From then to now … end of the dream …


After the initial ‘first night’ nerves we began to think that we were going to make something of ourselves.  Lunchtime service was working well and we were getting a slight increase in numbers. But it was Menuthe evenings that were starting to show. Wednesday was usually the poorest night, but then again nobody seemed to go out on a Wednesday and Saturday was the busiest. Numbers were increasing by the week up to a point where it was necessary to book for a Saturday night. The biggest issue was the menu. It was far too extensive. As I remember there was about ten different cuts of meat to be served from the grill. Each of these had a choice of at least three different sauces or garnishes. For example beef steaks: there was rump, sirloin, fillet and T bone. Then there was lamb chop, Barnsley chop, lamb loin and lamb fillet. There was also chicken, ham, pork chop and pork fillet. All this made for a hard time for the grill chef (me) and the pass chef (K**h). It got so difficult that the owner hired an assistant to work Friday and Saturday.

The numbers were quite steady and we had a stream of regulars and then disaster struck. Disaster World cup 1986in the form of the 1986 FIFA World Cup. The final was on Sunday the 29th June, but the two/three weeks before gave us lots of problems. Have the games were played at 12:00 local time, which meant 6pm here in the UK. We first noticed that things were not as they should be was on the Wednesday to Friday of the third week before the final. There some popular games being played on those nights and were suffered with the number of covers. Saturday picked up, and we thought we would be okay.

The owner said that it would be fine if they big names played later in the day, but on Wednesday the 18th, England played and the numbers dropped dramatically. The following Wednesday saw the first of the semi’s. Again the restaurant suffered. But the biggest hit came on the Saturday the 28th. Although England had done the usual and had gone out the previous week, Saturday was a big day. It was the day that third and fourth place would be decided. By Friday night, the No Bookingsdiary should no bookings at all for Saturday. By 3pm on Saturday we still had no bookings and the owner was considering not opening. We did stay open but did not sell a single meal. As this was the days before big screens in pubs, even the bar was deserted. Bookings were down on the Sunday too, even though the final was later in the day.

We did not see the owner on either Monday or Tuesday, but Wednesday evening he called a meeting. His wife was with him, and they both had a very serious face. the owner announced that he had been with the accountant over the past couple of days trying to work things out. The bombshell was, that the restaurant was losing money and was being supported by takings in the bar, which as he said could not go on. He had checked the bookings for the Friday and Saturday and had decided that he would close the restaurant on the Friday night. Nothing anybody could say would change his mind.

We worked as normal as we could those last few days, but it was a depressing time for all. ClosedThe news had got out, and we had a few cancellations on both the Thursday and Friday. Friday night came and neither of the waitresses turned up and as we only had two tables of four booked, the owner decided to close after those tables had left. 

It was the end of the dream. Fame and fortune was not coming our way and it was a pretty hard time for K**h and me.

From then to now … the start of something big


One of the things that was enjoyed during those early years was the local pub. For us in the Main Kitchen, our favourite port of call was The George. ItThe George was quite easy to get to, just a matter of out of the kitchen, through the loading bay, cross the road and we were Town Hall Tavernthere. The staff in the Staff/Private Patients Kitchen tended to head to their nearest pub which was The Town Hall Tavern. Both were Tetley houses which was the only local brewery in those days. It tended to only be weekends and birthdays that staff enjoyed a pint or two in either of these two pubs.

We normally only got a half hour lunchbreak, but often people started early and turned the half hour into a full hour. It wasn’t officially allowed, but we seemed to get away with it and I was a regular partaker. It was on one of these lunchtime forays, that I got to know the ‘new girl’ a bit better. She was called K***, and someone invited her to the pub one Sunday lunch. That ‘someHouseone’ then said they could not go, and totally out of character I said I would like to take her for a drink. We got on quite well, although I thought she was a little posh at the time. Her father was the senior Pharmacist which was a position that was Consultant level. One lunchtime led to another and before long, I plucked up the courage to ask her out in the evening. More evenings out ensued complimented by full days out. I was on a different planet. She was my first proper girlfriend and it was always going to end a certain way. Early November 1978 we were married. We bought a house in Bramley, just off Raynville Road. Life and work was really good.

