July

Probably an insane thing to do right now, but we have somewhat vague plans for a Micropub.

Our interim thoughts are of a July opening; however there are obvious dependencies.

15 months

I wouldn’t have thought it possible to pack so much into 15 months. 15 months ago, that is.

My time in the Schooner has been incredible. So much stress in the early days, but so much fun too. The hours/days/weeks were long, but the experience was like nothing I’d known before. I don’t regret it for a second; I’ve learned so much.

A huge thanks to my former partners. We went into this as friends and came out the same. No, we’re more than friends after everything we’ve been through.

I’m now going to do some work on our long neglected house, while researching the next venture.

I could never have imagined that retirement could be so crazy.

The Schooner

Well, I’ve just two more days as a part owner of the Schooner.

I’d not planned on getting into the pub business; it wasn’t a spur of the moment thing, but it wasn’t too far away from that.

I don’t regret my time with the pub, even though the early days were tough. I’ve become part of the fabric of the place and I’ll give up my time to help whenever and if ever I’m needed. I want the pub to succeed and I’m sure it will.

I’ve learned so much in such a short time; from Paul (basically everything) and Phil (everything to do with ale) in terms of managing a pub, but from Stew and Steve in running the bar (and top level customer service). And the rest of the team (too many to mention); I’ll miss them all.

The pub had inherited the second best bar in Gateshead strapline, but it’s easily the best.

I might be leaving, but a piece of me will be in the Schooner forever. I’ve so many life changing memories.

It’s a fantastic pub, with a lovely bunch of people. I shall be a loyal customer when COVID-19 regulations allow such things.

Meanwhile, I’ve work to do in the house and a new venture to plan.

So many memories, but here’s a handful.

It’s been a blast

I’ve been in the pub business for 14 months and it’s been tough. And fun.

After a lot of agonising, I’ve decide to sell my shares in the Schooner. I’ve learned so much in this short time, more than I could have imagined just a year ago.

I’m proud to have contributed to turning around a failing pub, making it a viable business.

While I’ll leave mid-January, I’ll be helping out informally until the end of the financial year.

After which I’ll take some well earned time off, do some work on the house, then explore my next project.

Which may be a pub of sorts.

Free school meals

I’ve been through something of an emotional rollercoaster lately. Our little pub has committed to over 600 free (school) meals next week.

I’m so proud that we’re doing this, but so ashamed that we need to.

Fright

I need to give some context for this post. There’ve been a couple of strange happenings in the pub; separate incidents where unattended glasses have abruptly left tables. I’ll not go into detail here, but even as a non-believer, I found this unsettling.

Then yesterday morning, after a shower and slightly blind without glasses, I opened the bathroom door to be faced with (in the darkness of the landing) a bright light coming towards me.

The light was moving erratically, side to side, in circles, up and down. I’d never seen anything like it and instinctively took a couple of steps back.

And then I heard a snorting noise; the kind of noise an excited dog makes when they have a new toy in their mouth.

In this case, a dog with a torch.

I’ve no idea where she found it, or how she managed to turn it on. The switch is recessed at the end, so she must have been chewing the new discovery to hit the switch.

Whitby

On our fourth attempt this year, we managed to get away in the van for a couple of days. The van didn’t even break down.

We didn’t want to risk too long a distance after the van’s recent major surgery, so decided on Whitby.

We stayed there last year, but that was pre-van. Since we now have a hound, the bikes remained at home, although we took the same route along the cinder path.

To be honest, it was good to get away with the dog; she probably spends too much of her life in a pub, so the break will have been good for her.

We also took her to Whitby Brewery.

Since it was just down the road and, now important to us, is dog friendly, we drove to Robin Hood’s Bay. Where we found a pretty cool Transporter.

The hound was keen to demonstrate her hole digging prowess.

Today, before heading home, we stopped off at Scarborough.

And now we’re home. Work tomorrow. but, since the weather’s nice, there’s time for a beer in the garden.