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No-shows, deposits and trust

Sigh. It's an old story. A fully-booked restaurant, a busy day, and in the middle of it, like a gap in a row of teeth, a table that,for whatever reason, hasn't turned up. Or, in the case of the Father's Day just gone, three tables. I've blogged about this  before , it's a recurring problem that bedevils the hospitality industry. As I observed in the last post, it doesn't bother me so much for the financial hit we take (annoying though that is), the staff will still get paid and I've never known a kitchen that didn't jump at the chance to have a quieter half-hour than they were expecting. I had a good day on Sunday, I took enough money, the few hundred quid I missed off the absent tables was mitigated by a few walk-ins I was able to squeeze in. What's annoying is you remember all the people you knocked back.All the times you said sorry we're fully booked, the people who wanted to come,and couldn't. Some of them were regulars,and any hospitalit
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Pissing in the wind.

I'm fairly fond of a lost cause, it's probably something I need to seek help over. Lost causes I have espoused down the years have included: wouldn't it be nice if everyone drove less, Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, writing, reading and enjoying poetry, Somerset County Cricket Club, trying to pick litter up faster than it gets dropped, advocating councils mow less because I prefer wildflowers to barren verges (at odds with most angry letter-writers to local newspapers on this one), maybe don't fly for your holiday? wishing people would put dogs on leads near ground-nesting birds and hoping against hope that people don't eat so much bloody junk food. As I've aged I've realised that my tastes are generally fairly divergent from the majority in a number of areas, be it books, music, politics,food, whatever. I'm used to it, and while I wouldn't wish to imply that being wilfully at odds with people is an essential part of my personality(it's certain


Exciting new ground being broken in our seemingly forever culture war this week, as HMG got itself into a bit of a semantic tangle defending the rights of racists  concerned and politically aware citizens who wish to resist the creep of *checks notes* Marxism? Really?  No point recapping the history too much, you are doubtless aware that the England team is continuing to take the knee as an anti-racist protest at the start of games, and you are doubtless also aware that a peculiarly racist   politically engaged section of their support has protested this stance, viewing it as deliberately divisive and in itself racist. They argue that BLM is a marxist movement that seeks to defund the police and alter our very way of living, and, as such, the England football team are making themselves stooges of a far-left cult who... No, sorry, can't keep a straight face. Right. This is a pretty clear-cut situation. If you're booing an anti-racism gesture, you're a fucking racist. There w

In defence of Boris Johnson

 I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm about to go into bat for Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson. Yes, yes, fair enough, I have to date regarded him as pretty much the fount of most things wrong with politics today, and I stand by that. But there is one thig that I'm not going to criticise him for, and thats's his religion. As you might imagine, I regard mos religion with a mixture of bemusement and contempt. At its best it's something to get you out of the house. At its worst? Genocide, torture, repression, untold misery. As a concept, I'm not pro, on the whole. But inasfar as I have any opinion on which deity or manifestation thereof you wish to have guide your daily decisions, I pretty much put them all on a par. I don't giver a monkeys which iteration of the magical sky fairy you choose to believe in. So the news that Johnson's  recent marriage  to his inamorata has caused something of a constitutional kerfuffle has caused eyes at Coastalblo

Traffic Calming

Round about the start of lock-down one, in dim and distant days of yore, where a Nepal Variant was a take-away option at one of the more adventurous curry-houses and I was about two stone lighter, there appeared on a street near me a row of heavy duty planters which blocked off the traffic. I paid them no mind, regular readers will know that I'm a confirmed pedestrian and cyclist, so they made little difference to me: if I thought of them at all,it was in abstracted, vaguely approving terms. I certainly walked down that street more often, it became a preferred route, as the chances of being mown down by some dick in an Audi became considerably reduced. Then, a couple of days ago, a local councillor made great play of the fact that they were being removed, something to do with the final covid restrictions being lifted (so they're not being removed then ho ho, little bit of biting satire for you there). And lo, upon the local facebook groups there was much rejoicing, a perplexing


Solipsism alert. Those of you with little appetite for self-absorbed navel-gazing, look away now. Coastalblog has been many things in its existence. It started because it seemed like a reasonable thing to do, turned into some frankly pretty unpleasant venting of spleen at people who probably didn't deserve quite  the level of opprobrium I was dishing out and down the years has been variously points-scoring, score-settling and inchoate howling with, hopefully, one or two more thoughtful essays sprinkled into the mix. What it has also always been, without my fully realising it, is, in part, a diary. This is handy, as I thought I'd come late to the noble and gentle art of writing a diary, when I realised that my thirties were passing in the blink of an eye (I know this is ground I've covered here before, but it's Sunday morning, and I've got to print the menus out for the pub, there are a few short moments of peace before the family erupt from their various beds and I

Calorie Counting

 As if chefs haven't had enough to deal with of late. The announcement in the Queen's Speech on Monday that bars and restaurants will soon be forced to display the calorie content of each dish felt, in these quarters at least, like a particularly dismal cherry of shit on tope of a cake that, for the last year and a bit, has been mad almost entirely of cack. That a Government panicking at the sight of its lardy populace wheezing their way towards costly health treatment has chosen to pick on restaurants is hardly surprising. The hospitality sector has been a favourite punchbag of health campaigners down the years, it's an easy target. And yes, burgers full of saturated fats, bread that is more sugar than flour, chicken which barely qualifies as food, all these are culpable in the steady fattening of our nation. As, too, is our national habit of throwing booze down our necks at reckless levels. But listing the calories on the menu? Really? In the interests of full disclosure,