Hello! I was thinking it has been AGES since I’ve written a blog update, so I thought it was about time to get something out there. As always, so much has changed in my life so fasten your seatbelts ;)
If you’re one of MYO’s followers, you’ll know that I made the move to Northamptonshire to be with my partner Tom. I was initially worried about moving the business and was convinced I would lose a lot of my regular contacts and it would be hard to find new business. I panicked that I had no staff, no family to lean on and I’d be stuck in the middle of nowhere with nothing to do. As it turned out, I couldn’t have been more wrong!
My last blog post spoke about the problems I faced with staff, a crazy calendar and the vans breaking down left, right and centre. As a result, I spent a lot of last summer filled with anxiety; worrying whether staff were going to let me down last minute, or whether a van was going to make the distance. I was also worried about the huge pitch fees I’d stupidly signed up to, and whether I’d make that money back. On numerous occasions last summer, a gin and tonic would be my standard dinner, and the only ‘tonic’ to my worries. I took to running to clear my head and ended up losing quite a lot of weight. Ah well, there’s silver linings to everything, right?!
By 1st October, I could not have been more relieved to have gotten through the summer. I can never thank Tom enough for helping me get through it. I had learnt SO much from my experiences, most importantly, that I needed to say no! Anyway, the sadness stops here I promise!
In truth, it took me a little while to want to cater with MYO again. The demands of the summer had caused me to completely fall out of love with it. As a result, I lost a little purpose and didn’t really know what to do with myself! So, I started focusing on personal training – I’ve now passed all the exams; I just have one more practical to do and then I’ll be fully fledged - watch out world!
So… ten months later.... where is MYO now? In short, it’s in a really good place. I’ve been very selective with my bookings and have largely only taken on private events (Weddings – corporate – parties). I’ve gone from catering up to seven events a week to just 3 or 4. I’m beginning to really enjoy it again and doing less means I can focus on each individual customer so much more. Yes, I’ve gone backwards in terms of expanding – but I’ve learnt that unless you get very lucky, it is hard to find staff that care the same amount as you. This way, I can be certain that all of my customers get the very best and I’m so proud of the business at every event. Relying on myself is the best situation; taking full time staff out of the picture has been such a relief.
I drive the trailer to 90% of my bookings now; I’ve become a pro at loading the van – and I’m getting there with the maneuvering. I get a bit nervous when I have no way of circling around to get out of the venue, but I usually find someone to help or spend a long time reversing! It is such a relief knowing I can get from A to B, and there hasn’t been a night spent on the hard shoulder for a long time! It’s so nice to love my job again so I’m going to continue doing less events for the rest of this year and see where I am at the end of it.
In other news… unfortunately Alice had to leave me at Long Buckby Station trailer for a new life in Wales, so I’ve taken over her incredibly early 5.30am shift at the station. In all honesty, I thought I’d hate it! I’m not the best in the morning – I need my cup of tea and twenty minutes to wake up. So, speaking to people from such an early hour was a worry of mine, but actually – I love it! You feel like you’ve achieved something with your day, before the average person goes to work. Also, the customers are always (well, usually!) so happy and you really do get to know your regulars. I’ve taken on a young girl to cover Fridays and any days I can’t do, so all good on that side of the business!
In my personal life; the most important thing, well two things to report are…. Tom proposed and we moved into our first proper house together! I was over the moon when he asked; I genuinely felt like all my Christmasses had come at once for a good month! So, I’ve been wedding planning ever since… and with all of the weddings I’ve catered, I’ve accumulated some good ideas! So far, I’ve found my dress and we have our venue – so it feels very real!! And yes, at least one of the vans will have to feature on the day!
We've also been lucky enough to go Cuba (really, really interesting but a bit manic for us!), South Africa for a wedding and Mozambique (so beautiful!). We're off to Thailand in November for my cousin's wedding; which is going to be a traditional Buddhist/Thai wedding so I can't wait to experience it! We're umming and erring over whether to go to Cambodia, Vietnam or Laos while we're there - so if anyone has any suggestions or recommendations, please let me know! There's just too many good options!
Northamptonshire is definitely growing on me. We've moved to a busier village, where there's actually a pub and shop, along with two indians, a chinese and cafes - all within walking distance!! I joined the local running club and have entered a few half marathon races, where I did a lot better than expected (1hr32) and I’m slowly growing a nice little social life. So yes, things are definitely on the up!
I'm not sure what the future of MYO will be. At the moment, I am loving my job - I like my early mornings at the trailer (this will probably be a different story in the freezing cold, dark winter months!) and I love my select bookings with the vans. Opportunities tend to present themselves throughout life, so who knows what could happen. All I know, is I'm happy and that's enough for me, for now!