I have not worked since June 1st last year and I have to say I have thoroughly enjoyed my year of leisure! The best part, of course, was my long cruise and the worst was breaking my leg, but that is all behind me now as I have re-entered the world of work.
I have been so incredibly fortunate in my search for work. I only decided a few weeks ago that my leg was sufficiently strong to enable me to do a job and so my search had barely started. I had put the word about at Fradley Junction and my friends were keeping their eyes open for me. Stan went one step further and spoke to Toby and Bonnie Williams who live at Alrewas Hayes, a beautiful, Queen Anne style country house, and use the location to host weddings and other events. He was game keeper for their father and so knows the family well.
As a result of his conversation, Toby asked me up for an interview. I went and met them both and liked them and the set up immediately. The motto on the crest of Alrewas Hayes is ‘to be rather than to seem’ which I love and which seems to be borne out in the feel of the place. They immediately offered me a part time post which I immediately accepted!
My role is varied. At present I am doing a little of everything to get an overview of the work there. So I have set up for afternoon tea and for a full scale silver service dinner for 140. I have cleaned the bridal suite and served breakfast to the guests. Each wedding is different as Toby and Bonnie want to, as far as possible, let the couple do whatever they choose so that adds variety to the work. In the summer they have some students working for them and they see my role as being a whipper in or student wrangler! In fact almost the first thing they said to me at my interview was that they were so glad I wasn’t young!! I took that in the spirit it was intended – employing lots of younger people is great for the energy levels but they do need some managing.
It is also so nice to be involved in ‘happy’ work for a change. Helping people make their special day as perfect as possible is infinitely preferable to either selling tat to people who can’t afford it or trying to convert people who don’t want to be converted, not to mention arresting people and ‘banging them up’! And the relief of not having to post my cv out to employers, compete with hundreds of people for one job and put up with rejections is indescribable! Having work on my doorstep so no commuting is the cherry on the wedding cake!
The hours are fairly light at present but they will increase as the venue is booked at weekends right through almost to the end of the year. Bonny (my dog not my employer) is coping well considering she is having to stay behind for the first time in her life (she celebrated her 4th birthday last Monday). If I am on a 3 or 4 hour shift she has her big walk and then gets left to sleep. If it is all day then my faithful friend Jan comes and takes her out and even took her back to her boat one afternoon. Stan has also offered to dog walk if I need it.
All in all I would say I am the most fortunate person I know – in home, mooring, work and friends – oh and with Bonny behaving – in dog too!