Mothers Day 2022

I’ve never been quite sure what a blog is going to be about, so I guess if in doubt speak about yourself. For those of you who don’t know, in addition to my life as a performer and spreading the M word through my alter ego Dolly Slatemen – I am also a real life pub landlady and as you can imagine like us all it’s been rather a rollercoaster few years. Bearing this in mind, Mothers Day for moi, is all about work and making sure other mums have the best day possible in our pub. So, one was all set for the weekend, menu was ready table plan was getting sorted and staff had confirmed attendance. Although, I do wish I could get a couple of blow up versions, no not those type. Just some to make us look more staffed than we actually are. Because yes, as with the rest of the hospitality industry in the UK it’s almost impossible to get any staff at the moment. Anyhow I was ready to go, we had our first afternoon tea planned with around thirty booked for Saturday and a fully booked Sunday for roasts (it was going to be a big one) Then the noise of the cough started you know the one… the one you feel more embarrassed to do than a fart. It was Friday morning and the other half kept letting this little cough out. Of course I ignored it, don’t even think I asked if he was alright. Why tempt fate? And by the evening he had put himself to bed, which is totally unheard of. I could hear covid raising its head up on to the parapet, bearing in mind we had to shut the pub at Christmas because we all got it! He tested, although he was all clear he was still too ill to work. Bollocks! was the word I kept repeating to myself on Saturday morning as I cleaned the pub and shot out to get last minute bits for the afternoon tea.

Fast forward the sun shined as if it was early May and all our Summer customers popped out like clusters of Camellia (If this had been Dolly writing, you just know this would’ve read Chlamydia) Totally caught of guard, new front of house staff did not know how the table number system worked. Poor Joanna was endlessly floating from one table to another because she wasn’t sure what table, was what. I went out armed with plated burgers and anti pasta boards lining my arms as I tried to negotiate with the small hill we have leading up to the seating area. I immediately hit a wall. Memories came crashing back from a daily 30,000 steps service whilst doing table service in the height off Covid last summer. As my body went into a spasm of retreat, I felt more like an imitation of Julie Walter in Two Soups.

Then son number two, whose 21st is looming reminded me I had agreed to bring him to the airport in the morning. Yes, on Mothers Day at 5am I had agreed to take him to Stansted. It was not until I was driving home from the airport it dawned on me it was actually 4am! Happy fucking Mothers Day. Got back, other half was still rough but did help me move the furniture in anticipation for the covers we had booked. Always looking for the positive side, I convinced myself the youngest had done me a favour as I would never have got everything done in that short space of time. Showered, hair washed, lippy and a spray Rive Gauche the first customers came in. A group of eight, that I had down as a GROUP OF FUKING 6. In my head I was sounding more like the Jim Trott from The Vicar of Dibley No, No, No. Still smiling, I put them on the table of 8 I had planned for a group in half an hour. Now if you’ve never done a table for a pub and you’re menopausal, just think of the worst possible anxiety attack whilst putting your head under water. The brain was doing somersaults and I was very glad I had taken my oestrogel on time. How I sorted it, I do not know, quick thinking the rest of the team and generally winging it I guess. If you’re in this business you know exactly what I’m talking about. At one point behind the bar I opened a bottle of champagne thinking it was Prosecco and served a glass. It made her day! My whole day I pinged around as if inside a pin ball machine and the jackpot was the highest mountain of washing up in the pot wash I’d ever seen. As I scrubbed away until late that night I consoled myself. The day went well, mums, nanas and aunties all went home happy and Ive got a lovely bottle of Champers to finish off. . What? It would’ve gone flat….

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