Monday, January 29, 2007

Mr Clark

If you were interested in seeing and hearing our publican Mr Clark, Big D, Mister, Big Fella and Dad here's a link for you:

Hot Water, Towels & Little miracles

Today the Clark family introduced a new member!
Marine, Kris' other half started having contractions around 12ish while Kris was busy serving soup in the cocktail bar.
A couple of hours later they were into the car amid some fanfare (much to Marine's annoyance) and off on the hour long drive to the hospital.
Adding to the excitement was the sweep regarding the exact birth date separated into am/pm blocks, all cash going towards charity of course. A bottle of champers to the winner as well!
We haven't checked yet but we have a funny feeling that Marine may have actually won her own bet. Typical, but probably for the best seeing as she didn't know about the sweep until very recently and was none to happy about it upon discovery.
All we now for now is that Anuk has a younger sister and that our rosters are likely to change pending Kris' parental duties. All the same it was good news for all that the birth went smoothly and we look forward to meeting the new Clark.
(Another girl by the way, the pub has always been passed down through the boys in the seven generations past.......)

Monday, January 22, 2007


The last week has been very quiet on the work front excepting Saturday where we hosted a wake for a young local man who was swept off a fishing boat.
It was a fairly sombre affair but needless to say the amount of drinking performed, particularly by the older men was mind blowing. The whole place was standing room only and we probably had half the town through during the day.
On a lighter note we have had some real snow, not just slush although it didn't last very long on the ground. The temperature has been right down and today we were lucky enough to have some sun allowing us to get some nicer shots of the surrounding mountains. We are still amazed every time we get to see the beautiful scenery around us.
Photos: Its so pretty here.

Colin's 41st Birthday

Colin is the nephew of our publican, Big D and a great crack. Sunday was Colin's birthday and as he was working Saturday night the celebrations began then, resulting in us not getting in til 5 ish. We were working Sunday night so missed out on the dinner party but joined in after close for a great night.
One of the highlights was Donald (who was yet to count the till) being bet 100 quid that he could not drink the remainder of a jug of cocktail. There was about 1/2 a jug of the cocktail as well as the entire lemon used to garnish it, he then had to keep it down for 20 minutes.
Unbelievably he managed this task and was fighting fit for the rest of the night! The bet got whittled down to 20 quid which Don put towards the local lifeboat charity.
Matt tried to follow this bet up with the old slice of bread in 1 minute trick, came terribly close but walked away with nothing but a full mouth.
All this silly eating also included the bunch of us (about 6) eating a massive jar of pickled garlic over the two nights. Body Odour Alert at the George Hotel!
Then, like all parties we ended up at Kenny's house with one of the band guys doing a sing along. This has been one of the highlights so far, luring unsuspecting musicians back to Kenny's, thrusting a guitar in their hands and having free entertainment- Brilliant.
Photos: Colin jamming away with Stuart at the end on a long night, Matt attempting to win his tenner, Donald celebrating his win.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Sun and Slush

We've had a pretty quiet couple of weeks just kicking about and working. We visited Glasgow for the very important purchase of a toaster. We can now enjoy Vegemite on toast in the comfort of our own home!
We also have had our room WiFied so we have been pretty content the last few days, sure makes Skype calls a bit more comfortable.
The reason we have been connected in our rooms is due to the fact that the laundry, former net cafe and sometime party centre has been unceremoniously used as a storage area for all the odds and sods currently being removed from the old staff quarters.
A wee bit of renovation is taking place which involves Adam, Kenny and anyone else manly enough to make the grade ripping walls down, pulling wiring out and salvaging anything we may find useful. Guess what, there was a toaster there!! Doh!
The weather has been on every one's lips. But then we are in the UK, weather is the conversational home ground of everybody. On our visit to Glasgow we had a beautiful clear day for the first time in a long time. Standing in the sun was quite unfamiliar and enjoyable although the day was still freezing cold. Today we experienced what we will tentatively call snow as we did actually hear a Scot refer to it as such although we on loch level experienced falling slush. The hillsides were very prettily coated though, we even did a special photo run in the cold. The photos don't really do it justice though, this place is magic.

The magic of this place even extends to time travel. Well at least it seems that way every now and then when you glance out the pub window or duck down to the local store and run into a 19th century gaoler walking by or buying cigarettes. This is thanks to the well preserved gaol next door to our pub which includes period costumed guides. Funny stuff.

This hotel alone has a lot of history attached to it, the building itself is from 1770 and the hotel was founded in 1777 making it 11 years before the First Fleet landed in Australia. There are loads of ghost stories in the hotel with one couple leaving the hotel at two in the morning to sleep in their car believing their room was haunted.

