Thursday, March 09, 2006

What I’ve done!

After my low of Tuesday, the usual happened… I bounced! And some of your helpful and motivational comments really helped, *thank you*.

Yesterday morning, after a traumatic trip to the supermarket (wrinkly discount day! Nothing against wrinklies, but should be avoided when in large groups and contained in small areas, bit like teenagers) and then a frustrating trip to my stupid bank (where they can’t tell the time and opened seven minutes late, because after all, they’re busy doing important stuff and what the hell does my time matter?! Oh and I was only there, because their stupid cash machine only gave me half a twenty pound note!), I was fired up and ready to put the world to rights.

Can’t do a lot about the supermarket discount day for OAPs (though I think they should just give 10% off to OAPs every day, and stop making Wednesday a misery for us ALL!) But the bank, well, they don’t seem to care I’ve been with them twenty years, so why should I?! Decided to find out which banks had real live people answering their phones, turns out only one, and I made the poor chap stutter by immediately demanding to know where he was (as I’m also sick of talking to people with hard to understand accents in Indian call centres), but that was joyous too, as he was local. Have decided there’s definitely something shady about an organisation who won’t allow you to call a local office, and if it was anyone but THE BANK I would have looked elsewhere long ago! So… have to make sure I can leave the mortgages where they and that my present bank can’t hunt me down and make my life even more miserable, but assuming we can do as we please, then we’re jumping ship for warmer waters and service with a human smile!

I also called our Public Health Department, to find out how many hoops I’d have to jump through to make birthday cakes for other people from home. The information arrived today. Umm, here’s another organisation who could do with listening more. I asked for details on what my kitchen would have to be like, instead they sent me a form details who’s exempt and an application to register. What I really need to know is, will I have to wait until Dingbat (my cockatiel) and Ryker (the dog) are dead, will the jukebox have to go, am I allowed to have flowers but no extractor fan, and does it matter half the drawers need a clear out – that sort of thing. But no, apparently I should run before I can walk and should apply first, that way someone will come out to inspect my kitchen, gasp in horror, and then provide a detailed list of why my kitchen is a health risk.

Phoned the local college too, for their prospectus. That also arrived today…and I’m left thinking…I’m hard to please! It’s useless. One huge sheet, folded like a map – except a very badly folded map as I can cope with them, but this…! Ended up just spreading the thing out on the kitchen table. Wow. There’re two catering courses, but I have no idea what’s involved as they use all of thirty words in one paragraph to entice me (and hundreds of teenagers) into signing up for the next year or two of our lives. No mention of anything remotely cake originated, just a short spiel about learning what the hospitality industry wants. (If you were sitting next to me, you would be hearing a heavy sigh.) But I’m not put off yet – their evening courses prospectus is out on Friday and I’m hoping that might provide some more information (as I’m presuming the individual lecturers write them, and at least one might have the insight to suppose I want to know what they’re offering!)

But I won’t hold my breath. This is the problem with living in such a small place, lack of choices. But if all else fails, I'll bloody teach myself to decorate cakes properly! Though of course, I might not be able to sell them…;o)

And after all that, I now know what I would be excellent at – telling companies what they’re crap at!


Blogger Tim-tambolini said...

Maybe you could find a cake decorating video or manual on eBay or at the library. Don't stress to my about the Public Health criteria...I used to run hotdog stands for my living and the place I stored the carts and prepared the food was a hole in the wall at best. There's ways around everything!

Good for you for being so quick to jump on top of all of this! Go Jona!

Thursday, March 09, 2006 1:54:00 pm  
Blogger Tim-tambolini said...

Was just on, type in cake decorating and over 3000 items come up, including books. Take a peak!

Thursday, March 09, 2006 1:55:00 pm  
Blogger Jona said...

Thanks TT, I'm not actually bad at it now (and have books galore), but I just feel I would really benefit from hands-on tips and examples - and you're right, from the info the the Health people sent, roadside food is exempt, unfortuantely not food prepared in the home, lol that's irony for you ;o)

Thursday, March 09, 2006 2:04:00 pm  
Blogger Karen said...

Wrinkly discount day ROFL You're so funny. Seniors here get a kick out of any discount, including my parents. ;-)

You not getting the right info sounds like a typical gov't agency to me. Good luck!

Have a great day!

Thursday, March 09, 2006 5:22:00 pm  
Blogger No_Newz said...

If you already have the decorating basics down, you're halfway there.
Maybe the health department has info on the website or a name of a real person you could speak to?
Maybe you could just bake the cakes on your car's engine and sell them roadside. :P
Lois Lane

Thursday, March 09, 2006 6:57:00 pm  
Blogger Daisy Mae said...

I could tell you everything you need to know about state regulations on using your kitchen in a home business. However it would only be good for Indiana.

The common thread seemed to be that if it was a cooked item you could have no pets and everything had to be stainless steel and you had to have annual inspections from the health dept. With our BBQ dry rub we didn';t cook it so we were allowed to bottle it at home. With the BBQ sauce since we cooked it we could not do it at home (because of the dog and other factors). We got around that by using the kitchen of a local BBQ joint on the one day a week that thye were closed.

I don't know if you could find a local resturaunt that you could bake cakes in at an off time that they were closed or not. And as I said I only know about Indiana regulations.

I could send you our BBQ rub recipe and you could bottle that at home and sell it at the farmers markets or have local stores sell it for you like we did. How does that saying go? I could tell you but I'd have to kill you. ha ha.

Friday, March 10, 2006 3:44:00 am  
Blogger Daisy Mae said...

Oh, and it was the Dept of Agriculture that gave us the info on the kitchen regulations. So you may want to start with that agency.

Friday, March 10, 2006 3:46:00 am  
Blogger Amanda Matilda said...

Telling companies what they're crap at? That's called consulting! Print up those business cards now! You could be in business tomorrow!

Friday, March 10, 2006 4:24:00 am  
Blogger g said...

If you're going to do the cake thing, I would suggest trying a few right now, and posting the pictures for us to see.

But you have a real talent for telling companies what they’re crap at. Too bad you couldn't bottle that.

Saturday, March 11, 2006 12:35:00 am  
Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

Now then, you must trundle over to and see what he has to say about Guernsey and Jersey. To say nothng of Sark.

(I warned him, so he might not be there.)

Saturday, March 11, 2006 12:39:00 am  
Blogger Miss Cellania said...

Hooah on changing banks... we should all demand proper service for our business. I left a lifelong bank when the new owners sent out a detailed schedule of fees (ridiculous things like charge per check on top of a monthly service charge) when other banks in town charged no such fees. Two years later, I find out they never implemented those fees. I wonder how much business they lost?

Saturday, March 11, 2006 7:13:00 pm  

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