We are long past the man up stage now, the money has transferred and it is all about taking the keys and the responsibility for the decisions. It was the perfect day to view a pub, pouring with rain so that you can readily identify any leaks, only I wasn’t viewing I was here to get the keys. That, of course, is not entirely accurate the ‘keys’ amounts to a couple of kilo of random keys which reside in the pub, I cannot actually take over the security companies keys because I am not retaining their services and the keys belong to them.
Despite repeated run ins with the security company they flatly refused to meet me on completion day because it wasn’t my contract. Clearly my agent had more charm and lo and behold I received a call on route to tell me that they were, in fact, removing their kit. Timing worked well and I arrived just in time to see them trash the screws as they reinstalled the original door. My own security arrived shortly after and replaced it with a security door before passing me the key that I now consider the pub key. I look at it like this, I may rent the door that the key fits but I own the pub that the door fits!
First task is to see if the electricity is still on so I set off behind the bar and as I step behind the space that will consume so much of my time I land with a ‘splosh’. I know that isn’t a real world but splash just doesn’t cut it, it was most definitely a splosh. I am confused and concerned in equal measure, there was no sign of water when I viewed or when the valuer viewed so where did it come from? The back bar was also wet and there was water coming through a light fitting but surely the roofs haven’t let that much water in? That single splosh brought with it a realisation of just what I have done.
Slipping around the kitchen on a skating rink made of grease I found my incoming and threw half a dozen switches before being rewarded with light. Walking back around the bar so as to avoid the water I noted that the carpet was also soaked, before I got too miserable I tackled the other bar but this may not have been my best move. The puddle in the second bar wasn’t as big but several glasses had filled and again the back bar was soaked, retreating to the cellar revealed yet more water and a mop.
After several hours my conclusion was that the water board must have turned the water on to test the meter, which is stationary, in doing so they ‘charged’ the water system. The problem is that my pub has been stripped, they have removed everything including several sinks, so water is not its friend. I revisited every service valve, drained them and exercised them, before mopping and bailing all of the water. My mate diligently filled thirty bin liners and stacked them in the kitchen, as a trade site I need to make my own refuse arrangements so in the meantime its a marshalling task.
Next up the lottery of fridges, Andrew took the walk in chiller and won it was empty and reasonably clean. Having filled it with all of the empty kegs that were lying around in the yard he reminded me that this left me the freezers. I have to say that three chest freezers revealed none of the expected surprises, they were empty and relatively clean. A head in a loft revealed a huge hole that I managed to cover by playing ‘slate jenga’ and some disturbing electrical practices but, on the plus side, it did explain why water was coming out of the fire system.
So a day of general cleaning, some door hanging, security and key testing later I retired with the key to my pub in my pocket. I met another roofer in the morning and am awaiting their quote for some of the roofs, it is easier discussed face to face as you have the opportunity to explain that funds are beyond short. The morning also showed that the pub had stayed, relatively, dry over night which was a big plus.
So day one, how do I feel? What is going through my mind? Quite simply it is love, I love the pretty little pub and the charming village location. Leaving the island has always felt like leaving home but more so now that I have the key in my pocket. I am immensely proud of the premises and very conscious of the responsibility that I have to bring her back to her previous glory and allow her to trade to the potential that I truly believe that she has. I am buried now in paperwork for energy suppliers, telecoms suppliers and other equipment catalogues. Every penny spent has to be carefully justified, sometimes a premium is justified but often it is not and this is where the savings are to be made.