Oh what blessed relief for the alarm not to be blaring away at 5.30am. Instead a more humane time of 7am was welcomed with the orange beast on the road by 7.30. A quick and easy load up of stock, nice quiet roads on a Sunday with some stunning frost covered scenery to take in on the journey made for a pleasant ride back to the Botanic Gardens.
Unlike day 1, setup was quick and easy, a few rejigs of the stand to avoid bumping into each other, I’m a huge fan of ergonomic setups, we were off and running, determined to make the most of it and go with the flow?
Based on previous experience, Sunday was going to be busier. I always feel a Botanic garden more suits a Sunday for whatever reason. So knuckling down we cracked on.
So why is it that when we are the most prepared possible with plenty of dough rolled out, “emergency quick dough” ready to go, toppings ready, dough rising nicely things are quieter than before.
This is the time when frustrations can arise. Geared up, ready to roll (pardon the pun) only to end up waiting for a rush that doesn’t come.
Back to That Quiet Spot..
A saying goes “there’s always something to do” but by mid-morning there was literally nothing for us to do so it was time to go hunting for food and talk to a few traders we’ve shared events with in the past. “Where are you at?” they asked “up on the stage” is my reply. This immediately is followed by a plumber sigh of air being sucked through the front teeth, followed by an “ooooohh damn” by traders. It seems the stage is known for being a touch of a dead spot for foot fall.
To best describe the layout, imagine an oval raceway with a pit lane on the main straight to take people from the track. You want to be in the pit stop for a little time as possible or use in case of emergency. In our case it seemed people were using it to avoid the café setup of tables, chairs and people splayed out with bags of shopping or to take a walk around the gardens themselves.
In my head I hoped the complete opposite. Being up upon high, banners out, smell of the food would entice those walking to pop by for a freshly baked treat. Nope! Standing back just to watch the flow of people, the stage is indeed a blank spot.
We solder on till the end with only a small flurry of activity during the afternoon.
By 4.30pm we were on the road home but in our tired state both decided to take a shortcut. This shortcut added another 35 minutes onto the journey home.
Reflecting On the Weekend
After a hearty meal supplied by Mrs Twirly’s husband we stood back, taking stock of the weekend. Maybe things hadn’t been as bad as suspected and that being busy is the new normal for us. Having gotten used to being flat out at Fishguard New Year’s Eve when things are slow we really notice.
The reports backed up our thoughts. We do love a good spreadsheet to see how we are doing. We aren’t governed or run things via a spreadsheet but it’s nice to see at a glance. 1 year from our first time at the Botanic Gardens our turnover was halved and this was on the back of the New Twirly Bakes offer.
Again this isn’t to blame the event organisers, all events have that certain dead spot which can’t be helped but it was a bit of a disappointment to have only done half of the previous year despite bigger attendance numbers.