I had to lay my head chef off last week, because insurance companies look to make savings, but luckily he has found another job already. He's an unfortunate casualty and people don't realise. When you're talking about a minimum of 3 months, and you're paying a chef £25,000 a year, you've got to say, can we keep doing that? We say three months, but it could be November or December before we finish.
I've got a couple of chefs which I've managed to keep on, and they are sanitising all of my kitchen equipment, just to keep them occupied. If I lay them off they have to find another job, and we've got a really nice team here. A couple of my part time staff have said they don't need the money and will come back.
At the moment we're stripping the pub out and we've got dehumidifiers in. All the equipment in the cellar is out and that stinks now. Unfortunately, the building's got to go on hold until the pub's dried out, and we have no idea how long that's that will be - that's when the frustration kicks into play.
I've got an architect coming out next week to have a look at what we are going to do. It's a 1960s building, and they used things like plywood between the walls, which we didn't know we'd got until they started chipping away. One side of my building is going to have to be replaced.
My pub was in the papers the other week because a fake fireman came to help out with the floods. I'd seen him driving around with a blue light on his car and then he was out by the bowsers with the ex Lord Mayor. I didn't realise he was a fake because he was in uniform and they'd been bringing firemen in from all over the place.
Some of my possessions were stored in garages at the bottom of my car park and I asked him if there was any chance of getting the water pumped out. Then he called the fire brigade out from Cheltenham! The Mirror headline said 120,000 people had been left without emergency services. We were not aware at any stage that he was a bogus fireman, and we did not request for the water to be officially drained out. A fake fireman is not something you expect.
It's still frustrating to be in this situation but it's not all bad. The sun's shining, I watered and mowed my garden because it gives it a sense of decency, and I don't know what fertiliser was in that flood water but my flowers are going mental!