Time is really rushing by now, the pub opens at the end of next week and there is still so much to do. I had an overnight visit from Dave and his lad last night the extra labour was a real help but just having friends around and taking some time (only a little) to relax helps even more. It is odd when people visit me now as I am fiercely protective of both my little island and my little pub and desperately want people to love them both. You will notice that a stroll along the cliff is obligatory for all visitors and like a proud new father I will be a pace behind you waiting for you to be stunned. I don’t expect the pub to stun you, any sign of me being stunned is simply because I am punch drunk, but I do want you to like it. The pub is not just a home and business it is very much my baby and when you scatter those few favourable words about you can be certain that I snatch every single one and file it.
After some work yesterday I took a break to walk down the cliff with the lads and then back up to the Crab for dinner, since I never eat out alone this is a rare treat. When Dave tired they went back to the hotel and I returned to work, its pub time that is just how it is. Walking around the bay and down into the old village I was reminded once again what a truly stunning place this is and how lucky I am to be able to live here despite the distance it puts between me and friends. So how is it all going? Well the roofers are mob handed and on target to get the scaffold down by opening, they will go on to do the roofs at the rear during trading. The stonemason thinks he will just make it but had disappeared today to have a baby, well observe the process at least! Baby arrival also put one of my beer installs at risk but I think that is now resolved. Beer survey is tomorrow but install is next Thursday, horribly close to opening but they assure me that it is no risk.
My water softener engineer arrives tomorrow from Reading, oddly water softener engineers don’t occur on the island and we have to import. The water softener service is an unexpected expense but I am assured that it is good for another 20 years and is a very expensive piece of kit so it is a sensible expense. The decoration that remains is to complete one room of the right hand bar (I always label them from behind the bar rather than the street) the front door, window reveals and the gents toilets. In truth there is lots more to do but that is to my eye and not yours. One of the benefits of visiting the Crab last night was to cast an eye over the decoration and recalibrate my aspirations. I still have mountains to do but am hopeful of getting the bar vacated for cleaning by the weekend just have to set a stop on what I am going to achieve before opening. Having the lads here meant the morning kerb crawl from Rich’s boys took all of 10 minutes and I got to wave goodbye to 12 yards of rubbish that has been cluttering the place up although I have to apologise for exposing the big brave men to island spiders and to Jo for having to console her ‘brave soldiers’ when they get home. The opening is definitely happening despite the incredulous looks that I receive when I say this (Thanks Ad for the “oh this month”).
How am I in the midst of all this? Well I am 1 stone down from the pub diet but its a stone that I didn’t need, I am exhausted and very conscious that I am missing lots of details. The cash and time burn is astonishing even for somebody who predicted massive problems and I have taken to never getting out of ‘scruffs’ since I live on a building site there seems little point. I think the best description came from one of the trades who was looking around the pub appreciatively. I asked him if he fancied a pub and without hesitation he answered “No, have you looked in a mirror? we reckon you are on fast forward, you are actually ageing in front of our eyes”. The most important thing though is that I love it, I love my pub, love the island and the people and love the fact that my passion for this place can drive me into 18 hour days continuously now for over three weeks.