A thought provoking encounter

30 Jun 2018

Life is fairly frenetic at the moment. There seems to be multiple things going on, and occasionally I question my ability to stay on top of it all. Earlier this week, Rick and I headed up to Auckland for a couple of days - ostensibly to go to the trade Fine Food show, but also to fit in as much eating out as we could, and have a good look around, not having been to Auckland for awhile. Ate predominantly Japanese this time, not sure why, but was all  very fascinating, and something I should come back to at some stage cos have some strong recommendations.

Made lots of contacts at the trade show, so have lots of ideas fermenting away about how we can use some new suppliers, and add to what we offer - all of which takes time to follow up on, and all of which I am currently pursuing, although if I have to fill in another credit application form I swear I will scream!!

Also we have 3 nights early next week heavily booked out for a special dinner, to celebrate the fact that we are still here after 32 years. This time 32 years ago we were just getting ready for our opening day. Hard to believe we were once that young and innocent! So much has happened over the intervening years, and it has been rather salutory in my recent chats with people about the anniversary, just how much that long connection with the restaurant means to alot of people. When we mooted the idea of doing a dinner, we had initialy thought one night would be enough, and it was only the realisation that  it falls in  a week that is ordinarily quiet, so we might as well roll it out over more nights that lead to the idea of multiple evenings. The response has been huge, and has put me now in the unpleasant situation of having to turn away people that I didn't want to turn away - but when you're full, you're full. So we're looking forward to sharing lots of stories with lots of people.

Quite ironically we had a gentleman in last night who we haven't seen in awhile, but who, if he'd got his way would have got the restaurant closed down about 20 years ago, which would have meant no celebration next week, all because the restaurant building stood in the way of a 10m strip that he wanted to create down Bethlehem Rd. Dealing with him at the time, and being verbally threatened - he told us he would run us out of town, and that we wouldn't be able to afford the legal fees to stop him - was probably the most  chilling and stressful experience that we've had in those 32 years. And it went on for years. 

But ultimately we were able to maintain the status quo, thanks to the intervention of one magnificent woman,  and the 10 metre strip never happened - and we are still here. The area around us may have changed profoundly but we have been able to stay in business and continue onwards, and we sincerely hope to be able to continue to do so for a good while yet. 

Over the next little while we are going to have the privilege of hearing lots of heartwarming stories of the associations that people may have with Somerset. In fact it has already started and makes me quite emotional, but in a good way!!  I also do happen to believe that everything in life tends to have a countering force, and so just as we are luxeriating in the goodwill from others,  it was maybe serendipity that brought that particular ex Council planner to the restaurant just at this time to remind me not to gloss over all details of the past. There were some considerable travails too. And while there is no need to waste time or energy rehashing old woes to excess, it is perhaps important to also  be grateful for what didn't happen, just as we are for what has.



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