Saturday, 2 July 2011


Sorry for the break in transmission, but it’s been quite some week since we opened the doors of Jessie’s Kitchen on Monday. Opening in itself was a bit of a feat, considering that at midnight on Sunday we were still hanging paintings, peeling backing from wall stickers, arranging chairs and much, much more! Then we opened at 8.30 am on Monday! We’ve worked out we painted 47 chairs (four coats each!!), 14 tables, a changing unit, a mirror, an armchair, seven big blackboards, six little blackboard signs, and fourteen clothes pegs (they’re ‘tab grabbers’, okay? Yes, I’d never heard of that either....). Our dachshunds, George and Belle, were scared to stand still for too long in case they found themselves unceremoniously sanded, primed, undercoated then given two coats of eggshell in a vibrant shade of pink.

The Jessie’s Kitchen team came into their own during those long, never-ending, one-step-forwards-two-steps-back days; Nick and Maz, organising everything, making runs to suppliers and DIY stores, compiling list after list after list, deciding exactly how many tea pots and ramekins a caff needs (more than you think – and it’ll still never be enough, we’ve discovered!), plus a thousand more jobs... but mainly painting. And painting. And painting some more. And going back for a wee bit more painting.  The famous day Marlyn cracked up after too much painting resulted in our ‘chair of many colours’ – the lucky chair, with every rung, leg, seat and back painted a different shade of pink. It’s my favourite chair - because there’s a story involved, because Maz is involved and because it sums up the effort, slog, hard times, late nights and ultimately, the fun that’s gone into Jessie’s Kitchen. That chair will always be a bit special (I’d say just like Marlyn herself, except then this would be my last-ever blog).
Nick and Maz’s contribution is legendary and we still feel as lucky to have them on board as we ever did, but can we just give our youngsters a mention too; Maddi, Claire, Matthew and Louise; not to forget Rowan, Heather and our very own Maya. They’ve all been amazing; hard-working, polite, funny and clever – they’ve made us proud from day one as we’ve learned the ropes together and we couldn’t have asked for a better team.
Anyway, by ten to twelve on Sunday night the chairs were dry (just!), the tables were arranged, the art was hung, the coffee machine plugged in, the IKEA lampshades pieced together... and we were set to open at 8.30 on Monday. No – wait; that couldn’t be right – could it??! After months of plotting, planning and preparation, we couldn’t be about to open the doors and start our dream for real...??!

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