Adam has to climb the three stories to turn off the lights at night leaving him in an increasingly darkened hotel. Keeping in mind the place is decorated with huge old oil portraits it can be quite a spooky experience. Glad we live in the new staff quarters out the back, although it is probably constructed over some pet cemetery or something.
Photos: The view from our door to the back of the pub-our long commute is interrupted by falling slush, Another view from our door to Dun na Cuaiche (pronounced Doona Craig), We used our beach and snow setting for this shot- we never thought it would come so in handy- note the big mountain in the back left blending with the clouds

Goodbye Verity

Verity left last week and it's taken us this long to blog about it. Vee is a chick from Adelaide that we managed to end up working with here at The George. Turns out Eva went to school with her cousin and all! Small world syndrome.

Verity made the whole settling in process so easy for us by being a genuine, friendly, open, fun loving chick. We don't know if coming from the same home town helped us click or whatever but the last eight weeks wouldn't have been the same without her. Especially over Christmas and New Years, man does this girl know how to party.

Vee had planned her departure to be mid week but ended up having her last working night last Saturday after one too many parties led to her getting voted out of The George Big Brother house.

So many people here will miss Vee and we wish her the best for the future. We'll probably bump into one another on Rundle Mall one day anyway.
Photos: Christmas parties are such hard work but Verity kept the pace.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

A very, very festive time.

Photos: Dancing queens (and Adam), The boss pouring the vodka, So organised, Tucker time.
Merry Christmas and a happy new year to everyone!!!!
It has been a wee while since we have had the opportunity to sit down and actually blog, because it has been quite a festive last week or so. Like most occasions here like waking up, finishing work or just being alive Christmas was celebrated with 100% commitment by all involved.
Christmas eve turned to be quite a night Eva had a floor shift until about 22:00 and Adam was working until the cocktail bar closed at 1:30ish, somehow in those 3 hours poor Eva had one too many pre Christmas drinks, ooops. She ended up asleep a little earlier than she had planned. Adam ended up heading to a party just up the road for a few with a couple of other staff members, what a night, everyone danced and partied until dawn. Then off to bed, remembering we all had a Christmas lunch planned for the next day at 14:30.
The hotel was closed for Xmas day so we all had the place to ourselves. One by one staff started filtering in for lunch, everyone was delegated certain tasks for the day ie. Cooking, serving, cleaning up, DJing etc. Kuba our nominated chef did not arrive till about 16:00, luckily Kris had put the turkey on earlier in the morning, no one seemed to mind though as we had plenty of beverages to pass the time. It wasn't until about 17:00 that we all sat down to eat our meal, a fairly loose dinner party really. First course was a medley of prawn and crayfish tails in Marie-Rose sauce, our main was the most fantastic turkey dinner we have ever tasted, and then onto dessert a Baileys cream cheese cake. Not a bad meal really considering the state we were all in from the night before. After the meal Kris cracked open the vodka shots all round.
We then moved on up to Kenny's house for a continuation of the night before, the party went well into the night and into the early hours of the morning. Lets just say everyone was feeling a little sorry for themselves on boxing day at work, as some of had had little or no sleep. The week between Xmas and New Years (Hogmanay) was really, really busy as most people take the whole week off. Knock off drinks on the 30th turned into another massive night, we had some fantastic live music on in the pub and then once again up to Kenny's house for another all night party. Roll on New years eve. Eva knocked off work at 23ish and started getting festive with the rest of the staff, unfortunately Adam had to work, his rostered shift was from 14:30 until he wasn't needed, he was hoping around 23:00, but oh no, it was a massive night and he didn't clock off until 4:00. Everyone here had a fantastic night with free drinks all round and plenty O champagne.
The next day Adam started at noon he had a shift in the Public bar. "Big D" let us give all the regulars their first drinks for free what a good day. Adam then moved into the Cocktail bar which was opened only to hotel guests where we had a couple of live bands on, not a bad evening. Eva worked from 17:00 on the floor serving canapes and food for all our guests. One of the best things about New Years day was that we were getting paid penalty rates (double time).
The last couple of days have been recovery days for everyone, although it has still been quite busy at work. Hope you all had a fantastic time as well.

Happy Hogmanay

Here is a quick history lesson for those that are interested. Christmas was not celebrated as a festival and was virtually banned in Scotland for around 400 years, from the end of the 17th century to the 1950s. The reason for this dates back to the years of Protestant Reformation, when Christmas was proclaimed as a Catholic feast, and as such it needed banning.
All the way up to the 1950s many Scots worked over Christmas and celebrated their winter solstice holiday at New Years when family and friends would gather for a party and to exchange presents this became known as Hogmanays.
The act of "First footing" (or the "first foot" in the house after midnight) is still common across Scotland. To ensure good luck for the house the first foot should be a dark male, and he should bring with him symbolic pieces of coal, shortbread, salt, black bun and a wee dram of whisky. The dark male bit is believed to be a throwback to the Viking days, when a big blonde stranger arriving on your door step with a big axe meant big trouble, and probably not a very happy New Year! Doh!
The traditional New Year ceremony would involve people dressing up in the hides of cattle and running around the village whilst being hit by sticks. Sounds like a "wow" of a time. Unfortunately we didn't get to hit anyone with sticks, but hey you cant have everything.
Happy Hogmanay!