This week brings to a close the 4 months I have spent living and working at The Old Thatched Inn in Adstock, Buckinghamshire.

The Old Thatched Inn
The Old Thatched Inn

As a 40-something, previously self-employed singleton, this has not been the easiest thing in the world to do! The restrictions on your self-determination, your time, your free time and having to keep that smile plastered to your face no matter what stupidity you are subjected to has been… interesting!

But despite, or possibly even because of, this challenge, it has been a pretty damn amazing time. I have made some really good friends and it has smashed me out of a series of comfort zones, bringing me closer to an essence of self that is reassuring to rediscover.

Because all the clichés are true. You don’t need much to be happy: a roof over your head, food on your plate and good company to keep you going. I had all 3 of these at the Thatch and we had some damn amazing times.

So to the owner, Mr Andy Judge: Thanks for the job mate, much appreciated. I have a war chest to go travelling Europe with now, a brain full of memories and some great new mates. Thanks!

To the kitchen: Lee, Stuart, Steve, Iain, Tom, Ayisha, Ami and Ollie: it’s been great to meet you guys and work with you. You guys can cook! You’re all completely barking mad of course, but hey, if you weren’t you wouldn’t be chefs!

To my fellow full-time front of house staff: Alex, Lauren, Kevin, Stuart and Carlos: Thanks for putting up with some mad rookie, part-timer in your world. I have learned a lot from each and every one of you. I might even be a fair waiter and barman now. I wasn’t before. My in-restaurant behaviour will never be the same again!

To the part-timers: Abi, Amy, Alice, Emma, Katie, Pete, Jen, little Amy and Bryony: you’re all mad!  And you all have cool things going on in your lives. Good luck!

And then to all the regulars: I must admit, before coming to the Thatch I had a pretty jaundiced view of ‘The English.’ So many years of London had led me to believe you were all a bunch if insular, rude, self-absorbed twats! You have all been open, friendly, helpful and pretty damn cool. I will miss our banter across the bar and talking about life, beer, the universe and everything with you! I hope some of you come along for the ride and keep in touch via this site.

Thursday is my last working day at The Thatch and Friday is my birthday. I hope to get to say goodbye to all of you before both of those days are over. I am not sorry to be leaving because I have a grand adventure ahead of me. But I am very grateful for this time and experience.

Catch you all on the flip side some time!