Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Wedding reception - Part Two

So the deed was done and it was off round Salcombe for a ride in the very expensive car that Tim arranged for me / us for the wedding - sadly the weather made the glorious views almost unseeable but we had fun! Our guests were ready and waiting for us at the Victoria Inn - they had been offered the most delicious canapes and glasses of Pimms - someone had very kindly kept some back for us so at least we had a little bite.

There were of course the obligatory speeches with much polite laughter - lets face it, wedding speeches are only really hugely funny to those most closely involved......... but we all did our bit (Yes, we!! You don't think I'd not speak at my own wedding do you!?!?)

But really and truly the highest praise of the day has to go to our staff and especially our Executive Chef James Chapman - he is the person responsible for the wedding cake that you can see in the picture. He put absolutely hours of work into the cake - the actual making of it (SOH and I got to stir it and make a wish - and I got to lick the spoon!!) then the marzipaning and icing of it - and as for the flowers..... well he made every single one of them!

As for the buffet itself - I really don't know where to begin - to say James did us proud is almost a bit of an understatement.......... he did so much better than that, and he was the proud recipient of much fulsome (and rightly so) praise from our guests!

The bar / waiting staff were excellent - just as I knew they would be! Glo had them marshaled and ready better than any military operation ever could be - and it paid off handsomely. They were attentive to our guests, generous with Tattinger Champagne (thank you SOH x) and various wines...... even today in town I was being thanked for our hospitality.

The afternoon fair flew by, until it seemed like very suddenly the upstairs restaurant was being made ready for the Pete Harris Blues Band that we had down from Winchester and the smell of the hog roast from Piglet Cottage in Exeter was wafting through on the breeze. The weather cleared a little so we were able to have a few photos done outside with the estuary in the background - but it was certainly not the warmest day of the year!!

With a first dance for Tim and I to kick start the evening the party began....... and my goodness did we party on down.........lots more friends turned up, and the party moved up a few gears pretty quickly!!

Despite asking for no gifts we had some great presents - none better than the 'Essex' gift from Carol and Jenny and respective husbands - great friends of ours who started out as customers......the gift was a handmade basket of goodies which included 2 'I Love Billericay' mugs, a bottle of East Anglian wine (!) and a 'Gavin & Stacey DVD - for my American readers there is huge irony in those gifts.......
We also have enough Champagne in my kitchen to keep me happy for a very long time!! Some beautiful pictures - my own son Paul gave us a fabulous print which looks just like us walking Rosie on the beach, and a beautiful tapestry from another very good friend.

About midnight I was dead on my feet and we were ready to leave the party and retire upstairs - which we did to thunderous applause and much cat-calling and whistles........... at our age - really!!!

Anyway - there was no immediate retirement as some bright, loving individuals (!) had decided to 'Apple Pie' our bed with about a pound of gold sprinkles, feathers etc etc etc......... so instead of snuggling up and reminiscing on the day we were hoovering and black sacking!!! We did see the funny side - eventually - over a last glass of Champagne!!
My next and last blog post about the wedding will be about our absolutely superb honeymoon in Normandy.............. in the meantime real life is biting, the Easter crowds have started to arrive and we are handsomely busy!!

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Wedding - Part 1

Well what can I say and where do I start other than hello from Mrs Elizabeth Hore........and to let you know that I have sooooooooooo much to say about the events of the last week I'm going to split it down into sections - and with lots of photo's!! The first section is about the day itself. The first photo you can see here is from our very dear friend Lisa Beaney - http://www.lisabeaneyphotography.co.uk/ I just know that we're going to love all of her photo's and we'll have one heck of a job choosing 'favourites' for an album - but I can hardly wait to see them........

Anyway, to the day itself...... I hardly know where to begin really?? It was certainly a day full of excitement, joy and happiness.... my very best friend Tanya helped keep me calm - bacon and eggs at Captain Morgans helped(!) and the dress fitted perfectly!! I was the recipient of huge compliments, my hair (big thanks to Leah at Floc in Kingsbridge) also looked fantastic but I was very pleased to get the three dozen odd pins out of my head at midnight!!
The weather was rotten - with driving rain at some points, but it really didn't matter to the day. Mr Smith - Smee to his friends - DID turn up with a tractor (a long running joke with everyone in on it bar me!!) giving me a little bit of a shock as I wondered momentarily if that really was my transport - but luckily SOH had arranged a proper car - an Austin Chalfont 1934 with chauffeur etc......... Mark, resplendent in his kilt 'gave' me away and held my shaking hand as I waited to get to the church. Loads and loads of people waved as drove past in the car, and I was really humbled to think they had stood in driving rain just to wish me well.

