Goodness me, is it really so long ago I wrote the last blog post- apologies for my silence, there has been much going on, some of which I can now hardly remember, but which at the time seemed to be of the utmost importance and other adventures, escapades and challenges which remain at the forefront of my mind, no less because they have had more of an impact on me, the business and the team.
The hotel has been busy, we have been welcoming new team members, getting to know them, training them and generally ensuring we are right for them and they for us… having had our previous “flock” of super part timers with us for many years, we watched over them and nurtured them through exams, boy/girl troubles, university choices and university years, it has been a sad, unbalancing time to watch them leave, spread their wings and venture into the world in their new and exciting “proper” jobs and it has affected me more deeply than I was expecting and I have felt very subdued at their leaving, albeit they pop in and out often, keep us updated with their news and no doubt will continue to do so for many months to come… but I do feel like an empty nester and it has bought home the fact that our own much loved son will also be spreading his wings in just a few short years and he too will be leaving home and starting on his own path of university and career and I feel bereft at the thought, but I am trying to be brave.
Thus from all of the turmoil I have been feeling, I sought solace in the gorgeous New Forest, which is looking particularly spectacular at present with its Autumnal colour and I have delighted in the antics of the pigs and piglets during the Pannage season, but whilst out and about one day recently with our ever bouncy and boisterous Boxer dog, I “came a cropper” as they say. Our dog loves people but not other dogs and when we are out with her we always give fair warning of this fact and ensure she is on her lead and we hope that other owners follow suit and put their dogs on leads too… on this occasion the other owner didn’t, her dog bounded up to me, my dog was having none of it and feeling ultra protective of me lunged forward only for me to be in the midst of a dog scrum- if it had been caught on camera, I am sure it would have looked very funny, but I fell heavily amongst the flying fur, tangle of dog’s legs, paws and lead – the other dog owner was as helpful as a chocolate tea pot and merely left me lying in a heap with a hurried “sorry” flung over her shoulder as she beat a hasty retreat down the hill. Not thinking I had been particularly hurt I continued on my walk and nursed my ego and cuts and bruises.. however what I didn’t bargain for was the fact that such a fall literally knocked me for 6. I was in mild shock for a couple of days and in great pain that made it difficult to walk, move or get up and down from a chair… I felt like I had aged to ninety plus overnight, every bone hurt and there were bruises all over that just kept appearing and kept me awake at night. It made me realise how vulnerable and fragile we really are and how when an elder person takes a tumble it is no wonder it affects them so deeply and takes them a while to get over- it has taken me two weeks to recover my mojo and for the pain to ease enough for me to not be limping stiffly any longer… all for just what seemed a slight tumble.
I have now bounced back and feel ready to tackle the challenges that keep on presenting themselves, albeit it would be great if the staff could stay still for longer than a moment, the bookings could flow in without me having to constantly think up ways to tempt guests through the doors, the restaurant was full every day of the week for lunch and dinner and I was once more a size 10! However, whilst that may happen in a perfect world, I am old enough and wise enough to realise we don’t live in such a place and so we will continue to juggle too many balls in the air all at once, drop a few now and then and just pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and start all over again!
Happily I am delighted to sing the praises of two of our great team members… Ana Maria, one of our lovely Assistant managers, but many will have known her first as Laura’s assistant sommelier. We all love Ana as she is so calm, kind and loyal and we are delighted to say that she has won a most prestigious competition, the Sud de France Competition for wine and she will now go on to the International competition in early 2016 and our newly appointed Head Sommelier, Alwine has just been awarded a distinction for her Sake exams via the WSET so many congrats to them both… Girl Power!!
‘Till next time