Ponsonby, Week 3
Well, I know I used to say this all the time back in our old lives, but I loathe Mondays, and as far as our new lives are concerned, Sunday is the new Monday. It’s so disorienting to find oneself up out of bed at midnight with a long list of tasks to be accomplished and no idea whatsoever where to begin! I think we took the first full day just to get our heads on straight!
I feel much like our beloved Domino here, learning to walk. It takes more than a few staggering paces before we all hit our stride.
We got our first critic in at the G&K first thing Sunday during the lunch rush!
I thought we had everything in the bag, especially as the much-desired 5-star ratings had started popping up amongst some of our best customers and then, just as the guest of honor was seated we got word our rating had increased to 4 stars overall! A fantastic first impression!
But then . . . disaster! I’m sorry I didn’t get a picture, but to tell the truth I was too shocked to fully understand what was happening, let alone record it.
This is the aftermath, and if you see a few stars floating around that gentleman’s head it’s because he’d just been soundly slapped across the face a few dozen times by our food critic! It seems she showed up for work only to happen upon her boyfriend on a romantic night out with that bearded ginger fellow seated by the window! What a scandal!
The soap operatic drama notwithstanding, she held on to her 4-star rating, as did the G&K overall, putting us in a good position moving forward with the week.
Domino and Daddy spent some quality time with one another. She’s firmly a Happy Toddler, and I imagine we could have got her up to Top Notch by week’s end if we’d set our mind’s to it, but our minds were all quite occupied with other pressing tasks, so once we knew she was going to be more or less all right we let her fend for her independent self, which suited her just fine.
Here you see her tiny triumph at mastering the potty. No need for Mummy and Daddy anymore! She was immediately off and running.
Mother Geeta, bless her, popped by for frequent visits.
She picked up right where she’d all left off with Domino, and I think we all breathed a sigh of relief, knowing she was back and taking care of things.
Honey began work as a barista, and I think she looks rather smart in the uniform.
Raj mastered the art of the motivational speech. Here you see him laying it on rather thick with Waylon Vo, one of our waitstaff. I’m not sure what he said to him exactly, but it really seemed to light a fire within the young man and he positively sparkled the rest of his shift.
Your Jillian has become quite the regular diner here, Eve, and we’re very grateful. I’ve seen her more than once with the blond fellow with the interesting glasses, Bronson Vo (a relative of Waylon’s, if I’m not mistaken). Do you think there’s anything going on there? He seems like quite a nice fellow, and it would certainly be nice to see some of the helpers well-settled once all is said and done. Do keep me posted! You know I love a good romance!
Particularly since a lot of the romance has gone out of my own life. Raj and I are still fine, don’t worry about that, it’s just that the hectic pace of life means I’m often caught doing decidedly unromantic things like making business calls while on the loo. I’m rising quickly in the ranks of the business world, though, so it’s all worth it in the end.
Honey spend the majority of her week doing some lonesome grinding of her own. Even her beloved nanny couldn’t mentor her once she began writing songs, so that pink bunny guitar and Blarffy the Bear were her main companions. She ended up writing a lot of mournful laments with some rather stunning animal imagery.
Our dear Jessica is active, and has held on with us all week, despite being the same age as Mother Geeta. Her main task of gardening is largely finished, but she’s still a great help getting Honey ready for school by giving her compliments and helping her to focus her mind. Going from inspired to focused in the hour between work and school is a rather quick emotional turnaround, but with Jessica’s help she manages quite well.
A juggling bottle trick Honey learned that Mummy is none too fond of. The restaurant’s losing money right and left as we’ve kept prices low to encourage positive reviews. It’s working, but the trail of broken bottles that led to her mastery of that particular trick did our balance sheets no favors. We’ve still got to raise the value of the G&K to $100,000, and I’d much rather those simoleons had gone into our restaurant rather than buying our juice vendor a summer home. Ah, well. So it goes.
The sisters found a bit of time to play with each other this week, and I’m very glad. They’re awfully sweet together.
I had to bite the bullet early this week and dispose of Mother Geeta’s beloved talking toilet. She loved the thing and brought it all the way from San Myshuno to install it in our bathroom, but it’s just become too much of a distraction. I paid twice for every aromatherapy bath because I couldn’t stop myself from leaping out of the water to exclaim about the loo every time. It’s much like your basketball hoop, Eve. I can’t explain it, but I’m much more content now that it’s been replaced with a simpler model. I do miss those massages, though. Perhaps we’ll put it back after Honey’s out of the house.
Now that Mother Geeta’s gone I’ve started giving Marc Zaragoza, the massage therapist, career advice every morning as part of my preparation for work. He’s polite about it, but he did assure me that since he’s the official masseuse for all three of our households that he’s actually doing quite well for himself, thank you very much. With what he charges for a lotus blossom aromatherapy treatment, I can certainly believe it.
Here’s Erika, our hostess, giving a very enthusiastic greeting to a customer. We’ve trained all the staff up about as high as we can get them, including the new chef we hired this week, which makes for great reviews, but has its drawbacks as well. Once the staff realize what they’re worth they quickly become unsatisfied and we have to promote them two or sometimes three times in a single day just to keep them from walking out the door!
Honey managed an A in school midweek, the same day our reviewer returned for a second visit. With the improvements we’d made to the restaurant, along with the notable absence of any romantic drama, she raised her opinion of us to 5 stars, which gave us the push we needed to gain a five-star rating overall! I’m happy to say it never fell below five stars again the rest of the week, so Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday gave us our three days needed at five stars! One item checked off the list!
Raj, dear fellow, took up yoga to fill his time between watering plants and motivating restaurant staff. He’d pause now and then to get me focused for my never-ending chess grind, and then get back to it. To be honest, we ought to have had him work on handiness, or anything else that might generate some income. We’d been banking on the dragonfruit plants and, well, as you can see in the background, they weren’t producing. We kept hoping to see some bright pink buds but were forced it admit at this point in the week that more than half of our plants were somehow barren. It was too late to plant new ones, so in a last-ditch effort we put them all into the family inventory and took them back out again.
This gave us a couple of new fruits, but not really enough to make a difference, so at that point we chained poor Raj to the workbench and gently suggested to Advik (Jessica’s beau, our mischievous painter, he of the bright yellow sweater) that he step up his production of profitable Classic and Abstract works.
Eve, you’ll already know this part of the story, but Mary, have I got a tale for you! Geoffrey Landgraab, a well-known married man, is seen here being glowered at by a roomful of people after making a rather brazen (and soundly rejected!) pass at our darling Eve.
There’s more to this tale, but I’ve got to keep you in suspense as it’s time to close this missive. Mary, you won’t believe what happened next! Eve, I don’t know how you keep acquiring these dauntless admirers, but please never stop! It’s so entertaining it almost makes me forget the stress I’m under.
Love and crumpets,