I guess the best thing that I can do is introduce myself for my first post. Fundamentally, I am a 41 year old man, who has lived a life that is potentially going to fall very much into the “ordinary” category. I enjoy the use of words, and write a little under the same guise on instagram also. The rest of who I am, and what I am about, will hopefully unfold, as I use this as a platform to share and express my thoughts, my stories, my quirks, my affinity with Orion, and my history. Please do not expect anything wonderful or mind-blowing. This will be nothing short of “run of the mill” gabble, and maybe a little reflection, poignancy and a smile or two, here and there. I’ve no real idea at this point the direction this will take me, however, for now, I am going to use this as mid life diary entry. Todays date, 3rd Dec 2016, is the perfect beginning for this. Life began again today for me, you’ll learn as to the reasons behind that statement, as my events get typed up, in no chronological order. Let’s see where this takes us, as I dip my toe for the first time into the world of the Blog. Welcome all.
I wrote this as part of a job interview would you believe (way back in 1994), and the story to this is one I think may make you smile. I was in Cleethorpes (UK) at the time, in a pub called The Dolphin. One side of the pub had been cordoned off and what looked like a private party was getting underway. I noticed that each person entering the area was offered some raffle tickets, and being of curious nature, I asked the barman what the party was in aid of (yes I was intending on gate crashing).
He informed that it wasn’t a party, but an old bar (the Vic) currently under refurbishment, was to re-open as an Irish theme pub called O’Neil’s, and that job interviews were taking place this evening in the cordoned off area. Well I’d had a few already, and although I had a day job, I quite fancied the idea of being a bartender by night.
Part of me wanted to occupy my time on an evening so as not to spend all my wages on booze (and believe it or not I thought working in a pub would be the most sensible solution, Doh!) and part of me thought what a great way to socialize and meet new people whilst being sober enough to engage in conversation.
Anyway, I approached the woman handing out the raffle tickets, and announced I had arrived for the interviews. There had been some sort of clerical error (???) and my name was not on the list (ha ha), but she welcomed me in, scribbled my name down, and handed me my three free drink tokens (raffle tickets.). Result. Now having never worked in a pub before, and being surrounded by experienced bar staff, I had to rely on my wit, charm, and natural charisma to get me through. So 2 whiskeys and a pint, (raffle tickets gone) topped me upped to a level of pissed I like to call, confident.
The interview, it transpired, was more of an audition, silly games like trying to hold 8 pint glasses full of water on a beer tray whilst racing an opponent round a circuit of chairs and tables, with minimal spillage. After couple of hours of such games, and having a good laugh with the others once the ice was broken (also a few sober drivers that night let me have use of their raffle tickets) the evening concluded with design an advertising campaign for O’neils. Their brewery sponsored drinks were Guinness and Caffreys Ale, and we split up into 4 groups. As the rest of my group sat and drew up a huge poster, I sat with pen and paper and put together a witty little verse. When the time came to display our campaigns, my group stood to talk them through the poster, and then I stood beside them (they thought I had been too pissed to join in their hard work, so my next move was a bit of a shock to them) and I read aloud my verse. Subsequently we all got offered jobs, and thus started my career in the pub trade.
Incidentally the only thing I changed in this poem is the beginning which read, a pint of finest Caffreys sir, perhaps a glass of wine, a Guinness neatly topped right up, no thank you I’ll decline.
To top it all off, on the day before the pub opened, a sign writer was busy with his paintbrush on the main wall near the bar, and as I watched, I realized it was this very poem that he was writing upon the wall 8 feet high, the proprietors had organized without my knowing, and for quite some years, that was my proudest moment.
A BARTENDERS PHILOSOPHY.
A PINT OF FINEST LAGER SIR
PERHAPS A GLASS OF WINE?
A VODKA, NEATLY TOPPED WITH COKE?
NO THANKYOU, I’LL DECLINE.
FOR ALCOHOL’S NOT NEEDED NOW,
I’VE BEEN PREVIOUSLY MISLED.
A GOOD NIGHT OUT DOES NOT MEAN,
GET OUT OF YOUR HEAD.
A GOOD TIME CAN BE HAD BY ALL,
WITHOUT KNOCKING BACK A JAR,
WELL, MAYBE JUST THE ONE,
NO NEED TO GO TOO FAR.
ENJOY THE PARTY ATMOSPHERE,
AND REMEMBER WHERE YOU’VE BEEN.
MAKE FRIENDS AND INTRODUCE YOURSELF,
REMEMBER WHO YOU’VE SEEN.
NO REQUEST FOR PARACETAMOL,
ALKA-SELTZA OR ANDREWS.
IF YOU STICK TO THE SIMPLE RULE,
TAKE IT EASY ON THE BOOZE.
BUT IF YOUR LIFE GETS BORING,
YOUR HANGOVER’S GREATLY MISSED.
THEN MAYBE YOU SHOULD SOD IT ALL,
AND GO OUT AND GET PISSED.