When I got to the Church, all I wanted to do was get out of the car safely (it was very wet and slippery on the cobbles outside of the Church, and my trembly legs weren't helping matters) get in the dry and look my best for SOH. I could see all our friends and then I could see him, SOH .......... with his glasses on his head! Bossy to the end I sent a message ahead to get his glasses off - I saw Tim laugh and quickly remove them!! With that laugh - I was absolutely ok!! Tanya helped get my dress arranged properly (she's the blonde in the hat in the photo's at the bottom of this blog) all nerves went, the entrance music 'Pie Jesu' resounded around the Church, Mark and I waited about 30 seconds and we were off - processing (as slowly as we could!).

I honestly felt like a complete and utter Princess as I walked down the aisle smiling (a smile that never left my face for the next 10 hours!!) and then I saw Tim properly - so very handsome in his suit and after that - well, it's all a bit of a blur really....... I remember stumbling through the words of the first hymn as my voice was a bit croaky and I was thinking of saying our vows, Tim smiled at me loads and we kept muttering little things to each other, I turned round and smiled at my son and was rewarded with the smile that said - 'love you Mum'.

I almost cried twice - once as Tim's eyes never left mine as we exchanged vows and then again at the reading from Captain Corelli's Mandolin. The wedding ceremony itself was hugely special to us - and since then we've had lots of our guests say how much they enjoyed the service itself.

One of the best memories for me was sitting on our chairs as the reading were happening and looking at all these friends and family smiling at US, and twee as it may sound you could really feel the love in Holy Trinity that afternoon. All of the most important people in our lives were there, friends old and new, family, work and business colleagues and then also people from the congregation at church as well.

But it's the coming out of the church I hope I'll remember for ever - we literally danced out to Nat King Cole singing L.O.V.E - and that kickstarted the party good and proper for the rest of the day. The assembled audience were completely surprised and seemed to really enjoy this twist to the day (Tim's idea I have to say!!). Tim looked so happy and gave me 2 good 'twirls' in the aisle and before we knew it - we were done!!

In the next blog post I'll write about the rest of the day............. so keep looking, I'll try to write it in the next couple of days, in the meantime - enjoy some of the other photo's!

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

3 more sleeps..........

This is it then folks for a little while, the great day is nearly upon us and as all the children seem to measure big events in sleeps these days - we have only 3 more sleeps!!! Am I excited?? You bet - SOH has said today that I am 'like a 5 year old who's had 3 weeks worth of E no's in one go'............. :)

Actually he's right - the excitement woke me up early, I say woke me up - that's a bit of a loose statement really, it implies I slept..... I didn't actually. In fact I haven't slept properly since last week with far more than the wedding on my mind. We may have really exciting business developments ahead, and I hope that when I come back from honeymoon I'll be able to tell you all about it - oh, and get back to sleeping normally as well.
However, back to 'The Wedding' you know, this thing I've been writing about for ever (well it seems that way - probably does to you as well....). Tonight our lovely Chef, James is hard at work in the kitchen - after having done a full 12 hr day in his normal work, getting this monster of a cake iced! He has spent hours of his own time baking, marzipaning, and making incredible sugar roses and petals, and I can't wait to see the finished work of art tomorrow morning.
On top of that and as well as the buffet we planned together, he unveiled his menu of Canape's today - and I have to say he has excelled himself... hopefully, someone will keep us a couple to have when we come back from having our photo's taken after the service.
Beautiful cards have started to arrive full of warm wishes, and all the things that drove me to the edge of insanity (ok - just a little exaggeration!!) are slipping into place; - The furniture and decor in the upstairs restaurant looks fabulous, all the pictures from Simon Drew are up and being shown to their best advantage, the Carpet looks wonderful and I'm sure is going to wear well (a good start was made on it with a Christening and lots of children with sticky sweets and drinks last weekend!), the upstairs bar is stocked and looking splendid, and all in all I'm fairly ok with how things are going.
The awning in the back garden is ALMOST done, I'm promised a finish tomorrow - but even now, we can see it's going to be a great crowd pleaser....., Bayleaf our gardeners are coming on Friday to do a bit of planting and tidying. All my new friends here in Salcombe have offered in one way or another to help - so tomorrow at 3 see's Debs and Hazel helping get the upstairs restaurant laid up and gorgeous, Friday sees Debs, Theresa, Dena and Judith in 'doing' flowers (apparently 1,000 dafffodils!!!) and fairy lights and then that just leaves Glo and the staff to get downstairs ready on Saturday morning. The Tattinger is on ice, the fruit for jugs of Pimms is ordered, posh beauty toiletries have been bought for the loo's and hopefully all will be well in the Victoria on the morning of the 20th.
I went to my Church this morning to listen to the CD's for Saturday in all their glorious best on a new improved sound system and managed to sob all through the entrance music - tell you after the event what it is........ but I thought it best to get it out of my system now!!
So that's it then - my big day, the one I think I've dreamed about for ever is nearly here - and as my very dearest friend Tanya said to me today - 'who'd have thought it'............!!
I'm going to marry the man I turned my life upside down and inside out for, the man who makes me smile and wipes my tears. The man who's made my dreams a reality and loves me for who and what I am. The man who's seen me at my very best and at times, particularly when so ill - my very worst - and for all that he loves me.
Having my dear children in my life, particularly my now grown up son Paul is the greatest gift that life could ever have given me, and the biggest single privilege of my life has been in being a Mum. Saturday takes none of that away, and never will, but I do leave some of my past at the Church door at two o'clock and walk forward to my Husband to be: Timothy John Hore, forever to be known to you as SOH but to me, my most dearly beloved Tim.
I hope you wish me luck, love and happiness in this second special part of my journey of a life - I'll bore you all to death with the pics and stories after our short honeymoon in Normandy, in the meantime - Cheers
Liz x x x

