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Le Crafty Cafe is born

 
Le Crafty Café is born

It looks like it is really happening!

After the lady from the Chamber of Commerce came out to look at the property for my new project, she suggested we meet at her office to go through the figures, to make sure things balance.

The morning of the meeting there was a freezing fog. I put an extra jumper on and set off half an hour earlier than I was going to, just in case.

I was to be driving in the city, something I hate doing at the best of times. Last time I went there was to volunteer at the soup kitchen; I spent an hour and a half driving around the one-way system, the wrong way on occasion, before deciding to come home as they would be almost finished.

I put the address into my satnav and checked my phone… battery dead. I knew I could charge it in the car, but it is only a drip feed and quite precarious at that.

Nay matter; off I set on my journey. Apart from some motorway roadworks, my journey to Angouleme went rather smoothly. As I got in to the centre of the city, my satnav tried to send me up a narrow, cobbled road, which I wasn’t sure was legal. It told me I was only 20 metres away from my destination and when I caught sight of a parking place, I jumped into it (metaphorically of course).

I negotiated the parking payment system, which requires you putting your registration details into the meter, so I had to go all the way back to the car to write it down. I assumed the meeting would last an hour, tops, so paid for two hours; I didn’t want to be worrying about getting a ticket. With my intended address in hand I checked the names of the road that the satnav had asked me to drive up… nope. I was parked on a square, which had about 8 different roads going off it… I checked them all; none matched.

I stopped a young chap and asked him, he told me it was next to ‘l’hotel de ville’. My vacant look prompted him to point up a road and off I set.

I checked my phone to see what the time was… no battery.

By now I was starting to panic somewhat. The freezing fog had lifted and the sun was coming out; I regretted the two-jumper decision. As I got to the end of the road I sort of recognised where I was, but still had no idea where I was going.

I asked a couple who were sitting having a coffee on the terrace of a café; they had no idea. I remembered that the Tourist Information was nearby and went in to ask them.

“Where is the Chamber of Commerce, please?”

“Next to town hall.”

“Where is the town hall please?”

“Up that road over there” (pointing). “I’ll show you on the map!”

With map in hand and still having no idea what time it was I set off as fast as my legs would allow. At the end of the road I found a huge church; I could see a Quick, burger place; and I could see other huge buildings, but nothing I could identify as the town hall or Chamber of Commerce.

I walked all the way around the church and just after muttering to myself; I can’t do this, I saw people in suits heading into one particular building – Et voila!

I got to reception and saw that the clock said: 09.57; I was three minutes early. I was asked to sit in the waiting area, where I stayed for what felt like ages (I have no idea how long it was, I couldn’t see the clock from there).

Finally, the lady arrived and we went up the four flights of stairs to her office. My first bad move was not taking my winter coat off, but I kept thinking, this won’t take long.

Three hours I was in there! THREE! She went through my financial projections with a fine tooth comb, inputting every detail on to her spreadsheet; she start seeing if she could find a better price for a fridge than the one I had sourced; she doubted my costs for the bamboo take-away cups I will be buying; she then started naming things I hadn’t included, which was basically the cost of till rolls and washing up liquid.

All this time, I am in a heated office; next to a window with the sun streaming in; panicking about how much my parking ticket was going to cost me; and even more so, where on earth had I parked my car?

Just when I thought it was all over, she told me I would have to do the food handling course; the last one I did was prior to 2006 so needed renewing. So she called her colleague in to talk me through the whole course! I was then informed it doesn’t run in December, so I would be booked on to the January one!

I flashed a look at the first lady I’d met with and she seemed to understand me. “Any chance of squeezing her on to the November one?”

There was a pause; we need the funds to be in place at least two weeks before the course date and we only have nine days.

I did my bestest puppy dog eyes and she relented; get the cheque to me by the end of the week and I’ll do what I can.

I’d almost forgotten about my car woes and stood up to leave and express my thanks for their help; when I was given various forms to fill in for the course and needed to wait for a few minutes while she printed off my business plan that she had completed.

I suppose I should add, that my figures did add up and once we had worked out how many cups of coffee and slices of cake I need to sell each day, all was good to go!

I came out of that place exhausted; sweating like a proverbial; and having no idea which way to go to find my car.

And I have to do it all again on Monday when I go for the first day of the course! This time at least I’ll have a better idea of how long I’ll be there; I’ll make sure my phone is charged; and almost certainly not wear so many jumpers!

 


 
A. Mommyness

(Mum's the word cover picture was drawn by one of my children)

If you have any tales of parenthood which you would like to share send them to - 

editor@theenglishinformer.com

 



 
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