Friday, 26 February 2010

Doug, Pete and Carlton - Nearly There..........

And so in 1 day at the Victoria Inn, Salcombe I had; Doug the Rug, Glue Gun Pete and Carlton the Contractor all working in the same place - and we're nearly there!! Oh and lets not forget the lovely Neil and Mike............ no nicknames for them though just yet!!

I don't mind telling you I am going to be blooming glad when this whole re-furb is finished! I'm a really tidy and methodical sort of person and working in this chaos is getting me down now :(

It seems to be have been going on for ever.... and it has seemed to reach the point where there is one hiccup after the other right now. After the furniture debacle, 'Doug the Rug' came with 'Glue Gun Pete' to lay the carpet - very nice carpet I might add!

But unsurprisingly (I'm at the stage of being surprised by nothing now!!) on lifting the carpet in the upstairs restaurant some of the floor boards were found to be more than a little 'iffy' - not dangerous, just not as sound as they should be... so there came yet another added cost of getting the lovely Carlton to get boarding in - which means the job now has to stretch into next week.
On top of that my lovely painter Luke 'touched up' a few spots and we all found to our horror that the new batch of paint was very slightly different to the first and second lot! This means he has to re-paint the whole restaurant!! Anything else...???? No, actually I don't think there is - oh yes! One of the new windows has been slightly under measured and as my dear old Mum would have said 'A blind man would like to see it'!! So that blind is up but is going to be replaced soon - nothing major - but if it's going to be right, then it's going to be right.
The 2 en-suite bedrooms over the cellar are coming on a treat - or so I'm told, but I'm not even allowing myself to look at them just yet as I can only worry about so much!! The awning is due to be 'installed' the week after next - which pushes it right to the wire - but again, what good will it do if I start fretting now??
Wedding celebrations are gathering pace and as we almost enter March there's less than a month to go now - and actually, I'll be quite glad now when that's here as well..... 2nd dress fitting today and it was nipped and tucked and taken up, and I'm really happy with it.
But right now and uppermost in my mind is a tooth extraction and filling under sedation tomorrow morning - the howlingly painful abscess has receded thanks to the horse pills that my lovely dentist Kathryn gave me - but sadly she doesn't do this sedation dentistry, so it's off to a nice looking chap in Ivybridge tomorrow. Why am I having it done under sedation?? Because there's no way under Gods earth that I'd have it pulled out otherwise...... trust me, there's scared patients and there's me!! I wouldn't wish me on any poor dentist - so good luck tomorrow to Mr John Gittins and his team............. x
Oh yes, and good luck to me!!

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Oh go on lets smile..........

I think I need to write a blog with a bit of a smile to it - and I'll absolutely try not to whinge once if I can??!! So after the trauma of the furniture there was actually a little bit of a silver lining - a large write up 2nd page in the Salcombe Gazette.......with me in front of a great photo of the Victoria Inn - might have lost £3.5k but there's very little 'bad' publicity! I can't begin to tell you how many people have stopped me in the street, church, local shops and more importantly come into the pub to say how sorry they were to here of our bad news with the furniture firm going bust!! That picture and the write up would have cost a fortune as an advertisement - lol! I think I might set up a paper signing date......

Our very good friend Lisa ( who will be taking our wedding photo's sent me some copies of the very best 'pre-wedding' shots and I think they're lovely - here's a couple of them. I love the way that Lisa does business - she's really interested in making it the very best for you and your day - and although we're great mates, she was professional and went through the format of the day and what WE want and how we want it.... we've chosen very informal photo's, and as I absolutely HATE looking at cameras and smiling ( I never do it naturally...) I think there'll be very few of those!! Tim was p'ing himself laughing when he had to kiss my forehead and in another one he was pinching my bum - so I think the day itself will have a lot of laughter!!

Yesterday I went for my first fitting of the wedding dress - I was really nervous, as I was so scared that after all this time of waiting that I would have gone off it and not liked it - especially as I had to choose the colour from a square of material about 1 inch square!! But I absolutely loved it - I particularly loved the fact its got to be taken in 2 (yes folks TWO) dress sizes!!! So back for another fitting this Friday coming and then pick it up 2 weeks later.

The shop is La Bella Bridal ( in Exeter and I just can't recommend them highly enough - especially Theresa who has looked after me all the way through the process and had to put up with regular calls when I was terrified the dress wasn't going to turn up, and Barbara the dress maker who practically has to re-make the dress to have it fit me and do all the touches to it to make it special. Both of them absolute gems!!

