So, I've not been here in a while.
I actually wrote this post on 6th April this year and never posted it. I just don't feel like I have anything to say anymore. I barely post on Instagram now mainly because I just feel like "what's the point?", nobody is looking at my account.
I logged in and looked back at old posts and the last time I actually wrote anything or even made an effort to do anything here was June 2022.
I thought this might be a good opportunity for me to catch you (or myself as I think I'm the only one who actually reads my blog!) up on what has been happening and as some sort of catharsis. I think blogs are great, and I do actually read quite a few (mainly friends, but I do enjoy others) so I wondered if maybe I should jot down more thoughts here...
Things have been "interesting" over the last 12+ months. The restaurant has seen a substantial change in staffing, the credit crisis and the war in the Ukraine along with Brexit (it's STILL causing problems, people) and the ever squeezing from all sides has made running a business like ours not only incredibly difficult, but loss-making. We understand that our guests are also being squeezed so aren't able to spend like they once did; however, without them coming in and spending well, we struggle to make ends meet. As a business owner, intent on taking care of staff and providing the best possible experience to our guests, this is causing sleepless nights, stress and anxiety and more than our fair share of grey hairs (thank goodness for Garnier Good and a bloody good eye cream).
I've had all my hair cut off, partly because I've been thinking about it for a good while and of course Michelle Williams and Jean Seberg are massive inspirations, but it was also down to the fact that I needed a bit more time to sleep; my hair now takes me literally 5 minutes to do each day (even if I have to wash it) as opposed to 25-30 minutes. It could also be the fact that I'm probably having a bit of a midlife crisis (I am 41 now after all). I freaked out when I first had it cut, as it was such a massive change, but now I really dig it. It might not be to everyone's taste, but I think I've had more compliments on this haircut than I have had with any other style. I'm keeping it for a while longer.
Whilst I'm still spending time playing with wine and cocktails, I parked those things a touch and I started training to be an accountant.... Yes, I know. Thing is, I've been doing our books for the last 4 years with no training and we've been paying external accountants to basically check on what I've been doing. My thought process was, 'I f I am trained and fully understand what I'm doing then hopefully we as a business can save a bit of cash in them checking everything I do.' I am keen to still have an independent account to to check on certain things, but they shouldn't need to check on our every day. Quite honestly, I don't think I've ever felt as utterly inept at studying anything as I have done whilst studying my AAT (though, to give myself a little credit, I had a long conversation with someone at AAT and they suggested I should start at level 3 so maybe this is why I feel dumb). Since writing this paragraph in April, I've failed my exams and have decided to leave accountancy behind. I'm still doing our books at the restaurant, but I think that's as far as it will go. Plus, £100 per exam is daylight fucking robbery!
I sadly barely bake these days, but that will come back I'm sure.
We aren't frequenting any of the food festivals this year due to working so hard, but I will miss seeing my Foodies family hugely. Please continue to see and support them.
In March 2023 I walked about 130 miles to raise money for the charity Mind. As you probably all know by now, I suffer with clinical depression, generalised anxiety disorder and panic disorder. I've spent a lot of time on SSRIs though now I'm trying to rely more on natural remedies and a f**k ton of therapy (my therapist, Phil, is literally THE BEST), so I understand how hard things can be for people with mental health problems, so I wanted to bring more attention to those and try to raise some well needed funds for the charity. I'm seriously considering doing some more fundraising for them this year, but we will see how this goes.
I've had more tattoos since the last time I wrote (both hands now heavily tattooed, legs and arms catching up), we've decorated the house, had builders leg it with £10k of our money (that genuinely happened, and despite raising a court claim, we will not see that money again) and had another set of builders demolish the mess that was the front of our house and build us a drive.
Tony & I got engaged in April and are planning our wedding for September, I'm very excited, if not a little nervous and worried that I might become a bridezilla...
And lastly, and I have left this to lastly, because I didn't want to write it, but it is something that has happened and something that I feel needs to be recorded, on 24th March 2023, we lost our beautiful little sausage dog, Butch. He will be missed so very much, and of course Tony & I are utterly bereft and probably always will be. Things like this make you think though and I think I needed to just get this down on "paper".
Will I actually post this? I don't know. You'll comment if I do...
In memory of our hairy baby boy. Butch Cassidy Rodd. 4/11/2015 - 24/3/23. In our hearts always and forever. I love you little squisher.
Having been given the opportunity to donate to people in the local community today via Big Red Boxes outside the supermarket, I was reminded of how passionate I am about the fact that nobody should go hungry. Being such a foodie, and realising that I can be quite wasteful when it comes to food, I really feel it is important to be able to give back and help those in need.
I have been aware of food banks for a very long time, but I have noticed that they don't seem to receive a lot of publicity and many people don't know where their local bank is either to donate or to get help. I certainly don't know where a food bank is near me.
I am thrilled to see that supermarkets (Tesco and Sainsbury's) are donating surplus food and also having volunteers and representatives of the local food banks at the stores to collect any offerings shoppers might want to donate, but I'm not sure that this is enough.
So many people now buy their groceries online and I thought it would be great to be able to donate to a food bank when ordering online. Either you choose the products you want to donate or you choose an amount you want to donate and the food bank can choose products adding up to this amount based on what they require at any given time. Doing this means that the customer doesn't have to do anything bar spend a few extra pounds or pence. The basic ranges of tinned vegetables in nearly all the stores cost little more than 20p per can and these are invaluable to those who cannot afford to eat.
Given this, I have started a petition to get supermarkets to start allowing us to do this and work more closely with food banks to get food to those who really need it.
If you care about this basic right as much as I do, please sign the petition. https://www.change.org/p/tesco-food-bank-donation-with-your-online-food-shop