Life is fun…
The next couple of years were a bizarre mix of hard work and hard play, as Brightside Beds moved on with its aggressive expansion program. Not just my job either, the Walpole Arms launched its hotel wing, and I was able to put my knowledge to good use in promoting the new side of the businesses. Of course, Mary and Dani’s hard work helped too!
When I was in town, it was usual for me to go and be with Mary. What either of us did when we were not together neither of us mentioned. I was careful to always let Mary know in advance when I was going to be at the pub, and she only called me at predetermined times. We gave each other a lot of space.
Mary sometimes wanted to come and visit my new store locations, and I always booked us into smart 5-star hotels when she was with me. Otherwise, I stayed in less ostentatious hotels which were still comfortable, but less likely to notice if I brought back a different lady guest. We had some great holidays together, traveling to Spain, Morocco, and the Caymans. It was a fast and fun life.
Brightstone Beds was expanding rapidly, with a new store opening every 4 to 6 months, and I was kept busy with the logistics. After 3 years, it was clear that the infrastructure that had worked for Brightstone when it just had a handful of local shops was not coping with 20 stores all over the country. Greg was asked to become Development Director, in charge of creating a new head office on a greenfield site on the outskirts of Lynn.
Greg called me into his office on the Monday before the official announcement about his promotion was made. We had grown to have a healthy respect for each other; he was an ideas man, and I was an implementer, so we complimented each other’s styles well. He briefed me on his new position and then asked if I would consider taking over his current role as Head of New Development. It would mean a pay rise, and there would still be some travel, but mostly I’d be based at the HQ in Lynn. I asked for a couple of days to think it over, to which Greg agreed, but said he wanted an answer by the end of the week.