Thursday, 23 September 2010

Back to school

Just a quick one this time. The kids are settling into school with the usual ups and downs, gardening projects and household stuff grind ever onwards. I am starting to wonder where all this Free Time I was promised has got to - despite a week of all three kids in full time school I seem to have dashed trying desperately to cram all the work into the available hours.

There's been a real shift in my workload and in my working days. The soft play centre wants to try having all their weekly cake done on one day, which turns Wednesday from my day off to my busiest day. The Deli has been really quiet, and orders are down by about a third. I got in touch to chat about it; if there was a problem with the quality or appeal of my cakes, i needed to address it immediately. However, it's been a drop in sales across all product ranges and apparently lots of other retail outlets are finding a similar drop.

I guess that credit crunch is still, erm, crunching. (What is the correct verb for a credit crunch? Answers on a postcard...)

I'm getting quite a few requests for birthday cakes by word of mouth or from my association with the play centre. I've got a busy couple of weekends lined up with them. This is great for the business but not much good for helping me get my raised beds finished in time to plant the spring bulbs.

College restarted. It's lovely to see everyone again but 3 hours for swearing at royal icing and blocked piping tubes made me feel like we'd never left. I love what we learn to do but the process is often rather fraught with cussing and stomping off for emergency caffeine rations. Which is counterproductive, of course, as what is really needed is a steady hand. Steady hands after a full day or work and kid-wrangling are rare enough. Caffeine fuelled steady hands are rarer still.

What I really ought to be doing is promoting the relaunch of the cake box scheme. It is planned work at retail profit margins, it's quite labour intensive but it's worth it. However, the thought of selling makes my toes curl. I might just put it off a little bit longer...

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