Sunday, 26 December 2010

Cold and Icy England

video

A view of the bar and terrace taken this morning

cold overnight but a beautiful day today

Friday, 24 December 2010

To answer your concerns

a couple of our kind readers have suggested that J and I are much more amateurish in our approach to business than we were in our previous roles.
I want to take this opportunity to assure you that this is not the case. In fact J and I have just held our
STAKEHOLDER BRAIN STORM for STRATEGIC STRATEGY and HOW TO HIT THE GROUND RUNNING IN 2011
We discussed our strategic position, how we could get a win win from our unique service proposition in our exclusive location. We looked at how best to harvest the low hanging fruit, how to be more customer centric, the introduction of focus groups for feedback, innovations for value added perceptions all to be available in real time.
We have a state of the art, best in class set up and need to be proactive to get consumer buy in to best sweat the assets.
Our customers are offered a well positioned, value proposition that will make our business more sustainable. By being customer focused, putting ourselves in the customer's shoes, and being individually empowered and by using scalable best practices, constantly monitoring the business dashboard will enable us to be market leaders.

At this point we realised that we were talking absolute bollocks and ordered another bottle of red

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

France Life Pushing Papers

I thought it time to update you all on another aspect of french life, red tape.
For those that are UK based, be thankful. France has layers upon layer of paper shufflers in just about everything you can think of. It is said that 50% of the people here work for the government and I can believe it. Well, I can believe the 50% but not too sure about the "work".
We have just applied to accept the french equivalent of luncheon vouchers. The procedure is that you collate 5 pieces of paper and send them to a centre who check them, authorise them and as a result give you permission to apply to another department. The papers all have to be dated within the last 30 days , so you can never use the same ones, each time you have to apply for a copy which of course costs.
The most ludicrous is the birth certificate. Whenever J has to produce a birth certificate it has to be dated within the previous month. Mine was given to me in 19** and has sufficed ever since. But for J it means she has to ring the Marie of her home village and request a copy which is then sent through.
Our insurance company send us at least one letter a week, changing something, asking for extra information, updating this or that. we have a yearly health contract but they send us each a monthly authorisation.
Likewise no utility like water, electricity etc uses one office so one department will write to you asking you to send something to their company but at a different address. You do as required but they don't then communicate with each other so they ask again or assume you haven't sent it

I once visited China and was amazed to see about 100 men with wheelbarrows moving a pile of coal from one side of a piece of land to another. My thoughts at the time were " why use 100 men when a couple of JCBs would be much more efficient?" The answer of course was that China had 100 men to keep busy and better that 100 earn from working than 2 work and 98 go on benefits. I suppose the same applies in France so whilst people push papers around we will just have to grin and bear it

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Cold beer


We have been told that the Vienne is cold in winter and they were right!!. We have had two days of snow and minus temperatures and whilst it isnt that cold, warming a house with big rooms and stone walls with no insulation is a big task.
As you can imagine the snow and temperatures don't help trade but we still get a few hardy people in for a cold beer.
The bar is decorated for Christmas and hopefully looks inviting.

we have an Xmas dinner planned, together with our caterer partner (called Tickle your Taste Buds) on the 12th December. This will consist of a Kir, a starter, Christmas dinner, dessert, mince pies and coffee all for only €27.50. We hope to get 50 people and this should create quite a party atmosphere. We have chosen the 12th as it is early enough before people return to the UK and guests arrive for those staying here.

Whilst it is quiet we have been concentrating on our lunchtime menu. we offer a 3 course plus a glass of wine for only 9,90. This gives us a chance to try out new things and a typical menu is

Entrees choice of
Potage maison (home made soup)
Nems ( spring rolls)
Salade au Surimi ( salad with crabsticks)

Plats choice of
Coq au vin Riz ( chicken in a red wine sauce with rice)
Saucisse Fume frites ( smoked sausages with chips)
Ravioli jambon cru, sauce tomat, salade ( Pasta filled with parma ham in a sauce with side salad)

Dessert choice of
Crepe au pomme ( apple pancake)
Batonnette au choix ( Magnum style ice cream or ice cream tub)
Supreme au fruit rouge ( mousse style cake with red fruits)

it's a long way from allocating stock and processing orders for print ribbons and only a few months