I did not even see last week go by with all the activities going on at the tea house. I clocked a 60 hour work week. It's been a couple years since I've done that. I'm way out of practice and my body reminded me of this around the 50 hour mark. Thank goodness my husband was able to help me out with the evenings and picking up the kids from school/creche. Why so busy? We had several things going on last week, I hosted Ysolda Teague for two days as she did a book signing for her new book, Little Red in the City and stayed for knitting night on Wednesday night. Then Thursday she was back again to teach her masterclass on how to make the perfect sweater. If you ever have a chance to attend this class I recommend it. It really taught me a lot about yarn selection, the importance of swatching and how to measure oneself correctly to knit the right size!
All incredibly fun and rewarding days at the tea house but before we go to the fun stuff we had to deal with some no so fun stuff like my toilets breaking or to be more precise someone breaking my toilet! On Sunday two weeks ago, someone broke my toilet. Talk about a major pain, we had a plumber come in pretty quickly. He tried to fix the toilet without replacing the whole thing but after an hour of working on the toilet he realized it had to be replaced. We had already gone two days without a toilet. Yeah, fun times explaining that one to my customers. Most were understanding and some were not. Ah, c'est la vie. Something I've learned owning my own business is that when one thing breaks two other things follow right along and do the same thing. The next thing to go was my coffee machine. Out of the blue it made all the fuses in the tea house blow in the middle of brunch service ON A SUNDAY. If you have ever been to the tea house on Sunday at brunch you know what I'm talking about. Tea house full with people waiting for their coffee, obviously. After 15 minutes of trying to figure out what the heck was the matter we realized the coffee machine plugged in AND turned off was still making the fuses blow. Bad sign. Coffee machine is off being repaired. We have been coffee-less for four days now. It's very sad because the coffee at the tea house is excellent and I can't bring myself to drink coffee anywhere else. So, what is next to break? Something important, right? My oven! The confection fan has decided to be a diva and will not turn when needed. Sometimes it turns and sometimes it doesn't. I don't know how to make cakes without the confection portion of my oven. Baking our savory tarts and puff pastry is okay without the confection fan but not the same. Looks like I will have to shell out some euros for a new oven soon. Something I just hadn't counted on... and it's the end of the trimester for us. if you own a small business you know what this means? Time to PAY! Taxes, rent, salaries, every thing the government likes to tax us on all falls at the same time in October. Why not add a new toilet, oven and espresso machine on top of it? And I have two beloved employees leaving us and must fine replacements... when it rains, it pours.
I still love being my own boss, though. :) 60 hours, a new toilet, coffee machine, oven, etc.. It's all for me to deal with but you tend to forget the tedious stuff like this when you get to have good days of making people happy. The two days Ysolda visited I was thrilled to have her. Not only because she's an inspiration to me but that I was able to bring this opportunity to my customers: the knitters. They were so pleased to have a chance to talk to her and ask her questions and just knit with her. The feeling is addicting. I love making people happy. I am so grateful that I get to do this everyday in my job.
So, instead of dwelling on the back office stuff going on at the tea house I'm going to share some photos from Ysolda's book signing and knitting night. Such a fun night to be able to spend time with someone who has really changed the face of knitting. Ysolda has accomplished so much at her young age and really is an expert. Listening to her talk about the importance of swatching and knitting maths, as she says, really changed my views about these two aspects of knitting that I sort of shy away from. And one more thing, Ysolda is the nicest person I've met in a long time!
See more photos form Ysolda's visit here.