The two previous blog posts were written a couple of weeks ago, and I've only had the courage to share them now. It all felt a little deep and personal, considering I set this page up as a fun and light hearted account of lockdown with a toddler. However, they're very real emotions, and seeing as I'm using this page also to document this time to myself, I realise it's important to be honest about how I feel. And, unfortunately, it's not all margarita's and play-dough.
Nel and I have been keeping up on our daily walks since I've returned from Dorset. It's a nice bit of structure to an otherwise vacuumous* day. (*That word may have been made up but I like it).
We've finally reopened the beach kiosk, which is great, as now we can finally have an income again. I went back to work with Sam for the first day, while Nel's auntie and uncle had her, and it was actually really fun. Sam's continued to go in, but I've had to stay home with Nel as we can't keep palming her off to other relatives.
Saying that, this morning her other uncle came and picked her up and took her to the local skatepark for an hour when Sam went to work. I haven't had any space to myself now for a week, having solo parented the whole time. It was so lovely. I didn't do my usual of cleaning the house and frantically trying to catch up on dull tasks I can't do with Nel around. Instead, I logged onto Patreon.com and caught up on reading all the blog posts I'd missed from my favourite blogger / author; Dawn O'Porter. I sat there with a large mug of coffee, in a chaotic room full of crumbs and toys and just relaxed. And it inspired me to get writing again. I really don't care if no one other than me ever reads my posts, but for me, it creates a real cathartic sense of release which I never know I need, until I've sat down and done it.
So prior to reopening the beach kiosk, we were thinking of ways in which we could appeal to more customers, and what we could be doing to earn more money. We decided that instead of concentrating on posh ice cream, which doesn't have much of a profit margin, we should spend money to make money, by purchasing a brand new soft serve, Mr Whippy-style ice cream machine. We had this installed, alongside a bigger, better and shinier coffee machine too. But still, we were thinking of more ways to get people to spend money, baring in mind we're now ten weeks into lockdown and people just want to be outside, i.e. at the beach.
Sam grew up with a guy who went on to sell toys. His business grew and grew to the point where he now distributes toys (and much more) all over Scotland and much of England. He invited us down to his Warehouse, to pick out what we'd like to sell at the beach kiosk.
We took Nel with us, as a sort of litmus test for what to buy / what makes children scream at their parents incessantly until they give in. Great idea in theory, awful idea in reality, as obviously she wanted everything in the warehouse.
We ended up wheeling out a few flat bed trollies of absolute TAT. Brilliant tat, but tat none the less.
I've taken her down to the beach kiosk nearly every day since reopening now, and she loves it. I can honestly say that even though she currently has no concept of "cool", she will one day think that she has the coolest parents in the world.
Imagine her chatting to her little pals.
"What does your mum and dad do?"
"My dad works offshore, and my mum works in a bank."
"My dad works in marketing and my mum works in finance."
"My dad works as an architect and my mum in sales".
Nel: "My mum and dad sell cheese sandwiches, Mr Whippy Ice Creams AND have a tat shop!"
Seriously, we've got windbreaks, tennis balls, frisbees, buckets and spades, fishing nets, crab lines...you name it. I'm thinking next year we should expand to fridge magnets, sticks of rock and umbrellas. Hell, we might even start donkey rides and a Punch and Judy show.
The ice cream thing has kind of backed fired though, she Nel's now OBSESSED. The other night she was crying so I went through to her room. "What is it baby?" I asked her. "Want ice cream" she cried. I mean, soft serve is great, but maybe not at 4am.
The asking for it is constant. I've managed to get round this by blending up natural yogurt with fresh berries and honey, and freezing them in popsicle moulds. This morning she thought she got her way and got ice cream for breakfast, when really she was eating real fruit frozen yogurt. Who's the fool now!?
Anyway, that's all I've got for the moment, as all that talk of ice cream has made me hungry, so I'm off downstairs to eat a bit of her frozen yogurt!
Until next time!
(Photo as proof she does eat / lick fruit and I'm not an entirely bad mother).