We’ve been on a very rare jaunt to the pub tonight to meet Iain and Becky, for the first time in ages. We’ve been busy – house and my work problems, they’ve been busy building a new house and so we’ve just not seen them for ages.
They’ve been filling us in on the exciting details of the house and its progression from a scrubby patch of neglected land into beautiful, eco-friendly family home. It sounds as though it’s coming on a treat. They are off to buy ‘stuff’ for it tomorrow.
We went to our favourite local – but the old landlord and landlady have moved on and to be honest, they made the place special. He was a superb cook and the food was just fantastic, while she was the perfect hostess, everything a good pub landlady should be.
The new folks have got a lot to learn I reckon. They did admit to never having run a pub before and it showed. The food looked unimaginative to say the least, the bar was empty and when I ordered a bottle of wine, I was told it was the last one in the building – subtext “you’d better not be thinking of drinking any more”!!! I have a suspicion we’re going to miss the old folks and more to the point, unless these folks get their act together soon, they’ll be gone in six months and we’ll all have to get used to new ones again.
So, here is a photo of something they do have – some local brew! Personally I reckon there is something special about a pub where they serve up ‘real beer’ and not your crappy Carling or Carlsberg….but then as you know, I’m a mega-brand hater.
Last night, at the gig, my sister’s friend was asking me about being a barmaid, which I’d mentioned being in my grimy past. Not that there is anything at all grimy about barmaids before anyone starts to get hot under the collar. I was a barmaid in two pubs, one of which was pretty OK on the whole, the other (The Headstone) was a lot less salubrious! I was quite pleased to discover it had been knocked down when I passed its location a couple of years ago – best thing for it if you ask me.
Jeremy (Jan’s friend) asked me if a punter had ever proposed to me when I was behind the bar and the answer was ‘of course’ – it goes with the territory. There are a few things that you have to learn to deal with as a barmaid, one of which is the lonely punter who sees you as his soul mate – these poor folks are the proposers. I’m pretty sure that every barmaid gets at least one proposer over a course of time. I think I had half a dozen or so in my time. They do it regularly and to be honest, some are less than choosy in as much as some have reputations for proposing to several of the female staff in a pub over a period of time. To be frank, that’s not overly flattering – you know “guess what John/Jim/Bill/Frank/ Steve/whatever has just proposed to me!” “Oh yes, he proposed to me three months ago and to Julie three months before that”….it’s not what you’d call romantic really.
Another ‘hazard’ of working behind a bar is the leerer – these are sub-divided into the cheery mean-no-harm ones and the nasty scary ones. I’ve had to have two or three of those banned from pubs in the past.
Mostly though, you meet loads of really nice people when you work in a pub. It’s the one way of meeting lots of local people, without the social pressures of going to clubs etc. On the whole, I loved working in pubs and I think I’d be more than happy to do it again, aside from the long hours. For me, it was a means to an end – I wanted my own place, couldn’t afford it so I worked at nights in the pub to supplement my income to afford a deposit. It was win:win although I know that for many it’s not such a pleasure. Oh and believe me - pulling a pint is not as easy as it looks!
Last year, I was at Rhodes 24 for our Big Night Out!