Saturday, 13 March 2010

What a fantastic day!!

What a fantastic day - No, not the wedding - thats NEXT Saturday (for those of you that didn't know!?!) but today..... I've had a great day!!

My gospel choir - Honest Gospel - which I've just returned too after a break has had a workshop today with a hugely succesful Cornish Gospel Choir - the Callington Community Gospel Choir.
Well I have sung my heart out today and managed to get rid (temporarily) of all my nerves, cares and worries. There wasn't quite so many of them as in this picture, (it has about 60 people now apparently) but there were 6 singers, an amazing pianist and the most incredible gifted and energising conductor. The sound they created was just amazing and really lifted everyone there and I personally also found it really very spiritual.
In a really short space of time we learnt 4 songs, without anything on PAPER...... that was quite scarey to start with as most of us were used to having music and lyrics to read from, but it turned out to be easier than feared. I have a fairly deep singing voice so I stayed in my role of tenor and thoroughly enjoyed what I learnt. I took my lead from the two male tenors who were there - thats them in the front row, the chap with glasses and the one next to him - and I just had a ball.
I'd love you to check out their website and listen to the music they make: http://callingtoncommunitygospelchoir.art.officelive.com/default.aspx If Derek (our conductor) can turn Salcombe's own 'Honest Gospel' into something half as good as them, then I'll be proud to be part of it!!

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

A Pub Landlady's Life - Victor Meldrew style!

I've started this blog post off with the name of my blog just to remind myself why I started this blog really, and also just to get off my chest a few things that have really, really hacked me off this week and to reflect back on what a cushy life I had working for a Council!!
Now then - what has set me off on this reflection I hear you say...... you are saying that aren't you?? How about a few things..... firstly - the expensive new awning that St Austell have purchased for the back of our pub - you know, the posh one with sides, heaters and lighting? Well it came this week - along with six workmen to install it. Only they didn't! Well they did - partly.... only partly I hear you say - whys that?? How about the boxes that contained some of the parts - didn't!! They're still in transit somewhere between Germany and here......... aarrghhh, if it wasn't so bloody infuriating I'd be in bits weeping by now!! But 'we've chased it up - it'll all be here and done by next Wednesday'......... I tell you, I had a Boys from the Blackstuff moment when they were out there looking at empty boxes! Even funnier (ish) was the fax that came through from Germany regarding the missing parts IN GERMAN - surprise, surprise!!

Secondly - Scaffolding up at the building next door but on our land (means the huge bins are down by the back door and we've had to draw curtains in the restaurant so that diners don't have a view of Biffas finest whilst they're eating!) - 'sorry love - it's going to be a bit longer than we thought - but it'll be down by the end of the week'......

Thirdly - but by no means last (although I don't have the energy to chronicle ALL the weeks events that have pi***d me off) how about one of our supplier's who regularly gets a fortune from us for supplying paper napkins and cleaning materials etc, only to have this: 'No sorry, the depot manager says we can't split a pack of paper table cloths'..........it's 500 or nothing.......

Lastly - what about the supplier who wants us to pay £10 a food delivery because we live in the deepest wilds of Salcombe (well that was until SOH eventually told them to get stuffed - only much politer of course - we are talking about SOH not me!). They then decided that the charge could be dropped.............

