Sunday, 31 May 2009

The End Of An Era

Today is the end of an era for our family. Sunday the 31st May, 2009 is the last day of owning and operating our bakery, Westbrook On The Rise Bakery.

We have been in business since the 20th December 1993, except for a 2 year break 1997 - 1999. It has been a long journey.

I sit here to write this morning, to record our journey for the sake of family history. The bakery has been a labour of love at times and also of hate at others. At this point we are glad for it to all be over. The time of small family business in this economic time is over. We have been bought by an expanding company that is based in Sydney. They have purchased this shop sight unseen, internet viewing only. That alone has boggled my brain! The new owner finally arrived yesterday to see his new business.

A bakery that operates seven days a week, with Brendon the only baker, except for some casual help three days per week has been a true test of our capabilities. Mental, emotional and physical. There is not a week goes by that we do have to change staff rosters in some way, someone always wants something different. We are exhausted.

This morning I went to the bakery early to take some last pictures. Brendon is a very good baker having won many, many awards along the way. This has been his creative outlet and together we built our business from a very small, rundown shop in a rural town to a large business with two shops and at times almost thirty employees. Eighteen months ago we sold our larger shop and have been operating the small shop only. This proved harder than we thought, with limited staff and the expectation to be open seven days each week.

As of tonight we are unemployed. I am excited and scared about the future. I know Brendon will find work easily. He has already been offered two positions and just has to decide which he will take. He will have about three weeks off first though. I have been considering my options and applying for administration work, preferably in a professional environment. My creative side is tugging hard though. Maybe I will be able to do both.
Waves of emotion keep engulfing me this morning. I do not know if I am happy or sad. Happy for me, sad for Brendon. He has loved being creative with his product and he is so good at it. I guess that is why he has been offered work so readily.
I think I am just exhausted. Mentally and physically. The work that still lies ahead of me to clean up the business side of the shop is almost overwhelming. I will forge ahead with it though, just so that it is over with as quickly as possible.
Stocktake this afternoon and some cheques deposited into our account tomorrow and that will be the end. Our freezer is loaded with some or our favourites to enjoy in the coming weeks, the children made sure of that - especially Daddy's sausage rolls!
Tomorrow is the beginning of a new life!

Friday, 15 May 2009

From My Garden......

There is something very satisfying about picking a basket full of fresh fruit and vegetables from your very own backyard.

26 lemons, corn, beans, tomatoes and passiontfruit. YUM!!
The weather is beautiful here at the moment. Very cool evenings and mornings with beautiful days. Some rain would be just wonderful soon though.
I am looking forward to the weekend, not quite as much on. The year is disappearing so quickly. The June holidays will be here before we know it.
The Eisteddfod was lovely last weekend, the children sang beautifully. Alexandra gained a Highly Commended for her solo. We were so proud of her, as she had just started voice lessons this year and it was her first performance. Mitchell has had a huge week with his school musical. They are doing Pirates of Penzance, so he is very much enjoying playing pirates!! I am looking forward to seeing the show on Saturday night.
A lovely weekend to all!

Sunday, 10 May 2009

A Happy Mothers' Day

I have had a lovely Mothers' Day today. Busy but lovely. It started with the beautiful breakfast tray being brought to me in bed. French Toast and a pot of tea served in my lovely vintage tea set. The lovely tray cloth was one I found in amongst my Nana's linen. I think it would have been stitched by her. It has a lovely matching serviette. The embroidered teacup that you can see just popping out from under my cup is a little pocket - very cute.

Our afternoon was spent at the Toowoomba Eistedfodd. This weekend has been spent listening to beautiful primary school choirs. My daughter took part in 5 sections (I think) - it becomes a bit of a blur.

Tomorrow morning Alexandra is doing her very first solo performances. She will take part in two sections. Tomorrow evening Mitchell will be part of the High School sections.

It is just beautiful to watch the children take part in such a great competition. It doesn't matter if they win or not, just to sing on the stage of our beautiful Empire Theatre will be etched into their memories forever.

My sweet Mitchell cooked dinner for us tonight. We had lovely steak with Jacket Potatoes and corn and greens from our garden. He cooked the steak and the corn on the barbeque - it was delicious.
He had spent the afternoon at home making this yummy dessert too. It is a Strawberry, Chocolate, Cream and Hazelnut Meringue. It was just scrumptious!! Thank you my special boy.
Mitchell is a Jamie Oliver fan and found this in one of his cook books.
A happy Mothers' Day to everyone.

Friday, 1 May 2009

Goodness, where did the last two weeks disappear to. I am not sure, but here we are suddenly in May.

The weather has certainly turned much cooler in the evenings this week. My two youngest children have been at camp this week. Both of them were totally outdoors, cooking on fires types of camps. I won't be the least bit surprised if they are sick this week. Mitchell has come home with the most awful burn covering at least half the top of his foot. It looks really bad, so I will have to find a doctor to see him in the morning. He had shoes and socks on beside the fire and a pot of boiling water was spilt on his foot. He was so badly hurt and says he went into shock. I am a bit cranky that I wasn't called. Alexandra has hiked with a backpack since Tuesday and slept under a piece of canvas strung up somehow at night. She is one tired little poppet. They were both in bed around 7.30 tonight.

I finally got my lemon curd and lemon passionfruit curd made. It is really delicious. I must get some little tart shells to eat it with. It has turned out much better this time, I realise now I haven't cooked it long enough in my past attempts. Those naughty chooks didn't come to the party with any eggs though - and I still found another eaten one today.
Also, this week while the children were away I had a day in Brisbane - well, disappointing would be an understatement. I went down to the Stitches and Craft show. Nothing jumped out at me with that WOW factor that can sometimes hit you. Some of the stalls that have been previously quite lovely were just very ordinary this time. I found my way to some shops too, but that seemed a little boring as well. I was so looking forward to my day out and it was all just a bit of a let down.
So my highlight of the week then was a trip to the thrift/junk shops - better then Brisbane! I found some lovely old silverware that is the same pattern as my parents silver cutlery and a couple of lovely old pieces of embroidery. It is all soaking at the moment, so hopefully some pics later. My mannequin will be getting a new outfit too! She will be stunning in this little number!!
A long weekend here this weekend, so hopefully a lovely weekend at home mostly.
Off for a cuppa and a read in bed, which never happens due to BJ's awful sleeping routine with being a night worker.
A happy weekend to everyone!