Worryingly I lost track of the date and time in a frenzy of relentless cleaning,trips to the tip and Fired Earth paint(Chef valiantly attempted to steer me towards the B & Q own brand but obviously failed).
The refurbishment has not been unproblematic,for example:
- Bubbling drains backing up under the floor of the gents and making an unsolicited entrance through the grate on the floor.Lately I seem to be dogged with toilet troubles,though the request that one of the tradesmen 'buff up my back passage ' did lighten the mood somewhat..
- A central heating system stuck permanently in the 'on' position resulting in a full tank of oil 1000 litres (don't ask how much)being burnt in a week
- an oven door held closed by a hard spile (who says men cant multi task?)
- Fridges running at a balmy English summertime 18 degrees.
- Freezers packed to the rafters with 'food waste'.This in particular made me very sad( and for all you grammar pedants I'm not talking about the offensive apostrophe usage).
As did a whole freezer dedicated to that doyen of English culinary hospitality: the venerable Yorkshire pud.
|Some conveniently individually cling filmed|
|Some free falling|
In the midst of the mayhem and the twice daily drive between pubs,something had to give namely the 45 minutes spent blow drying ones fairly long and very thick hair.An unplanned stop at the local hair salon and the request for something a bit shorter and less labour intensive resulted in a cut verging dangerously on the functional and tidy rather than the aesthetically pleasing.You know the sort of cut women of a certain age adopt when they've given up trying?
On seeing the new look Chef smirked and acerbically quipped 'you look like a history teacher'.I think that's a compliment..
On the plus side the hairdresser was delighted,as apparently people with hair like mine are the reason she was 'starting to develop weightlifters arms'.
Despite all this the new pub is slowly starting to take shape.
|Told you there was a potential cosy corner..|
We've inherited a 'Chef'(and I use this term folks in the loosest possible sense) whom I tasked to thoroughly clean the kitchen and dispose of all the foodstuffs therein.This Friday we managed to put on a very limited menu,just some light dishes and sandwiches.'Chef Manque'offered to knock up his secret recipe red onion marmalade to go with the pate.The other ingredient being Orange Cordial.This also made me very sad.
I've been watching him like a hawk,trying to prevent his hands coming into contact with any of the food items..his hygiene practices were imaginative to say the least.My eyes alighted on a couple of plastic nozzle topped bottles stored in the under counter fridge.You know the squeezey ones with which some Chef types like to squiggle on the plates(not my style at all).One containing Raspberry Vinaigrette,the other Mustard vinaigrette,both with snotty deposits around the bottle tops,similar to the stuff you find on a well used ketchup bottle.Ick.
'We wont be using these' I say tipping the contents down't sink.'Can you get them cleaned please'
Two minutes later I witnessed him with the nozzle in his gob,red cheeked and forcefully blowing the darn thing like a bugle.Which of course may well have been an appropriate accompaniment to the plethora of microwave pings which he had been accustomed to hearing.
'There must be a mustard seed caught in the end' says he.
If I hear one more time about his Sticky Choccy Mocha Cake with Butterscotch sauce and white chocolate sauce and a drizzle of raspberry coulis, I might well ram the offending creation right up his bleeping jacksy.Along with the 'smoked salmon on a bed of creamy mashed potato,topped with a cheesey mustard sauce'(its lush,flies out)..
He's also been late for every shift.
He had to go.Being Sunday and Chef catering for 100 plus diners at the Inn, it fell on my toes to impart the dirty deed.
Our accommodating veg supplier offered to call over to New Pub as back up just in case he kicked off.I love it when ones custom is so valued that suppliers go that extra mile..'all part of the service' he said.
I declined of course.
I lay in wait for him this morning, hoping he would be predictably late as usual.He was.
Telling a thirty five year old that you have no confidence in his ability or commitment to do the job to the required standard isn't an experience I enjoyed.He left without much fuss though.Phew.
Later I felt a whole lot better when on my hands and knees I pulled three pans out from under the sink with food waste growing in them.Gawd knows how long these had been there.
Enough penicillin to treat the population of the local hinterland and beyond.
The lazy bleeper had it coming,its people like him that give cheffing a bad name..
Presently I received a text message of support via the landline (no mobile network at the New Pub) from Chef. Imagine this if you will, read in the Masterchef voice over mode:
'Hurrah,hurrah the troll has gone'
Cheered me up no end..
Oh and one other thing. I've had an unexpected assistant who has diligently painted with new found fortitude following his unforeseen five day
'standing outside the assembly hall window,pulling faces at the Year 9 students participating in orchestra practice,whilst smoking what appeared to be a spliff'
I kid you not.