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Monday, January 28, 2008

What Blog?

I am reliably informed that I have been (or at least, up until August 2007) writing a blog. Now someone please show me where it says that you must post on a less than six monthly basis? So anyway, I thought I would bring you up to date with events that have transpired since my last missive.

August hit me like a runaway train. We were busy every day from opening to closing and it was hard going. The biggest plus was Lucy our 'Girl Friday', she provided support and encouragement as well as making certain that Helen and I had opportunities for some time out with the children. One of the biggest difficulties I have found is giving the children quality time - so thank you lucy for your kindness. During August we were visited by my old mate Russ, who some of you now know. He's a diamond geezer. He enjoyed helping behind the bar and when we really found ourselves in deep doo doo after our chef went off sick Russ and his wife Jane came to our assistance and offered their support and encouagement. This was backed up by the one hundred percent commitment given to us by Ian, Becky, Anne, Alice and Holly our superb kitchen and waiting staff. I must also mention Sarah who is barmaid of the year here at the Provi'.

September proved to be a bonus. We had an Indian Summer of sorts and whilst not making up the lost revenue of July, it went some way to providing a little income out of season. School started again and I found myself struggling to make time to get all of my jobs done in time to open the pub each day. With the nights drawing in and a gradual change in the weather we had to start bringing Sailor, our horse, in each night. The downside of this is the need to muck out his stable daily. This takes at least an hour a day out of my normal routine. Obviously I also have to factor in the time necessary to enjoy a coffee and a chat with David and Katie who own the house where Sailor is stabled.

October - November - December!!!

Trade dropped off dramatically, but more so because of the weather. However, there were some bright moments. We hosted the East Prawle Cricket Club annual dinner. I was very nervous about the whole thing. You really want to provide a first class experience to people and more so because they are your local customers, but to actually shut the pub for a saturday night in order to serve food and drink to the village cricket team is a gamble. There were certain people who thought it was wrong to host a private function in the pub. We had to weigh this up against the potential gain from providing a quality evening's entertainment to a captive audience. I hope we made the right choice?

On the first of Decemeber we celebrated our first year in the pub. We had the Peter Edwards Splinter Group playing live music and I found myself in drag again. I'm not sure why I did this, but people seemed mildly amused and worryingly I receieved a few proposals that night!

The band played old favourites plus a selection of recently written material. There is a video on MySpace these guys are great and wil be back during 2008.

As we neared Christmas I desperately hoped for an increase in business, but alas this was not to be. Things stayed quiet right up to Christmas Eve. On Christmas Day Helen and I tried hard to make the pub warm and welcoming. We roasted chestnuts on the fire and with help from Anne Blyth, Sarah trinick and David Hampden-Smith I joined in with some hand bell ringing. We had only managed a short period of practice prior to this performance, but I think we got away with it. There was a marvellous atmosphere that day and I hope we can recreate it throughout the year. After everyone left I cooked a goose for our Christmas Dinner with the invaluable help of my eldest son Sam and Helen. Helen's Mum and Dad were here as well and we all stuffed ourselves silly that evening before I collapsed in heap on the sofa.

So here we are in January a new year and a challenge to make the pub busier. Helen and I are desperate to make the pub work, but it is a business and it is about results. We hope for the best.

I will be posting again shortly with the tale of a recent rugby trip where certain members of our little community became legend. I am now familiar with the "BEST DAMN PUB IN PLYMOUTH".

Stay tuned....


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