Thursday 23 September 2010


It's not easy running two businesses and a household.  When I wrote out my profile on the sidebar of this blog, it was prior to establishing the pie shop, but I'm truly - truly - living it out now.  We're always looking for ways to work smarter, not harder.  We even own a book with the same title! Everything, simply EVERYTHING can be improved upon, but this takes time.  For workable systems to be put into place it takes time, effort and a lot of mistakes have to be made in the process. 

Take the paperwork, for instance. 

In our home office, we have three paper trays, one for engineering, one for the cafe and one for the household accounts.  Many times, the paperwork overlaps.  The telephone account overlaps, because we have one for all three entities.  Same with the electricity and gas accounts.  Some expenses are shared by both businesses - like the petrol bills.  Some expenses are shared by the cafe and ourselves - like various food items. 

A and B, B and C, C and A. 

(Doe, ray me, tea with bread, bread and jam...tra la la...)

Every purchase, invoice, cheque payment, direct deposit etc has to be recorded in an electronic acccounting system.  Food and hospitality produces an enormous amount of paperwork.

Bank statements are the biggest headache.  We have several.  We collect them, you see....

3 x business statements, 1 x GST statement, 1 x private statement, 1 x mortgage statement, 1 x investment statement, 2 x superannuation statements (there's more, but I'm sure you don't want to hear about them...).

Reconciling them for quarterly tax reporting is always nightmar-ish.  Imagine having several shop dockets with various tax codes for various items and having to separate them to record them accurately....

I remember watching documentaries on "Starting a New Life", whereby families would change their lifestyles completely.  A few of them decided on hospitality; b & b, small hotels, restaurants, cafes.  All of them declared that the hardest part of their new life was staying on top of the paperwork. 


I get it.  I really do get it.

Tuesday 21 September 2010

A Taste of Spring

I bought some petunias today.  Petunias and stocks - in pinks and whites - some frilly, some smooth petalled.  Oh, and a couple of silver leafed perennials to plant in between them, bringing out their beauty, while adding to their vanity.  There were red and green cabbage flowers, too, which I left behind and now regret.  I've always adored displays of fruits, vegetables, berries and twiggery which hold their own against the most brilliant of flowers.   These aren't for our garden, though - they are for the Grands, and for mam to divide and replant.  She's been wanting 'pots of colour' for their outside table since the weather warmed a little.
"When did you put those plants outside our door?" she asked "will we be going back to the plant shop? I'd love some primroses, too ..."
"Sure we can, ma... I just wanted you to have something beautiful to welcome spring"

Our garden at home has come alive and looks quite lush already .... with LOTS and LOTS of weeds.  There's weeds between the vegetable beds and the garden paths have the thickest, greenest patches of lawn.

Should we mow it or scrape it up?

On each bed sits bulbous black bags, strategically placed and filled with semi-decomposed leaves; - a gift of labour from Grandpa when the leaves were carpeting the front of the house in early winter. They look like huge cocoons, waiting to burst open and spew out their contents.  I'm hoping we can relieve them really soon. 

Then again - I'm hoping to attend to a lot of garden exploits.  Soon.


 Table talk amongst our children is and always has been, -  a rabbit warren . We start off in one hole and end up in another -  quick smart....