Where to start??
Well, the highly depressing news is that Carl has to fly back to the UK on Friday. I am not looking forward to this one little bit. Miranda has started to form basic sentences now, and even when Carl disappears for a few minutes (running to the late-opening Safeway across the street for instance,) she asks “Where Daddy gone?” plaintively. This is going to be heartbreaking when she does this after he’s actually left the country!
! This is our home now, Carl ought to be here too. It’s Not Right otherwise.
I am also feeling a little bereft of Miranda. On the positive side, she is thoroughly enjoying her new Daycare. This Reggio Emilio daycare place (still sounds like a type of hard, grated cheese to me) is run by a lovely woman called Carolina, and Miri has taken to her, and the daycare environment very happily indeed. Carolina adopts a kind of ‘structured play’ where there is always some educational motive behind the activities they get up, and Miri seems to be getting on very well with it, even in just two days! No problems whatsoever with strange people, other children she doesn’t recognise, strange house, toys that aren’t hers, an unfamilar cot for naptime or neither Mummy nor Daddy being there in the afternoons. She is the eldest there at the moment (if only by a few months) and didn’t want to go home at all tonight!! She did yell “MAMEEE!” when she saw me, but she doesn’t seem at all bothered when we leave her there in the mornings. Maybe unsurprisingly, it has been far harder on me than her. Carl had to pack her up her little lunchbox and everything… My beautiful baby is getting Big and Independent and goes off for the day without me!! This is HARD. Although I am very relieved that she’s settling in so well, and I am incredibly proud of my Moomin. “Her world is getting bigger.” says Carl.
Daycare is now a necessity though, because I have more-or-less started work. Sensibly, Emma has got me doing a little bit of everything. So on Monday I was cleaning the place (with a lot of expert help!) so at least now I know where everything lives – including the elusive blank for the coffee machine! Then today I got sent on another food safety course (remarkably similar to the ones I did in the UK, which, of course, aren’t recognised here,) and now my head is full of “hot holding temperatures” and the difference between pathogens, parasites and protozoa in food. For the rest of the week I am being a temporary line-cook, doing a bit of prep and assembling some of the dishes since they are short staffed at the moment. I hope I am actually some use – it’s been a looooong while since I was cooking to order! But it does allow me to get to know the other staff (there are a lot of them and I’ve only had the briefest of conversations with most!) and hopefully even familiarise myself with the menu, tofu and all!
We also had a Big Chat the other day – about practical things to start off with, like sorting my hours around picking Miri up from daycare whilst keeping as near 40 hours a week as I can, and then more worrying things like paying the rent! And then we got on to the fun stuff – the coffee. They really want to develop the coffee side of the business since the place is called 13th Avenue Coffee House, but at the moment, they make the vast majority of their money from the excellent food they serve here. There is the added threat of Starschmucks opening up across the street too (aaaaaaaaaaaaaargh), but fortunately they like the idea of teaming up with Roca Jacks and with me designing a coffee blend unique to 13th Avenue, but having Roca Jacks roast it for us. Tamara is also happy with all this, and she and I decided (admittedly after quite a bit of champagne) that we were single-handedly going to create the Cafe Culture Revolution in Regina. We got talking about doing Coffee Classes in the evenings, tasting events, and so on, Carl dropped me in it by telling them about the coffee festival I organised, and then we mentioned getting my Ugly Cake Company going as well… and basically I got carried away and my inner Geek got loose in public again and had to be restrained forcibly with talk of “long term plans, right Bel?”
So it’s all exciting!!! And I’ve been meeting so many friendly people. I treated myself to a quick trip to the Wonderful Designer Stationery Shop this afternoon and the woman who runs it, Theresa, first liked my bag, then my accent, then my tales of my Pretty Notebook fetish, then my coffee obsession and then suggested I do a public talk about coffee at the Artesian arts venue opposite…. possibly because I must have come across as a complete freak, admittedly. There is always entertainment value to be found when Inner Geeks are allowed off the leash, right?
Lots of plans afoot. I’ve just got to pace it all, start slowly, prioritise and settle myself in properly first. But I am quite ridiculously happy at the moment. WEEEEEEEEEEEEE!