Friday, 16 March 2012

I am re-generated!!

So following all the excitement of the move to our house and then the arrival of gorgeous Grandchild - it's very much down to business again - and boy, I am sooooooooo ready for it!! 

I think having distractions for a couple of weeks and having a bit if time to myself has allowed me some thinking space.  We also employed a management consultant (who also happens to be a great friend) to come and view our business with a fresh pair of eyes. Her names Ali Carter and she used to be a Licensee, but not just any old licensee but one who had vision and won armfuls of awards. She now has her own consultancy business and she agreed to visit and give us her thoughts and advice on taking our business forward and keeping ahead of the game - so to speak.  Whilst she may not have told us anything that we weren't thinking she certainly gave us some food for thought about different ways of approaching our business and implimenting some of our ideas!

So firstly, we have timetabled a couple of visits to a few pubs which are like us but have designed new ways of working to maximise their turnover and have also won awards. You can learn so much from other high performing business's, reading the business magazines, doing my internet research etc etc.  

Already I'm finding that having a HOME and BUSINESS, I'm approaching things differently....... I'm getting made up and dressed for WORK, and then when I'm home I'm relaxing and chilling - yet feeling even more focussed than before! Excellent!!!

Yesterday we had our visit from the BII Licensee of the Year judges, and crikey, that was an interesting experience - but as a team I think SOH and I approached the challenge well and performed as we should have done. Our fantastic staff cleaned each and everything that could be cleaned!! So now we have to wait till early April to see if we get through to the final half dozen or so - till then, I'm going to try to put it out of my mind until we hear!

At the Victoria you can see that business is starting to pick up, and at the moment we have a great Hungarian wine offer paired with a gabulous Goulash (and a veg goulash alternative) and for Mothers Day we're giving the 'Mum' of the party a free glass of wine if a Sunday Roast or a Main Menu item is purchased in the lunch hour, so don't miss out ring us on 01548 842604 and book your table for Mothers Day!!

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Welcome to our world James

A very proud Daddy
 I have been careful in this blog that while I'm happy to talk about our business, ourselves (me especially!) and our lives, I've never really talked in much detail about my son Paul and his wife.  Firstly, there's never been any need, secondly he's quite a private young man, and isn't keen on the world knowing his business - and I have always respected that, and lastly it's just never been that relevant. But this is relevant to me and the authenticity of my blog writing and so this is the one and only time I'm going to talk about them and the most amazing thing that happened to our family this weekend........

We became Grandparents to the most beautiful baby boy: James John. The pregnancy has been a subject that Paul asked me not to talk about in this blog, but James's safe arrival prompted a change of heart by him - hence his blessing to this blog post. James had a bit of a struggle into this world, and I'm sure it's not an experience my darling daughter in law will be wanting to repeat for a long while! I have many times reported on the medical care I've received both good and bad, but the care with which they were all looked after was phenomenally good............

Nothing on earth could have prepared me for the experience of waiting for him to be born - the waiting was awful and this is where the miles apart really played it's part! But when Paul finally called me to say that they had their much wanted Boy - I am not ashamed to say that I wept buckets.

Granny Liz, Daddy and James
Less than 24 hours and I was winging my way down to see them all, and I can only say that the surge of love I felt for James when I saw him was utterly comparable to the feelings I had when my children were placed into my arms............ I cried a few more tears as I was allowed to pick him up and whisper in his ear and kiss his gorgeous face. Perfect in every way doesn't really describe him - and I have to say that I instantly felt a very special bond to this tiny baby (well actually - a fairly bonny baby!!).

His safe arrival has unleashed an awful lot of feelings - whats really important, a true realisation of the circle of life, the fragility of that life and an understanding of my place in my Grandson's life and his growing up. To see this little family and their happiness in the first early hours was the most incredible privilege.  I am going to be Granny Liz - the very slightly dotty, loud and over the top Granny! The one who tells him stories about family he'll never know, the one who has a pub, two dogs he'll be able to play with and who lives by the sea! I hope he grows up to love me as much as I already love him!

I shall whizz up and down to see them and play the best part that I can, as often as I can given mt business and the miles between us! So the next time I write I've been to visit my family, you'll know what I'll have been doing!!!

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Home Sweet Home

A very, very quick blog today..... so much happening I just do not have time to sit in front of this PC and witter on like I normally do........... Just to say that we're in our home at long last! The removals on Monday went very well, the weather was exceedingly kind and best of all nothing got broken. A few fraught moments with all the unpacking and not being able to find things - but hey, I'm sure we'll look back and smile very soon..... won't we!? Tim is already starting to discover my cooking leavers a lot to be desired - Garlic Bread I attempted was far to Garlicky (4 cloves actually) and I have warned him that mealtimes will be a bit of a mystery....... as in what is it and is it eatable???  Do you remember the series 'Butterflies'?? Well substitute Wendy whatsername for me!

The dogs have been so funny about the move - Archie has taken to sitting on the stairs keeping guard and looking through the banister out onto the road and then grumbling at everyone who walks past.  Rosie is just following me around everywhere with her sad Princess Diana eyes - especially as neither are allowed up on the new furniture! But it is all rather odd at the moment as we 'go to work', but the coming few weeks will see us settle down like new parents into routines. 

We have a couple of judges coming this week to interview us about the Licensee of the Year award, so there is a full schedule of cleaning, sorting and tidying at the Victoria Inn and we are half looking forward to it and half terrified - depends on the day which bit gets the upper hand............

So, on that note - I have to go! X