Sunday, 26 July 2009

What a week.........

Dear readers, and I know there are now many of you (!), I'm afraid tonights blog is going to be fairly short and it's not awfully sweet. When I started this blog it was to talk about life behind and in front of the bar and all it's ups and downs. But sometimes just as you trot through life and you think all is going reasonably well it takes a shot at you and brings you momentarily to the ground.

This week has been one such week...... it started well last Sunday with my confirmation and a visit by my best friend Tanya and her lovely boy Ashley, followed by a visit from our very dear friends Lisa and Phil - and an exciting development which I hope to be able to share with you after the summer rush is over. We had a super meal out together on the Monday evening and a thoroughly pleasant evening together only to return to at least 8 missed calls from my darling son. It was of course an indication that it was not good news and sadly it wasn't..... his Dad (and my ex-husband) had passed away very suddenly and naturally he was heartbroken. I too was incredibly upset, as ex-husband or not, it would be a very hard person who could not mourn the loss of someone who you spent the best part of your life with and fathered 2 gorgeous children by.

So this week has passed by in a flurry of phone calls, tears, high emotions and a short visit to Portsmouth to be with him and his wife and to offer what support I could. Any passing has the effect I think of making you evaluate where you're going with your life - and this week seems to have been particularly hard in doing just that! The funeral is not until a week Monday, so it's difficult to know where to go with the emotions that are in my head other than to do what I do best - put my head down and work as hard as I can! If I sit around - I think too much and that tends not to be a good thing........... However, I have been shown great kindness and love by SOH and by my new friends in Salcombe where 'village' life has been very comforting.

On top of all of that - Beth has chosen this week to be very ill, and I feared our little dog had reached the end of her road, but she had a 2 night stay in the Selworthy Practice in Kingsbridge - where they lovingly looked after her and have made her reasonably fit and well again. A huge thank you to the team there for all their love and care and for giving us more happy hours and walks with her......... and just on cue she's walked in and nuzzled up to me much as to say 'what are you doing'??? The cue for a last minute night time walk (in the rain of course!!) I think!!

So all in all, a very draining week emotionally and one I hope that won't be repeated for a long time....... take care all and don't forget to tell your loved ones how much you love them. X x x

Friday, 17 July 2009

Proud of Pubs week

This week it's the Publican's - 'Proud of Pubs' campaign week, and here are a couple of our staff proudly wearing their 'Proud of Pubs' badges. The badges are quite small - but we certainly got a few comments on why were they wearing them!
We should all be proud of our pubs - thay are a dying part of our heritage in some cases throughout the country. Communities rely on them for a social network, cities need them for business's and we as individuals need them for the chance to meet with friends, play bar games, drink great ales and generally relax and enjoy life away from the stress and strain of everyday life!

Tim and I are very proud of the Victoria Inn - we're proud of what we've achieved so far in the nine months we've been here. We're incredibly proud of all of our staff who have worked with us to achieve our vision. We're proud of the great St Austell beers and wines we serve, and we're exceptionally proud of the great food we serve! Most of all, we're really pleased and proud of having increased our sales quite substantially in these very challenging economic times!! Go on - be proud of YOUR pub!!

Saturday, 11 July 2009

What weather.........ugh!

Its late Saturday night almost early Sunday morning and I'm sitting in the office typing this as the rain is absolutely belting down outside...... to look out of the window you'd think it was winter! It has to be something to do with us having purchased a huge BBQ grill for the garden!!

Seriously - it's been the most awful day here in Salcombe - but my goodness the pub has been absolutely packed out! We were fully booked upstairs (private function - walkers!!) and downstairs by mid afternoon today - at tea time here there was not a spare space to be had.... incredible! Oh look, can I have a quick rant while we're on the subject of no spare spaces - we advertise free wi-fi access....... great! But where do we say 'oh and while you're at it - please feel free to plug your laptop into our electricity' and free access means you can just pitch up and not buy a drink - or if you do buy a drink it's a half of coke between 3....... arghhhhhhhh!!! Oh well, thank goodness that sort of customer is few and far between!

Oh yes, and then my second rant (go on, be gracious - let me rant!) was the letter to the Telegraph from a woman who wanted to talk about 'anti-social behaviour' in Salcombe at 2 in the morning when pubs have turned out - I couldn't let that go by could I??? Oh no - I fired off a letter to the Telegraph - and blimey, they printed it - AND, almost in it's entirety!! It was really bizaare and totally surreal to hear a customer reading it out in the pub this morning! I actually hid round the corner, I didn't want to hear what they said about me - now I wish I had!!!