Made quite a day of it actually with my friend Theresa (my Salcombe Best Friend) even though she did have just a tiny accident in a multi storey car park - bless 'er.............. and a great two and a half hour lunch in Cafe Rouge!! She bought an amazing hat from La Bella - and we drove out of Exeter 2 very happy ladies.

James our Head Chef has baked the wedding cake - blooming massive it is as well - SOH and I had a stir and made a wish - and ever since then he keeps 'feeding ' it - Brandy I think!! I got to lick the spoon and put my finger in the (empty) mixing bowl - just like when I was a child and Mum used to make cakes..... a great memory!

This week coming is set to be quite a busy week - there's lots to do for the wedding - a meeting with the gorgeous Derrick our organist at Church to discuss music etc - we're both looking forward to that very much, then I'll be proof reading the Orders of Service and checking those over before placing the order, going back for the 2nd dress fitting, and then lastly the dreaded tooth extraction on Saturday - but that's a while away yet!

The re-furb continues - with carpet being laid this week and the blinds being put up at the windows. I'll be so pleased to get this finished now - I'm just sick of the upheaval (that's not a whinge - but a statement!) but everyone that's seen it so far even in its half finished state has said it look fabulous!! Took a provisional enquiry for a wedding in 2011 today as well..... so that's the way to go!!

Business has been pretty fair this week - a little down on last year, but quite a few holiday makers went home on Thursday as the weather has been appalling for them - but, overall trade hasn't been to bad at all. I just love meeting all our old friends as they pop in and out over the year.... this weekend in particular it was a couple called Gordon and Rosemary - a charming couple who I always love to see come through the doors!

Then of course last weekend we managed a couple of days aways for our friend Jo's 30th birthday bash; Dunster Manor. This is a fabulous huge country house that is hired out too corporate and private parties. The most amazing place with huge grounds, a pool, horses, and a great time was had by all - we even managed to be able to take Rosie with us, and it made for a very pleasant break.
Rosie in particular enjoyed charging round the grounds with some new doggy friends - my goodness she can run fast......I think it did her good socialising with dogs over a long period, she's been just a little calmer since we came home!! In fact I'm seriously thinking of getting a second cockapoo too give her some company - SOH is not so sure......??
Two very good friends Mark and Ben in this picture, looking pretty refined I think - but then it was quite early in the evening in this piccie!! Maybe at about 3 or 4 in the morning neither looked quite so suave.... in fact one little girl was heard to say to her Mother the next morning 'Mummy, there's a man asleep on the settee' ....... I'll leave you to guess which one of them it was?? The other picture is another friend (and my ex dentist) Robin, his beautiful wife Lucy and his adorable little baby Henry!
So there you go - a nice cheerful chatty post, with pictures...............Take care all of you X

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

And life just gets better - NOT!!!!!

Well then where exactly do I start my dear readers......... which trauma would you like to hear about first!! How about the re-furb?? Oh go on - that's a cracking one to kick off with.....

OK - so you all know about our fab re-furb! The pub (downstairs) is looking fantastic - the rest of the pub until the last day or two has looked increasingly like a bomb site - BUT.... all is on target. All actually going fairly swimmingly until the 8th February when I had a couple of missed calls and a voice mail from a tel no I didn't recognise?? The voice message (when I eventually figured out how to retrieve this message from my new I phone!! ) was from a fairly distraught sales representative from the furniture company - H J Berry - who we had ordered a little over £7k's worth of furniture and which we were expecting to be delivered on the 19th February - (you know where this is going don't you...) telling us that the firm had / were going into administration and we wouldn't be getting our furniture!

Of course, not only are we not getting our furniture they also have our deposit of nearly £3.5k say I was nearly in hysterics when I put my phone down is not even close to it....all I could think of was the Christening for 50 plus on the 14th March and our wedding on the 20th... and no bloody furniture!! My SOH doesn't make it any easier when he takes his usual lovely laid back approach of saying it would all be OK - when clearly it F'ing well wouldn't!!!

Several days and phone calls later, e mails etc etc, we were no closer to getting resolution, my head was close to bursting point and I can truthfully say that I had no proper sleep for several nights. A quite lovely birthday weekend in Somerset with friends was spoilt by the worry of it all - more of that in the next post (with incriminating pics!!).

