Sunday, July 02, 2017

SHERINGHAM DIARY 3 - Changing Work

Well, we've been here for three months now, and you might have thought we would have sorted everything out by now.  Living in Upper Sheringham is lovely, our house is lovely, we are doing lovely. However, our relationship towards the world of work  is still in some state of flux.

Jnanasalin has found himself a new job, which he will be starting in about 2 weeks time. He's being employed as the Retail Manager for a charity, which currently has three outlets selling good quality second hand items.The interior decor is well thought out and designed, so they don't look like your usual charity shop. Jnanasalin has been brought in to look after these, and to expand the chain across Norfolk, and develop a support network.

He's both excited and a little nervous about this change in work, but knows he has a huge amount of expertise he can offer them. He is also a couple of weeks away from his driving test, which he is well on track with. But heightened anxiety can always be summoned up, as you'd expect with two such major life events happening within days of each other.

Myself, well I decided to leave Byfords in Holt and get a housekeeping job closer to home. Which I achieved quite quickly, I now work for The Two Lifeboats Pub in Sheringham, 20 hrs a week.

However, it turns out that the 4 hrs a day 5 days a week, certainly at this time of year, is the exception rather than the norm. The housekeeping also includes the laundering/drying and ironing of the bed linen. So things can be pretty full on, and doing all that in 4 hrs on most days is impossible. So last week in the middle of the heatwave, I did more like 32 hrs. What can be a just about physically manageable 4 hrs can become a bit of a strain when its 5-6 hrs. In short, this is not what I want to be doing in the long term. It defeats the whole point of my working part-time if I have insufficient energy left to do much creative/craft work before or after a work shift.

It has made me realise that I really need to get myself out of the world of cleaning work. What was a good thing that kept the wolf from the door in Cambridge, is turning out to be not quite the same thing here. My body finds the intense level of physical work entailed in these B & B's I've been working for really draining, as it starts to creep beyond the stamina and physical capacity of my ageing body. Finding housekeeping work has been relatively easy, though I think finding something less physically strenuous, let alone something I want to do, isn't going to turn up just as readily. Anyway, watch this space.

Inside Crofters restaurant

This June, on the 26th, it was my sixtieth birthday. A significant milestone, and one that was marked well on the day.  Later in the week we had a meal out at our favourite restaurant Crofters in Sheringham. Like many places in Sheringham, entering it is like taking a step back in time. The interior of Crofters is decked in dark carved wood, blue checked curtains and has the ambiance of an Austrian Ski Chalet. The menu is good, with an exceptionally varied Vegetarian/Vegan part of their menu.  On top of these delights is the ever resplendent and supremely helpful Fay, who has worked in Crofters for quite some time. She has a unique dress sense and choice in jewellery, complete with boldly matching statement necklaces/earrings/rings and arms full of bangles. Each time we go in its a different colour combination, she goes where even much younger women would fear to tread and always achieves success.

A new exhibition has opened at The Mo, Sheringham's Museum. Its an exhibition of Gansey, which are fisherman's jumpers originally knitted by their wives so if their husbands were drowned at sea they would recognise them by their distinctive jumpers. Gansey are knit in fine wool yarn in very tight patterns and are worn on top of everything because they are hard wearing items of clothing. Jnansalin has bought me a book for my 60th on the history of them, which also includes some patterns. They were originally knitted in a circular fashion with no joins or seams. I'm thinking to adapt some gansey patterns to make cushions,stool covers etc.

The shop premises I mentioned last month that we thought would make an ideal future cafe. Guess what, its opening as .... a cafe. We are beginning to think that perhaps Sheringham may be reaching, or have already reached 'peak cafe' with well over 12 , and now this new one. We've heard on the grapevine ie. via the Mulberry Tea Rooms local gossip, that one of the cafes that opened barely a year ago is struggling to get sufficient business. So we are thinking we may have to consider basing our cafe further afield, maybe in another place, or an out of town craft complex, or if we do open in Sheringham, perhaps look to take over and transform an existing cafe. Who knows at this point in time which we will do, it may come down to rising to meet an opportunity rather than carrying out a fully worked out strategy.

This first weekend in July was The Lobster Potties Morris Dancing Festival, a weekend of crazy morris dancing. This is something I always enjoy, having been part of a Morris side many years ago. This years festival felt a bit quieter and low key than in previous years, with less folk around town. Perhaps the unpredictable weather of the week before deterred some people from coming. I got to see a few sides, but Jnansalin's sister , husband and two kids came down so we only partly saw the morris dancing, between playing the machines in the amusement arcades, eating chips, eating ice creams and looking out to sea. That said we did get to see The Witchmen from Kettering, who are like a huge boost to your testosterone.

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