Very lastly - what about the call from the Job Centre wanting to know how many dozens of people had applied for the jobs I've got advertised with them - 'mmnn - how about none'!! They'll try to make it a priority.......... hello - am I wrong, or do we have one of the worst recessions in years???

For God's sake and at the risk of sounding like a female Victor Meldrew what on earth is up with our country that it can't supply what has been ordered or if it does than there's something wrong with it..... where is the flexibility in business relationships particularly with business's like ours who put a lot of money into other business's pockets. Where are all the jobless people desperate for work??

Now that's where I've been looking back at being a Local Govt manager..... if I wanted something done - I'd phone, I'd say politely what I wanted doing, I'd give a timescale and it would be done - it really would! If I wanted staff, I advertised and we got lots of good candidates to choose from - in this business you're lucky if they even bother to turn up for the interview!

Here in my new(ish) life as a self employed person, I have no comfort blanket of a procurement dept or HR dept. I seem to spend half of my time either moaning down the phone because something hasn't been delivered, some of it has been missed off etc etc.................. BLIMEY - I feel so much better for getting that off my chest.

Onto good things.......... really, really good things!! The FURNITURE ARRIVED!!!! It actually arrived when Brian from Capricorn Imports said it would and bar a couple of fairly minor dents and scratches the upstairs dining room is at last taking shape. More pictures purchased from the lovely Simon Drew now adorn the walls and along with an eclectic mix of mirrors I can honestly say it's looking even better than we hoped it would.

Talking of Simon Drew, he has given us one of his signature pictures where you have to work out the saying etc for a wedding present, how lovely is that? SOH is especially chuffed as he's been a fan of his works for years.

Then of course moving on to the impending nuptials - the Order of Service was delivered to us last night - OMG it is lovely, we are both so very pleased with it! The wedding dress is collected tomorrow, a variety of beauty treatments start from Friday to ensure I look as good as possible (I know there are those of you thinking a year wouldn't be long enough- lol)and we've started to get wedding cards! I'm crying at fairly regular intervals at the moment - and bottom twitching nerves are kicking in!!

But of course I have managed to skip neatly over the obligatory 'hen night' and the wand, crown, sash and badge. Thanks girls, you did me proud - I woke up on Saturday thinking I'd successfully got through the event relatively unscathed.
WRONG!!! I was just suffering from alcohol induced amnesia......... as the day wore on and I felt worse I had several calls, texts and visits to fill in the gaps...... oops!! Let me see - it apparently ranged from thinking I was in ABBA and using the stairs at the 'Catch' restaurant (thanks Donna & Mischa for making it a great night) as my stage - flinging my leg over the banister ala burlesque style (ouch - I've seen the video - damned mobile phones!), attempting to get on a stationary scooter, dancing in the 'ships bar' at the Fortesque Arms and granting 'wishes' with my wand to anyone unfortunate enough to cross my path!!
Finally, staggering - BARE FOOT - home to my dearest soon to be Husband, declaring undying love and collapsing into the bed............ where even Rosie bounding in and on said bed didn't cause me to stir apparently!
Anyway - it was a fantastic night and friends old and new gave me a night to always remember - if I could remember it that is. So, 10 days and counting - I'll probably manage one last post before the 'BIG DAY', until then - hugs and kisses to everyone! X
P.S - Despite the rant - I still love being a PUB LANDLADY....................

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Paying out money to the Dentist, the Optician and ....................

Lets start with what I finished with last blog post - my teeth! The offending tooth is out and what an odd experience it was as well..................Everyone at the Highland surgery was so kind, and when I was eventually levered out of the loo's (where I'd been having a gentle sob!!) Mr Gittins the dentist who did the deed couldn't have been kinder. Josie his nurse was an absolute love as well and between them and the medication I really knew very little about the process and slept most of the rest of the day following it. For anyone who has to undergo something major or is just plain terrified - I would highly recommend having the work done under intravenous sedation. It's by no means cheap - but like everything in life - you get what you pay for.

In actual fact - I seem to have done an awful lot of paying out over the last few day for bodily necessities.....an eye test yesterday at For Your Eyes Only (http://www.devoneyes.co.uk)/ meant new distance glasses, new reading glasses and new prescription glasses.............. that little lot plus a spare pair of readers came to a couple of hundred quid - but it was a very thorough eye test, followed by a great chat with Charlotte the owner where she helped me find the right frames for my face. In actual fact for 4 pairs of specs, it wasn't that horrific - and of course the great thing with a smaller shop such as Charlotte's is you get great personal service... so again - you get what you pay for.