However, by the middle of 1979 it became obvious that we could not work together in that kitchen. We were always on different shifts. An example would be K*** starting at 6:00am and me starting at 11:45am or the other way around. Days off together seemed impossible as the then manager could not afford to have his two ‘star cooks’ (his words!) off together. We decided to talk the the Catering Happy CooksManager about the issue. As luck would have it, one of the trainees that started with me had left his job in the Staff Kitchen, so there was a vacancy there. The so called interview went my way, possibly because I was the only applicant and I was soon installed in a different job. Days off were beginning to happen and I could often swap shifts so we started and finished around the same time. Everything was back on track.

All’s well (I think)


The first day in the new job went quite well. I say that from my perspective, I have no idea what anyone else thought. I got treated to lunch, which was nice. I do have to talk about this though. When I was transfering some of my stuff on Friday, I was asked if I liked curry. I said I did, and two of the people I’m working with (B***n and R**i) suggested that we go for a curry lunch on Tuesday (yesterday). This sounded too good to be true, and I was well up for it. Back at the old office, D*** was trying to work out where there was a curry house nearby, and was struggling.

So the big day arrives, and I settle in nicely. everyone is very welcoming and any apprehension I had was starting to fade a little. I was given the ‘grand tour’ and the essential places )kitchen and toilets) were pointed out. Lunchtime came and we went off in B***ns car. On the way, he explained, that the place we were going to was a local community centre, Hamara, that served healthy food to the neighbourhood. Hmmm I thought to myself, doesn’t sound like what I had expected. We arrived, and went into what they call the cafe. We got an extremely friendly welcome as we moved towards to serving hatch. “Three mixed” said B***n and he pulled out some money to pay. He told me that he would pay for my first curry. Well, I have never seen anything like it !!! It was a large plate, covered with a fried rice (to the depth of about one inch !!) topped with a Keema type of meat curry, a chickpea curry and a potato curry. This was then topped with mixed salad and an absolute gorgeous yoghurt dressing/riata. Very nice you may be thinking, and it was. The problem, was the amount ! It was a vast plate of food !!! It would have fed me, K**h and S***e, without any problems. I think I managed about one third before I gave in.Ii just could not eat that amount of food on a lunch time. Cost ???? £3.50 per plateful. You cannot even get a good sandwich for that price. I had a very small meal at dinner time that night, I can tell you.

Today was a transition meeting for R**s. It was supposed to be a meeting to sort out the finer points of his care package at the college. We are looking to send him to a day placement college, with an eventual view to him being in ‘shared care’. However, the college dropped a bit of a bombshell today, when they told us that they were no longer doing day placements on the main site. They kind of explained that they had had to have a restructure due to staffing, and they were only offering full residential care. this is not some thing we wanted at this time. However, they could offer the same type of placement at their other site. We did not know what to say. A bit displeased that they had not told us before the meeting, as they had known for a couple of weeks what was happening. Still their other site looks like it could offer a similar care package. We are going to have another look at the place in a week or two, but I think we have no choice. There is nothing else suitable locally, and this company was always the best option. Just not this site. Some stressful times ahead.

Almost there


   The title of this post refers to my attempt at making hummus. It all started, when Mrs H found a bag of dried chick peas, that we had in the cupboard. She was all set for throwing them out, and like a fool, I suggested that I make hummus. Sounded like a good idea at the time, but the reality of overnight soaking and then 2 hours of boiling put a bit of a damper on it. Then, lo and behold, she finds a tin of chick peas that need using up. So I used them. As I say, it was almost there. I downloaded a recipe from the BBC website, and followed it as closely as possible. Result……too much garlic, as that was all that we could taste. Better luck next time.

   Made a bit of a pig of myself at lunchtime!! I had eaten my sausage rolls and Peperami by half past 11, as I wanted to drive out to shops. After buying some new paint rollers, I though a quick pint would be nice. And it was, but the problem was, that I was feeling a little peckish. So I popped into MacDonald’s. I only had a cheeseburger and small fries, but felt a little guilty afterwards.

Two more days to go…….


That’s right. Only two more days, then I get a week annual leave. To be honest, I think I need it. It has been a long July, and August looks like it could be the same.

