Friday, 30 December 2011

Happy New Year

Well almost...............not quite there yet though are we -  one more day to go!! I've never been a festive season sort of gal - but being with SOH this last few years has altered all that, as much for being in the business and HAVING to like this time as it is to be in love with someone so very, very gorgeous and who makes every day of our lives together so special!

Nowadays, I tend to look back at the previous year with a great deal more contentment in my heart and an awful lot of pride again this year at what we have achieved together and with the assistance of our fantastic team of colleagues who help us each and every day to make the Victoria Inn the fabulous pub that it is. Every single one of them - front of house, kitchen, cleaners and holiday staff - they all work to help us achieve our aim of running a busy, vibrant, successful and fantastic pub.  Both Tim & I know how lucky we are to have these people supporting us, and I hope that in return they continue to enjoy working with us.

We've spent a lot of money on training this year, but we are both committed to having a highly skilled team and we believe it has paid dividends and we are hopeful of continuing this in 2012. The garden has grown and thrived with even more planting and additional work done at the top of the garden to give even more pleasure to our visitors.

We personally enjoyed the success of being St Austell's 'Tenanted Wine House of the Year' for 2010 (awarded at the start of 2011) and the amazing visit to Champagne as our prize in September.  Despite being in the middle of the most awful recession we have continued to see our hard work pay off with a steady trade, many repeat customers and lots and lots of new ones as well!

I continue to slave away at the social media side, facebooking, twittering and blogging..... It all takes time but I think it's worth it. It doesn't come without it's pitfalls though and I have just had to put up with the fact that if you put yourself 'out there', you have to accept the 'brick bats' as well as the praise. I know I sometimes get tetchy about Trip Advisor but unjustified criticism will always wound me, whereas a true complaint (and we are no more perfect than any one else) will spur me on to make sure it doesn't happen again or that we try to make amends there and then. In the summer particularly when you are sending out in excess of 300 meals some days - try as we might we will just never please everyone all the time.

I've had a few issues about my blog at times - 99.5% love it and I get loads and loads of messages of support and soooooo many customers say that it helps them keep in touch with their beloved Salcombe - especially now I've branched out a little with more photo's and some of MY favourite places in Salcombe. I'll try and perfect my photographic skills in 2012 and take and publish even more pictures of this beautiful area.

What else about 2011 has been memorable for me???????? Well we sold Captain Morgans, we had a whole weeks holiday together, I went to Greece on my own (and probably wouldn't go again), I continued to cultivate friendships with some very special ladies here in Salcombe and worked to keep the threads of friendship with dear friends far away. My Church and it's people keeps growing in my heart and soul, my driving continues to take me to places previously unvisited and the freedom I now have continues to astound me - particularly being able to pop to Portsmouth to see my son Paul and his wife Caroline - who I continue to miss badly. Lastly, we have of course bought our very first house together (me a born and bred council tenant - who'd have thought it!!) and we are both very excited at the prospect of another chapter of our life together starting.  Unbelieveably I thought I was going to have my first ever nervous breakdown this year when life seemed to get completely on top of me, but I didn't, with the help and love of those around me and a little time to myself I came through and I'm all the stronger for it. In fact I was talking to a young Salcombe man last week and he said some very, very wise words: He said that every one who comes to Salcombe goes through three phases - firstly, they LOVE it! Then they don't love it and then they fall back in love with it....... and thats where I am right now....... falling in love with it all over again!

So to all of you who read my meanderings on a regular basis or as one person wrote to me the other day - they were 'blog walking' (!!)  and stumbled upon my blog and loved it. May I wish you all a very peaceful, prosperous and a very, VERY happy 2012.

I hope you will continue to enjoy reading this blog as much as I enjoy writing it Xxx

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