March 2013

It's not rocket salad

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Half term went well for us, despite our apprehensiveness. Plenty of customers came, including people who had been before and we quickly got back into our routines. Our log burner was much appreciated in the cold weather. Thankfully we managed to choose a dry day to get in a fresh supply of logs before the snow came back. We have a local supplier and we collect the logs in a trailer before transferring them into our hand trolley to bring them up the path to the school. It means handling each log three times on its way to the log bunker (into the trailer, into the trolley, finally the bunker). A bit labour intensive, but we like the rhythm of it…logarithm…ha ha.

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This is the first March that we’ve been open. We tried opening Mondays and Tuesdays as well as the weekend. We have decided to abandon the experiment after selling only one double espresso in a whole day. The espresso was much appreciated, but it’s not really enough and we were beginning to consume the stock to relieve the tedium…not a road we want to go down. We’ll stick to the weekends, when the steam trains are running and hope for some good weather to tempt the walkers out. Especially as we have now acquired an industrial strength boot scraper that could get mud off a hippo if one ventured this far north in search of a panino.

After Easter we’ll be running Applegarth, the cottage that sits behind the school (originally, the head teacher’s residence), as a holiday let. This is a new venture for us. It feels good to have the cottage and its beautiful, secluded garden within our domain. We intend that family and friends will make use of it, as well as paying guests. A first task will be to create a website to promote Applegarth and help us manage the bookings.

Bill is doing a drama evening class for the next few weeks, run by our friend from Esk Valley Theatre. This gives him the chance to mutter lines from Romeo and Juliet while making drinks for customers: ’Two lattes, both alike in dignity, in fair (trade) aroma where we lay our scone’ …