The eldest lad phoned at lunchtime, to say he was not feeling so good. Sounds like he has had a dodgy pizza on top of a few (or not so few) pints of Tetley’s. He’s spent the day in bed. Of course Mrs H is thinking swine flu !!!! But then again, so many people think they have got/had swine flu, or at least, some version of it !!! Strange thing happened tonight though. Mrs H had been trying to ring him, and was very concerned (as usual) that he was not answering his phone. I signed into MSN on my mobile, and noticed the he was signed in also. So I messaged him, but got no reply. Then he rang to say how he was. Later, I had to go upstairs, and noticed that his room door was open, and that his PC was running. I turned on the monitor, and it was running an AVG scan. Could not understand why it was running, or why the PC was on. I checked some of the PC settings, to see if it was set to start-up when AVG scan was due, and there was nothing I could see. We are now thinking, that the youngest lad had, for some reason, switched the PC on. Unfortunately, his condition prevents him from saying whether he did or not !!!! Strange. I will ask S**** when I see him if it has done that before.

No J**** on MSN again. Not chatted since the 1st of August. I hope I’ve not upset her or scared her off at all. She is a nice person to chat to. Last thing I said to her, was that I hoped to talk more about her. Maybe that’s it. Maybe I sounded too heavy !! Who knows. Just got a message. Been busy, that’s all. I had a quick chat with M**** on facebook earlier. Been a long time since I chatted to her. She’s been through the mill over the past few months. Doesn’t pull any punches at all. She was one of the first people I chatted to on the ‘Lycos Chat’ that was. Seems to be a good laugh. Always been straight with me. Here’s a thought …… why are most of my online friends women ????

Bloody appraisal tomorrow (as I may have said a few times). It will be another period of my life I’ll never get back. It’s not as if it really means anything. No promotion, pay increase or anything like that, just an excuse to give me my ‘objectives’ for the year. Oh and an excuse for Spike to be both patronising and condescending at the same time. How does he do that ?? There must be an art to it.I’d just love to be fly on the wall, when he does G***s appraisal. She takes even more serious than he does. Could be fun.

Done for now.

Rain and more rain


I did not get out at lunchtime. By the time I had finished troughing, there was no time left. And then it was raining when I got home.

It was another day of non-returned calls. Both the software house and repair company did not call back. I’m sure its a plan to get extra time.

Last family quiz-nite tonight. Eldest goes on Saturday, so it may be a little emotional. Then again it may not. I think a couple of his friends are joining us. Hope it is as fun as last time. We cannot move in here at the moment. Everywhere you turn, there are boxes and boxes of pots and pans and food and stuff for the flat. It is going to be hard work getting everything over there. I think it will take more than one trip, but we will see.

That is it for now. There may be more later.

A bit of a change


It has been a reasonable day today, after the youngest sons ‘episode’ this morning. He had wanted some movie clips downloading last night, and of course, it was too late when I got in. So working on my theory, that he wakes up with ‘unfinished business’, that resulted in the episode. I did the clips when I got in from work, but he was not happy. It was then that I found that the disc I had done could not be seen on his PC. Probably because they were cheap. Saying that, they were half price at £3.50 for 25, so not really ‘cheap’.

So to the change. Well it was a bit wet this lunchtime, so I did not go for my little walk. I went to the pub instead. NoThe windmill on Windmill Rd the change was, I walked when I got home. I walked for about 75 minutes, so I must have covered about 4 miles. Up to Clifford, then along Windmill Road to Town Hill and then home. It was Windmill Road that slowed me down. I’ll walk the route the opposite way next time. It was a good job that I did not have any money with me, as I was ready for a drink as I passed the Red Lion. My legs were aching (and still are) when I got home. Just not used to the exercise at all. Still I’ll keep going whilst the weather holds. I did think of getting by cycle out though. That may be an alternative. R**** mentioned last night about the Bramham Running Group, and that I should join. If I get sent any info through facebook, I’ll look into it.

No one chatting on MSN tonight, and I don’t want to go into ‘Chat’. The last time I logged in, there seemed to be a lot of back stabbing and nastiness. I get enough of that at work. I am missing chatting to J**** though. I hope her holiday is going well. I just had a quick look in Chat …. still the same . I think I’ll give it a miss for a few days.