On our return Sunday, I was adamant that we had to get this sorted - so much Internet trawling located a firm in Exeter with a showroom to go and visit; Capricorn Imports - with a really lovely director by the name of Brian Pengelly who personally showed us his collection and guaranteed the order being fulfilled. I can not begin to tell you how I felt and the relief at knowing we were sorted..............Furniture being delivered 8th March and I have his word for it!!

Then just to top my life of perfectly - I have an abscess on my gum!! So bad that I have to have the tooth out under sedation - and little change from £500/£600...........I have that joy to look forward to next Saturday the 27th just 3 weeks before the 'big day' itself..... hopefully my face will look a lot less like a well fed hamster by then!

The one really good thing is that my wedding dress HAS arrived and I go for a fitting this Saturday........... hoorah!!

But that my dear friends is how my life is at the moment - one flipping trauma after the other.....and money flying out the door like confetti!!

Sunday, 7 February 2010

41 days and counting............

Okay - firstly, 41 days and counting to our wedding and still no wedding dress yet....... ok, I'm not panicking (yet) but I'd feel happier if I just knew it was sitting in the shop! Bless 'em, they must be sick of me at La Belle Bridal and I'm not quite at the stage of a once a day call, but it's getting close to it!! It is apparently in the next expected consignment...... might just give them a quick ring tomorrow (!). Apart from that we'll be getting a couple of orders of service next week from our great local printers 'Triangle Printers' to choose design and layout, and then we're virtually done!

Its been an odd sort of week this last week - SOH and I travelled to Abercraf in South Wales for his Auntie's funeral. It was a long journey there and back, and very tiring - but I'm so glad we went. There were only 7 mourners, one of them being her widowed Husband, and the service was held in the house. The Vicar (Allan) was just lovely, and we were asked if we would like to contribute memories of Doreen. I had never met this lady, but it was obvious from the house and the memento's around, that this was a lady with a talent and an eye for art and there was clearly a great love for her husband Gilbert - so it was this observation that was my contribution. The service was followed by a burial in the local cemetary (my first ever burial!!) but it was very moving - particularly as Allen sang unaccompanied at the graveside with words of loss to the song 'Danny Boy'.........

Afterwards I spoke to the undertaker about the fact it had been my first experience of a burial and that I hadn't found it too bad.....he said that 'No Bach-cremations were much better'...... I said well it didn't matter to me as I was going to experience neither (I have had a lifelong fear of death!!) and he said that when he was dead, that for them to check he really was dead that they would have to play the national anthem - and if he didn't stand to attention - then he WAS dead!! It almost seemed inappropriate to laugh at such a solemn occasion but I couldn't help laugh at this undertaker with a such strong welsh accent (he consistently called me Bach) and such a great manner........All in all, a very odd day and yet a funeral that left me with a lot to reflect on! For many reasons..........

On top of this we've had the building works continuing........ our once beautiful pub continues to look like a building site upstairs. Well out of sight of the customers I might add - but sure as hell not out of sight of Rosie!! Our Rosie has been in the cement, the paint and the dirt........ and has managed to bring most of it into our flat!!

I had a few tears on Tuesday as the dust, dirt and all the upheaval just got me down - alongside Biffa (refuse people) playing silly arses about collecting our rubbish - to the point that I ended up after about 7 phone calls speaking to a Manager who finally managed to sort the problems out for us, and consequently ensured that a man with a briefcase appeared in our pub within 3 hours to 'smooth things out'...!!

Looking at all the mess though, I got really anxious as to how it will all be ok for our wedding, but lovely Carl and Luke have assured me we will be ready and gorgeous!! The picture is of our upstairs restaurant which will hold our wedding buffet for 94 people......... can't visualise it right now - can you!?!?

The garden is looking good though - 'Kempy' and his Dad (local firm - Saltaire) have put in some steps in the garden with sleepers...... It's really opened up the garden and takes the eye right up the entire length! Jusr waiting for some rope to be sent through now whcih will give an additional feature to the steps. They also moved the BBQ and we now have a permanent site for that. Apart from that, the re-furbished pub downstairs has been ever so well recieved - absolutely everyone loves it, and I have to say we are chuffed to bits with it!!

On a completely different note, I have been part of a vocal group at my Church for a special Taize service tonight. We have been learning some beautiful music, and tonight should be very special - candlelight, meditation, prayers and music, what a great combination, and a good ending to a fairly 'challenging' week.