I recently had the misfortune of a poor review on the dreaded Trip Advisor. As some of you will know it took me many weeks to assure the loons that I am indeed the business owner here at the Plough and therefore entitled to defend my business. For those that use this awful ‘service’ can I point out that I have told them, repeatedly, to remove the details of dining and also the charming review posted in March of this year.
The March review is from a couple who ‘eat here every week’ and are full of praise for the food and the staff. I don’t think that we will hear any more reviews from this couple for a while, given their apparent lack of any sense of direction they are probably still wandering around the island.
The review that bit me was one from a couple who said that they ‘actively sought out local pubs’ before complaining that this was indeed a ‘locals’ pub and they therefore felt unwelcome. I have added a carefully worded response to their comment but it remains a thorny subject for me given that the Plough is not only a very friendly pub but the island itself is incredibly friendly. I can only imagine that this reviewer is used to swingers clubs and was simply upset not to be offered an alternative bed for the night!
Over the last two nights this ‘unfriendly’ establishment has had a regular visitor who is staying on the island for four nights. The gentlemen in question is 69-70 years of age and there is a reason why I can be that accurate. You see, as a locals only type of pub, we speak to our customers and this gentleman has an excellent (and inspiring) back story. Having been the victim of a surprise sixtieth birthday he is spending his seventieth on the island. He has just packed up from London and decamped to Shanklin without telling anyone where he is going so as to avoid a repeat of the last change of decade. I couldn’t put it better than the man himself when he said ‘they are lovely people and it was genuinely nice of them but it is just not for me’.
I brought the guy a pint last night out of respect for such a great story and indeed such a great idea. The other reason, as I explained, was that I can’t shift the idea of a pub somewhere in darkness waiting for David and repeatedly jumping out and shouting “SURPRISE” followed by a muttering of “oh sorry Rob we we thought you were Dave”. Having recounted the story to one of my locals he to purchased a pint for our new found legend and then proceeded to spend an hour or so discussing life with him. This is why I am in this trade and this is what makes the Plough so great, sure we have some challenges still to deal with (and probably always will) but its a great little pub where people enjoy themselves and that will do for me.
I have an update for you from the powerball today. For those that don’t know what these are they are the size if a baseball and contain a weighted gyroscope. The ‘purpose’ is to maintain rotation and increase speed which essentially means reducing the input to minimal movements of the wrist. Because the inputs have to be kept in synch with the rotating mass they actually take a surprising amount of effort to maintain.
As with every other exercise I noticed that my left wrist was worse at it than the right. This could be because I am right handed but I would have thought that any such advantage would have been cancelled out by the new angle at which the hand sits. The problem with the powerball is that when you keep it rotating for a few minutes your arm burns and you give up, shortly after this you have another go. It just doesn’t seem like your arm should get that tired from such minimal exercise. I should note that I use it with my arm fully extended because this pushes the long tendons.
I spent most of the evening picking up the powerball and working both arms, still convinced that the burn was nothing more than you would normally feel if you held a weight out in front of you. Debs did mention yesterday that it was surprising how much work the powerball achieves, of course she didn’t warn me to go easy because we both know there would have been no point. When I went to bed last night there was the very slightest hint of an ache from lefty and I wondered whether the powerball was really worth £30, but if Debs says its good. At 3 am I woke up, unusual to say the least, it took all of twenty seconds to realise why, I was in agony. Both wrists were complaining bitterly at yesterday’s surprise powerball attack, they didn’t just ache but genuinely hurt. Gingerly placing them under the pillow I laid my head on top to see if compression would help, it often does, but the sound alone was enough put payed to that plan.
If you’re wondering why my physioterrorist didn’t warn me of the consequence of this innocuous little ball then stick with me. Having considered the various options available to me to overcome the pain I discounted most. Getting up and warm soaking them was too time consuming, strong pain killers are only for the weak and haven’t been touched since I left hospital. The final solution that I settled upon was the one that generations have used to combat hangovers, hair of the dog that bit you. So if you walked past my apartment in the early hours and wondered why I was waving at you, I wasn’t it was exercise. After the initial, and rather unpleasant pain, had been overcome the exercise reset it to an annoying ache. That is why Debs doesn’t bother with warnings anymore, I have my own way of dealing with Ms Nature and my way works!
I also learnt a new word yesterday from my physioterrorist. The crunching, grinding, popping noises that I heard in the night are called crepitus. The same name applies to the crunching of the screw tips in the metal work as they tear through adjoining muscle fibre, hey it’s all learning. Apparently the screw induced crepitus often results in pain after a couple of years as the muscle damage scars over and toughens, at this stage they often remove the metalwork. Since removing the metalwork is likely to result in the loss of my hand i guess we put this one down to ‘wait and see’ and they wonder why I lie about pain? I think we need to look at a biocompatible thread lock because the idea of putting over size screws in to aid retention is flawed. Apparently surgeons believe that if they don’t protrude from the opposite side then they will unscrew, as an Engineer I can assure them this is garbage. The total thread engagement is the only factor in retention of a self tapping screw, the thread protruding does nothing since it is not engaged in bone. I would hate to see these guys put up an Ikea!
For some reason I seem to have Ms Nature’s full attention at the moment, if anyone out there is feeling lonely please let me know as your more than welcome to some of her time. I awoke this morning, got up and nearly collapsed, it would appear that the left knee is missing the attention and has decided to reward a quiet night by rejecting the task that it is employed for, of course today is the ‘ideal’ day to play up as I have 4 or so miles to walk.
I know, that’s just the knee and its not evidence of Ms Nature cackling and conspiring against me, but there’s more, there’s always more. During my regular snack stop at Westfield today I went to enter a door that was closing, I placed three fingers on the door to hold it and, well I should have thought it through shouldn’t I? The large, heavy glass door hit my finger tips and transferred its momentum into my stationary wrist, it was all I could do not to scream as my wrist and forearm realised that the door was far heavier than me! The pain was such a sharp shock that I actually thought I had fractured something, you see she was spying on me that damned Ms Nature.
On the subject of Westfield can somebody please tell them that this is England? We select a store, enter, browse* and purchase, we don’t respond to threatening attacks from sales people in between stores. Do I look that stupid that I can’t find a cell phone store? That stressed that I need a massage? Or that rough that I need a facial? The place is full of stores why do they need to send people out to stalls in the walkway to ambush people? The only thing this offers is an interesting judge of appearance, I have walked past the Times app stall regularly and they have never targeted me, a mistake given that I often read the hard copy, the Sky sales team seem to stalk me although I would never subscribe, take a look at who approaches you and see how people judge your appearance.
Top marks to Faiveley Dave today who was asked to come and see me, he has never met me but as he entered the office I was leaving and he held the door open for me. As I put my splinted arm up to the door he spun on his heals and said ‘ah Gavin?’ Who needs business cards when your disabled and have a good story?
*Browsing is optional