It has been said in the office that when Mark and I are working at ‘full steam,’ it takes everyone three days to recover. I thought about this at some length this week and think I have worked out why that is. We are all dealing with such a variety of issues and that, in itself, is tiring.
For example, I now know more than I ever wanted to about fire standards, PSV operator licences, the strength of bunk beds, modern lighting regulations and employment contracts to say nothing of trade marks around the world. I have been to design fairs showcasing English products, tested soaps for the Flint Barns, chosen pepper pots for the Tasting Room, learnt about the million ways you can make coffee, chosen floorboards, designed a bar, learnt about branding, PR and marketing and on it goes! Life is never boring and it is certainly full, but it wasn’t quite what I imagined when my husband wistfully said one balmy evening – “shall we start a vineyard?”
And then to top it all, we now have the Great Rathfinny Bake Off. It started with a flippant remark by one of the vineyard team.
“It would be nice to have a bit of cake with our morning coffee… I hear Sarah makes a good lemon drizzle.” It has been reported that Nikki (Cameron’s wife) was heard to retort, “that’s because she’s been doing it for 50 years!” You can guess where this is going. Suddenly (and I’m talking the very next day) she produces a Victoria sponge, complete with cream and home-made jam (behind my back!)
Then Liz, who at one stage taught home economics (cooking to you and me) in New Zealand, chimes in with a claim that she makes the best scones in Western Europe and that she won a ‘highly commended’ medal from some local fete in some part of Christchurch, NZ. The next thing I know, she has snuck down to the vineyard with gingerbread and started selling cakes to the guys building the winery to raise money for Macmillan nurses!
I had decided to rise above the fray, keep the mystery of the lemon drizzle a mystery and leave it at that. However Mark decided to take an experimental ginger cake (I blame the recipe) down to the cabin on Monday. Let us just say Cameron took great pleasure in informing me 3 days later, there was still some left!!
Has no one heard that Christmas bonuses are under review as I write??
PS Felix did say thanks so I guess he’s safe!
Sarah Driver – The Boss