much my fault as the ducks but I haven’t told him that better to keep him on the back foot. They are not a bad bunch but we all have our own personalities and sometimes clashes happen.
The Plough currently looks very similar to how it looked before I opened that is to say similar to a bomb site. I think an explosion in a flour factory would be less messy and there are doors and furniture everywhere. Now this leads me to what is currently the biggest challenge of my life….
The only real certainty that we have is that the ‘lock-down’ will last at least three weeks and herein lies my conundrum. Do I stretch the tasks that I have to last potentially 3 or more months or do I get them done in a sensible timescale? Also do you strip an entire room or do you reduce it and do it in sections so that, if need be, you can reopen quickly?
It is worth noting that the industry predicted for a long time a Friday announcement for a Sunday close but in the end it was a Friday announcement to close as soon as possible. What warning will we get for reopening? I am not about to print posters saying “due to the owners over planning the pub will stay closed while we finish works”.
I do have a lot to do by normal standards, I have to decorate and deep clean the pub, I have to strip and stain the decking, 4 coats of stain are needed on the windows and doors because we are changing system and I still need to sort the extraction hood. There are other jobs that we can add in like painting out the back but they are all dependent on materials being available.
The funny thing is that I remember this stage back in the day when I was preparing to open. I remember looking like I look now (covered in dust) and the pub looking like a bomb site (as it does now) and giving myself a good talking to and saying ‘its a pub’. So today I had the same chat, no I don’t need to pull that off and realign it I need to paint it that’s all I need to do.
So no more sanding off the brush marks of years of drunks getting a few pints for painting. Crisp, fresh, but still a pub, still our pub. Now we all know that paint smells and I am on record as saying that my happiest day was coming downstairs to a pub that didn’t smell of paint but smelt of stale beer (my heaven) so my other mission is to keep drinking with my buddies and ensure that we maintain the smell that I love.
In other news, today I grabbed the exercise hour with both hands and charged the two miles to sandown and then the two miles back. I can assure you that this is a beautiful walk but I am, above all, an Engineer so my walk involved music, hoodie, shades, and a proper march. Hell I don’t do people at the best of times and neither do I do exercise so I hood up and hide.
Now the adverts sold me the fact that a 4 mile march would invigorate me and charge me with positive energy. We all know that advertising is not directly related to reality but I have to say rarely have I been so disappointed. Engineer points were good, I got to the destination and returned with minimal human contact. Did I feel invigorated? No. Positive energy? well if that was what caused all the dust to stick to me then maybe….
Day five and no sign of insanity so all good, stay safe people.