A Year Just Like That
Today marks exactly one year since we closed the doors on our Magical Tearoom on the Hill thanks to Covid-19.
My heart was broken as I saw my life time dream slipping away in front of my eyes. At the time we thought (hoped) that it would be just a matter of weeks before we would be open again. Who could have imagined the magnitude of this deadly pandemic that was working its way across the world.
It soon became clear that our tiny but perfect tearoom with just 16 seats would never be able to open again as the social distancing measures would make it financially impossible.
So here we are a year older and perhaps a littler wiser. I spent a few months sulking and generally mourning the tearoom but gradually I was able to put together a plan for a new chapter for Mother Murphy's.
With amazing help from East Dunbartonshire Business Gateway, I received guidance and support to develop an on-line business allowing me to continue to create magical cakes and bakes (all gluten and dairy free of course) to sent out to you at your homes.
I also used the time to finish my book, The Magical Tearoom on the Hill - Recipes, Tales and Adventures. Never did I imagine I would have a virtual book launch but in November 2020 this happened with the support of Kim and Sinclair from IndieAuthorsWorld. I may have been disappointed that it was a virtual event but it did mean that some very dear people to me from all over the world were able to attend. It was like a Mother Murphy's Eurovision - Good evening Great Britain, France, Finland and Australia!
I said earlier that I was perhaps wiser now. What have I learned over this last year?
Probably the most obvious is that I have been incredibly lonely. Yes I'm fortunate that I have Beatrix the amazing Collie Dog (and Mr M of course!), but in one turn of a key I lost a whole tearoom family. At the tearoom, we never knew who was going to call in or what would happen during the day. For a year I have been able to predict how my day would pan out. Yes, there were some days that I didn't even get out of my pyjamas.
But I've learned what a zoom meeting is (which you can wear your pyjamas to anyway!). I know how many different types, styles, sizes and colours of cardboard boxes there are. I know what a heat sealer is and how use it without causing serious damage to myself (most of the time). I've learned how to develop an on-line Shopify site. I know many of the pitfalls of using courier services compared to using Royal Mail's Drop and Go service.
Most of all though I've learned that with that turn of a key I didn't loose a whole tearoom family. You're still there, still supporting us and reading my (often) mad posts on face book and Instagram. Yes, I even know how to Instagram now (but not TikTok!)
So for everyone who has liked a post, shared a post, bought cakes and goodies from our store, a massive thank you. For every single sale, I give a little dance in the kitchen (but I can tell you that no video evidence will ever be provided of me dancing!)
To everyone who has bought my book, I cannot thank you enough. When I was working with Kim from IndieAuthorsWorld she asked me what my hope was for my book. I replied that I'd be happy if I could sell at least one book to somebody who didn't know me. There's nobody more surprised than I am as to how many people have been prepared to spend their hard owned money on a book by an unknown author.
And for the coming year? If we could get Mother Murphy's known across the whole of the country that would be amazing. I will always be that same mad, left-handed Yorkshire girl but it would be fantastic if Mother Murphy's could become a household name. So I'd ask if you could share my posts, comment on my posts, tell people about my book and generally let everyone know about us. Facebook is a fickle thing and if you just read my posts, they will gradually disappear from your screen.
And my health? Yes, I'm doing amazingly well know. Once the borders are opened again and I can travel further afar than East Dunbartonshire, the hills and mountains will once again be tackled. Ben Lawers is calling to me.
Once again, thank you to every single person who has supported us and continue to support us. If I could hug you all, I would.
If you've read this, please leave a comment on the post so know who you are and what you are thinking.
Thank you and take care, Debra, Mr M and Beatrix x
Oh and finally, you have been warned. I'm already planning my long awaited trip down to Halifax to once again see my family. I have not seen my children, Ben and Chloe since September last year. And of course, there is little Minnie the Minx and Harley (who thinks Grandma is a screen saver). There will be photos upon photos of me and my amazing miracle grandchildren. I suppose I might take some of Ben and Chloe too!