Talking of anti-social behaviour - I was in Pompey at the weekend and me and my mate Tanya went out on the Saturday night - best frocks etc for a bit of a wander and a boogie......... oh my goodness, it was all a bit grim! I saw more tattoo's (on women!) in one night than I've seen in the whole time I've been in Salcombe - and I never knew that lycra could stretch as far as I saw it stretch in far too many cases to be pleasant!!! In one of the clubs we ended up in (for the total price of a tenner!) you got plastic glasses for a bottle of water (me!) and yet glass bottles of Bud etc for the drunken young men - bizaare!! In the end we were just giggling at the sheer awfullness of it all.

Last rant of this blog - it's sooooooo good to get it out of my system, much cheaper than therapy...... what is it with customers that they find it so difficult to say please and thank you - and one of my girls was raging tonight at a customer in the bar (not of course to their face) who kept saying'what' instead of pardon!! Then David, one of my bar staff was appalled at the state of the pub when a couple of large parties left this afternoon - he wants to be a publican himself so I'm making sure he knows not just the nice bits about the job but wharts and there's been a fair bit of ranting today - glad it's not just me!! lol...... But what I really love about this job, is that the really great customers far outnumber the ones who aren't so great - and today, (despite my rants) we have had some really nice people in - particularly the walkers upstairs as a private function tonight. Many came in late afternoon absolutely drowned.... bless 'em and I was really proud of Rea and Leah who looked after them tonight - my A Team at their best!! Another lovely family were in tonight and the dad had looked at our website and read my blog when he booked for tonight - their boys were so cute and incredibly polite!!

So there we have it - p'ing down with rain and we have the mother of all bbq's to put up in the garden, with a fence round it etc, etc.......... so SOH has got to pull his finger out and get this sorted as we start the bbq week after next! Menu's are ready to rock - I'll be putting them on the website shortly. New crockery ordered - most of it in the store. New whites for the boys as they'll be on public display (gawd help us!) and SOH down to cook bbq 2 nights a week. Please, please, please let us have a good summer......................

Thats about it I think - I'm hoping to get up early tomorrow to go to church, it's family service and there's always such a nice feel to that. I think work starts soon on the church to modernise it a little - a glass wall at the back of the church, and then meeting room / counselling room and kitchen etc to a newly created upstairs. Next Sunday I'm being confirmed with other by the Bishop of PLymouth and also a sort of top up baptism... as although I'm sure I've been christened, I've no living relative who can actually confirm that I have been!?! So, the Bishop will do a sort of top up , just in case! :)

I have been praying an awful lot lately - and you know what, I think He's listening! Now then God - about the summer................. X

Friday, 3 July 2009

Just a quickie...........

Just a quick post tonight as I've still a million and one things to do before I scoot off to Portsmouth for the weekend to see my lovely son Paul and my best mate Tanya - and the weather forecast for Pompey at the weekend is showers ....... marvelous! Anyway, I hope to cram in a bit of shopping at Gunwharf ( a half decent shopping centre ) as I have started Christmas shopping already - well it gets a bit pricey buying for all the staff as well........ so I always start at this time of year as there are often good bargains to be had - and even though it may be a bit of a bargain, I still like to get nice things!

I think T and I are off for a bit of a boogie tomorrow night in Pompey's finest dance halls (Being ironic!). Then I hope for a nice sunny day Sunday so I can relax in my son's garden and catch up on all the news with him and my lovely daughter in law Caroline, before returning home to make last minute preparations for the madness that is Salcombe in the summer. The very large BBQ grill has arrived and there are all sorts of things to do to ensure that it / we are ready to rock for Monday 20th - I'll unveil more details when I post next blog.

This week saw Rod Stewart in Salcombe - and I missed him by minutes..... he didn't come in our pub sadly, and as I didn't have my specs on I couldn't see him on the ferry boat either - but at least we walked the same street............. sad what not aren't I!!!!!! Anyway, I've asked our great street cleaner Chad to tip me off next time! Apparently, loads of 'celebs' come to Salcombe in the summer so I'll have to be a bit more on the ball......

Thats about it for now - short and sweet really, but all is well with us, business is still really good and the garden is looking more beautiful by the day.

Enjoy the sunny weather................ x