Sunday, February 22, 2009

What happened THIS week

We have had to do a fair bit of adjusting recently, and this week I got to do just a little bit more.  This week I changed employers.  I didn't change jobs, rather my job changed around me.  Of course the first rule of blogging is: don't talk about work.  But work is all I've been doing recently, so talk about it I will.

For the last couple of weeks I've been working full time at the coffee shop, not out of a conscious choice so much as out of my panicked reaction to our current circumstances combined with the shop owner's need to cover all the shifts.  He's come to be part friend/part boss over the past two years, and he said it would really help him out if I could bump up my shifts from two days a week to five.  Just for a while.  Me, I'm not usually able to refuse a request for help.  And I was happy to do it because I loved his coffee shop; it was the first place we went in Townsville where we really felt at home and happy to just hang out.  I really wanted the place to survive, and to do well.  The boss said that a new staff member would join us soon.  He said maybe next week.  Then he said maybe the week after that.

Well.  On Thursday my co-worker and I got the news that our boss was no longer our boss, and that another bigger and much more professional outfit had taken over our tiny coffee operation.  They told us that they were keen to 'minimise any disruption' and that it would really help them out if we would stay on in our jobs.  In that moment it sounded like an OK idea, so I agreed.

But after two days under this new arrangement, my head is still spinning.  It's the same job - the same coffee, the same regulars with the same orders, the same mini-conversation over and over again throughout the day.  But the background noise is completely different.  I'm no longer working to help a friend out, doing everything I can to build our base of happy customers and to keep the whole thing afloat.  For him I worked super-hard, because if his business went under we would lose one of the mainstays of our life in Townsville.  If you are not a coffee drinker, you might wonder how a single coffee shop could have that much bearing on a life.  But just imagine we're in Casablanca.  This coffee shop was our Rick's.  So now we're still in Rick's Cafe, but it's been taken over by his greasy competitor from the Blue Parrot.  Ugh.

It's just a job to me now.   

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's Day Lunch

Obviously ~ to have love, life, food and shelter is to be lucky.  Especially now; especially in Australia.

But I know that I am really lucky.  

Today, for Valentines Day, Hayden recreated our legendary first picnic together: Summer 2004, Moonlight Cinema, Melbourne botanical gardens.  As he spread the picnic blanket with wine and food he'd spent the day preparing, Hayden asked me: "You're not vegetarian are you?" And I could see all the trouble he'd gone to and answered: (gulp) "... no, of course not."  And it wasn't a lie; from that point on I really was an omnivore.   Today's menu is one of my favourites:  roast chicken stuffed with semi-dried tomatoes, rocket leaves and cous cous salad.  This time, though, it was an indoor picnic as the ground outside is still completely wet and muddy.

Obviously ~ there are ups and downs.  Things happen to us, and other things fail to happen, and the circumstances test us.  We might just now, Hayden and I, be getting a sense of all the things that can happen during a marriage, and how it will last and bounce back and carry on, always growing stronger.  

I'm wishing you a happy Valentine, too.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

40 Days and Nights

The newspaper tells us that this has been going on for forty days and nights, but I don't know if that's true.
I can't remember how long it has been raining or what it was like before - all I know is that some time ago things changed: the sun disappeared. the air cooled. Hayden stopped going to work every day and I started. He's been writing letters and emailing, applying, working full time at finding a job. Meanwhile I am making coffees all day long, and in my dreams at night I'm still making coffees. Two nights ago Lily jumped up by my side of the bed and asked me for a medium mocha. That was plain ridiculous; she knows she can't have chocolate.

Wherever you are in Australia - the cool part drowning in puddles or the hot part dry and fireswept - I hope you're going OK. We are. We're plodding along through our new muddy puddles. We are going OK.