Another week of progress and it is only Tuesday! I have opened the dialogue with the day job in order that we can manage my exit which is a very strange feeling. Already people are referring to future tasks as not including me which, whilst accurate, seems somehow wrong. On the flip side I remain immensely proud of my little pub and am so pleased with the positive response I am getting. There’s still a way to go but time does have a habit of racing by lately.
Supplier pricing is coming in, although there are still some suppliers to meet. I have spreadsheets everywhere taking prices and margins as well as tasks and orders. I am onto the fifth colour for coding my wallchart and yet still somehow managed to miss the stonemasons stage payment (sorry Dave). Everywhere I turn there are piles of paper and things to do but hey was never supposed to be easy was it? Brilliantly against this backdrop of chaos everybody still wants to offer advice on which sandwich is best of what lager to stock as if they are the only critical questions. I am thinking of speaking to the tourist board and asking for funding given the volume of people from the Midlands who are planning to visit.
Sign writer proofs are due this weekend which is another step closer to returning the old pubs name to where it belongs albeit with a bright new graphic for the swing board.so keep watching this space, it might seem slow but trust me under the water I am paddling like mad!
I have some more, recent, “you know when you’re ….. when…..” examples to share with you today. The first was when I awoke to a news article and the presenter was saying “later on we will be speaking to a games industry expert” I honestly wondered what he wants to be when he grows up. As I walked back past the TV I was fully expecting to see a scruffy schoolboy and not the adult who was being interviewed. Having considered that this was a moment of ‘you know when you’re old when’ I consoled myself with the fact that he was obese so at least one of my assumptions was correct.
Checking in at the hotel I walked into some of the management and this gave another example. Having exchanged pleasantries I was told “we have to arrange drinks soon so that you can meet the new GM General Manager)”.That has to be an example of ‘you know when you have been in a hotel too long’. The manager that I spoke to mentionioned that a lot of our team has now moved on and she was eager to ‘replace us’. I wondered off wondering if she really did think that we could just rustle up a few hundred room nights for the benefit of the hotel. Do they think that we are like lemmings, you lose some so you breed some more? I shall have to explain to her that we are a unique and rare breed and simply irreplaceable.
In other observations it is funny how the licensed trade is so insidious in one’s life, but at the same time comforting. I got out of the shower last night to find the tail end of a soap opera playing on the TV. In the soap someone was standing gloomily in a pub cellar and I noticed that behind him, close to the cellar door, were cards of peanuts. The thing that caught my eye was that there were packets missing from both cards indicating that they were in retail use. The bar in this soap is open enough to allow the cards to be displayed and the cellar location is such that having the snacks just inside the door would make no sense. The thing is that I don’t particularly watch soaps and I certainly have no interest in them, but I sat and contemplated this for a few minutes as if it was important.
My conclusion was, of course, that this is simply a trade-off for the purpose of television. In real life the bar is the sales space that attracts a premium and its use is maximised. But in the world of television this would present a cluttered and confusing back drop and detract from the characters. So I guess I must congratulate the continuity experts for ensuring that peanuts were presented for sale somewhere. To all the directors out there, remember we are checking, well I am anyway.
I think that the darker mornings have helped to develop another aspect of my aspirations plans. I have often pondered adapting to a static rural life from the frantic city/country/continent hopping that my life so often involves. I live in a place where many people rarely get as far as the next big town; the Isle has many more of the same. My morning walk through the dark city, the air heavy with diesel from the station, is comfortable and routine. I am at home in the sprawling manufacturing complex that is my office and the myriad interchanges of the metros of so many countries are second nature. The intention is to settle into a small village environment and the licensed trade ensures that I will rarely leave. In time there will be holidays but not the exploratory last-minute visits to unfamiliar countries and strange cities.
Will I miss the world that I currently inhabit, yes I probably will. But I am looking forward to cities being memories and to the quirks of local life. The thing that keeps me going, despite the soul-destroying delays and lack of progression, is the thought that carries me along the dark morning walks. I will consider that I have moved forwards when a visit to ‘serious shops’ ends standing on the gangplank at Portsmouth and boarding the cat to get back home. It may only be the first step but when all of my return tickets end on the Isle and when a trip to a big town involves crossing water then I will know that I am on the right path.
A couple of update points, the first an update on the Kindle which has now been my companion for three weeks. Sorry Max but I have to recommend this device to all readers out there, the electronic ink makes for easy reading even when your ripping through 3 books a week and it really offers convenience over hard copy. I love the backlight that means I can read with no other lights on in complete comfort, and the battery easily did 3 weeks and 7 books before first charge, in honesty it would have done 4 but I wasn’t brave enough to push it. For those that have an e reader of any description I must also recommend the excellent calibre as a library manager, this allows me to ‘side load’ books as opposed to downloading through amazon and, importantly, maintain my own library. If there is an improvement to be made to the kindle, I have the paper white, then it would be to make it waterproof and to use the cover of the current read as the sleep mode image. I have found a plug in that addresses the later but to use it I need to jailbreak the device and that seems an awful lot of effort for such a small change, as to waterproofing well I guess my paperbacks never really liked being read in the bath! As a final sell, wherever you place your kindle or when you drop it or fall asleep on it, its on the correct page no more flicking through when the paperback closes on you and you lose your page.
I also have to update on righty who is steadfastly refusing to dry out, my grand idea of using sudocrem, which is a UK product that I was warned off using on my leg because it tends to dry things out, failed because when you wash the stuff off you take the surface of skin with it. On the positive side there is no feeling there so it doesn’t hurt and compared to the donor site on my leg its quite insignificant really. Mission for this week is to get into the hotel gym and work out the muscle routines that the physioterrorists have planned, if the mechanics of the joints are bad then we simply need to increase the power available, well that’s the theory.