Today has also been a paying out day - but for far nicer reason. SOH and I went to visit the Dartmouth artist Simon Drew - he works in pen and ink with an emphasis on wildlife and everyday subjects, with a real whacky / quirky edge and as we found out today, he's a thoroughly lovely chap! We have purchased some fantastic prints to put in the newly re-furbished (well, almost!) upstairs restaurant.

The whole of Salcombe is geared towards the sea; pictures of the sea, old and new, Salcombe itself, boat / sailing artifacts etc, and I felt that we needed to do something different to stand out from the rest, hence, the purchase of about 15 assorted framed prints, oh and a beautiful mirror from a nearby antiques market! Oh yes, and a particularly gorgeous necklace to go with my wedding dress..... more of that in a moment.

Firstly - back to the re-furb.......... well, what more can I say really. The upstairs still looks like a building site, delays on getting the 'nosing' for laying new stair carpet and the fact that re-painting various bits meant that the carpet fitter - Doug the Rug - couldn't do the carpet laying this week as planned but has PROMISED it'll be finished for this weekend..........

Carlton the builder says they're in the process of finishing off plastering and tiling in the Hobbitt House for the en-suite bedrooms, but I'm almost too scared to look at that yet. My new friend Brian at Capricorn Imports assures me that the furniture will be delivered on Monday late morning, but its no good I'm not going to feel any easier until it's here and all looks good!!

The first patio still looks like a tip but the awning should be being installed on Monday or Tuesday and then we have 3 days to get everything ready for the Christening party here at the Victoria Inn on Mothers Day............. phew!!!

I had the second fitting of the wedding dress last week, and when someone with the experience that Barbara the dressmaker at the shop has (30 + years) then you know you're in good hands - except for when she pricked herself with one of the many pins she was using to nip, tuck and take up and promptly spot bled on the front of the wedding dress..... now, surprisingly, I took that all in my stride!! I know it'll come out and I pick the dress up next week..........

SOH and I have tried to get out with Rosie to the beach at least once a week, and if we haven't been able to, then her new 'Auntie Clare' comes and takes her out for us. This picture was taken round by Bigbury Sands on a day when it was bitterly cold and with a real biting wind. But it blew the cobwebs away and Rosie had a great run around on the beach.
Talking of Rosie, we have broken the first rule we made when we bought her - and that is forgotten she's a dog............. Truth is we were getting utterly fed up and also exhausted by Rosie whining and wailing at 5 / 6 in the morning, and then finding because she'd got so upset she'd pee'd in the kitchen. We did just about everything - fed her as early as possible, took her water up early on, took her for a late night walk (we're talking 12 / 1 o'clock!!) still she'd cry and pee. So where has she ended up??? Yep - you guessed it - on a little furry bed, with her favourite toy in our bedroom.............. and has it worked - YES!!!!!!!!! No more peeing, we get to sleep in till a sensible time of about 8.00a.m, and she is also a lot happier!!! Does she sometimes sneak onto our bed at about 6 for snuggles - yes..................... :-)
As for the business at the Victoria Inn itself - well actually we are doing quite nicely thank you! Sunday lunches are getting to be very popular every single week and this Sunday evening we were quite busy as well - in fact we did almost 100 covers - which for a crap February day (cold and windy) was a really good day! Last night we had a major local company bring all their area managers in to wine and dine - and boy....... did they wine and dine!! David one of our barstaff and myself were still trying to lever them out of the door gone midnight, but they were fulsome in their praise and everyone had a great night.
St Austell do great wines as well as beer and on the advice of Kathryn from the wine team we now do a New Zealand wine by the glass - a Sauvignon, and my goodness she was spot on - that just flies out of the door.
Talking of wine, I expect I'll have a small vatfull tomorrow night as it's my pre-wedding dinner and I have about 17 - 20 people coming to help me celebrate..... 7.00 at the Victoria and then 7.30 at Catch - a great little intimate restaurant in Salcombe run by two fabulous people - Micha and Donna. I'm not having my bash at the Victoria because I know I wouldn't be 'off duty' as such and also, I couldn't really be as relaxed (loud.......) as I no doubt will be tomorrow night! Plus, I rarely drink (well I rarely drink at all these days!!) in front of customers and I don't think it's right for me to be seen tiddly - not good for mine or the pubs reputation!
This wedding is turning out to be everything I've every dreamt of and tomorrow night is no exception. My very best friend Tanya is coming down, and my many new Salcombe friends are coming along as well.......... so if you've any sense - stay away from Salcombe tomorrow night - but if you listen hard enough....... I'm sure you'll hear us (me)!!!!