Birds, frogs and staying inside while my wife gets cold

Life only seems to have two themes at the moment – birds and paperwork.

Last week it was the Big Farm Birdwatch, this week is National Nest Box week. We have some boxes to put up so it’s a good memory jogger to have the week.

Meanwhile, after having another memory jog (this time in the slightly menacing form of an Environmental Health Officer), it’s time to go through the kitchen diary. It’s a bit like the frog boiling exercise so beloved of management gurus – we’ve changed a few things over the last couple of years and although it doesn’t seem a big thing at the time it accumulates to become a major change.

When we had the kitchen registered, and I first filled in the handbook, we were mainly doing bread and (vegetarian) pizza sessions with schools, youth groups and our own bread group.

We were also catering for the shoot about 8 times a year, and we added catering for groups using the centre. Open farm Sunday came round and we used it for the weekend and when someone suggested opening as a Saturday morning Cafe it didn’t seem like a big jump.

But when someone from outside arrives and points out all the changes, you suddenly realise what the words “victim of your own success” mean. In our case they mean that although we’ve been producing a quality breakfast and have plenty of repeat custom we don’t have, for instance, an up-to-date list of suppliers, or ingredients used in the kitchen or allergens or…well the list goes on.

I must add here, if only for the sake of the cafe’s reputation, that frog isn’t on the menu and we have no intention of adding it.

Looking on the bright side, while I’ve been inside risking RSI to both my tryping fingers Julia and the group have been outside in the pouring rain doing useful and healthy things.

Useful, healthy, cold and wet things. Ah well!

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