Being a huge animal lover I was very excited to go & spend the day with Sandra Foxall at Wagtails Grooming Salon in Pernera & try my hand at some pooch pampering! Sandra holds a Diploma in dog grooming & salon management & offers nail cutting, ear plucking, bathing, clipping, scissor work & hygiene grooming to around 25 dogs a week!
I arrive at 9am & the kettles on (always a good sign). Sandra talks me through the appointments of the day, we will be bathing & grooming Daisy, a Collie Cross, washing & clipping Champion, a Cyprus Poodle, bathing & clipping Janga, a mixed breed & washing & clipping Anna a Cyprus Poodle. It’s a jam packed day & I cannot wait for our first customer. In the meantime Sandra explains to me the client card system. Each dog has a card which has details of their name, breed & age, their owners name & contact number, any background information on the dog, for example if it is spayed or if it was a stray & any vaccinations given by their Vet. The card acts as a log of all treatments & appointments, it also has a picture of the dog in question, & a diagram of a dogs body which is used to highlight any distinguishing features, moles, warts or unusual markings & their location. This system is very comprehensive & also shows if the animal has any skin complaints, if they have a brother or sister that is also a Wagtails customer & all importantly how they react to the different treatments that Wagtails offer. Soon Daisy arrives with her owner, he chats to me about Daisy & about her trips to Wagtails, as with all the owners I meet during the day he has nothing but praise for Sandra & the work she does. Listening to the owners I soon realise that the most important aspect of the service Sandra provides is the element of trust. Dogs to many of us are part of our families & just like a child, our protective instinct ensures that we only ever leave them with someone who we know will treat them with respect, affection & professionalism at all times. They need to be with someone they feel comfortable with, this is clearly the case with the dogs that come to Wagtails. My first task is to bathe Daisy, that is once I have mastered the correct way to lift a dog into the bath. Some hysterical giggles later at my lack of knowledge on this subject & rather cumbersome technique, Daisy is finally in the bath! Sandra shows me how to mix the shampoo with an action reminiscent of the Shake & Vac advert & we get to work wetting Daisy with the shower head & applying shampoo liberally. Sandra describes this motion as being like putting vinegar on your chips. Those of you who know me well will know that once Sandra mentioned Chips I fully understood & embraced the technique!
Daisy is really well behaved even when we dry her with the huge dog hair drying hose. Daisy’s owner arrives & I fill out the diary for next time & give him an appointment card which will be followed up by text the day before as a reminder. All appointments are made there & then either 4 or 8 weeks later depending on the treatment required. We say goodbye to Daisy who leaves with a glossy, shiny coat. In between customers, the phone rings with enquiries, appointments & some calls relating to the charity ‘Cyprus to UK Project’ that Sandra is heavily involved in, a project that re-homes strays to the UK. There is also a lot of cleaning work to be done including sweeping up dog hair, washing & hanging out towels & occasionally the use of a ‘pooper scooper’ is required, fortunately not on the day I was there! More customers arrive, Champion is next, a gorgeous, black, Cyprus poodle who we bathe & then clip. Using the clipper on a dog was pretty nerve racking, fortunately Champion was very well behaved. Using a specific blade number (the higher the blade number the shorter the cut) I copy Sandra in the correct direction with the clippers to get a fine & even finish. Champion also requires some scissor work for the hygiene areas of his body & once finished, his coat is very shiny & he looks gorgeous with his poodle, pomme pomme tail. Just as we are about to finish, Champion spies his owner arriving outside, the seemingly placid dog suddenly tries diving off the table towards the door, it takes both myself & Sandra to hold him still whilst we finish, crazy, hyperactive dogs are a daily occurance according to Sandra! Throughout the day I also get to spend time washing & grooming Janga a beautiful, black, mixed breed & Anna a white Cyprus Poodle with the prettiest eyes I have ever seen. They are both so well behaved & affectionate. The day Sandra & I spent together was actually Wagtails 5th Anniversary of grooming in Cyprus. I’m not surprised Sandra has built up the business she has in the past five years, in my days experience I found her to give a professional, reliable, caring & trustworthy service. Her rapport with the animals & their owners is tantamount to their trust & respect for Sandra & the exceptional job she does.
10/10 The dogs responded well to Natalie who is clearly an animal lover, which the dogs must have sensed as they were more than happy with her handling them. Thank you Natalie from Sandra & all the dogs!
The total extent of my knowledge of auctions comes from watching Cash in the Attic & the scene from Only Fools & Horses where Del Boy & Rodney become millionaires having auctioned a unique watch. Joking aside there is a lot more to running an auction than meets the eye, so I went down to The Auction Room in Dherynia to find out exactly what it takes. The Auction Room team explain to me that there are a series of steps & everyone has their own responsibility for part of the process to ensure the auction runs smoothly. Step 1: The vendor comes in with the item they wish to auction & Martin shows me how to fill out the contract with the vendor & how to allocate the item with a lot number & a vendor reference number. This is also where, if required a reserve is placed on the item. Step 2: Items are then cleaned & tested (if applicable). They are then placed in Lot number order to make the Lot easier to find when the auction is underway. The items are photographed & placed on The Auction Room Dherynia, Facebook page for potential bidders to view online. Potential bidders can also view items at the Auction Room prior to the day of the auction. A catalogue is then created with a list of all the Lots, their number & a brief description. Step 3: The day of the auction arrives & before I can think about my pending appearance to auction the first item I am commandeered to the desk to greet bidders, take down their details & give them a numbered paddle to bid & a copy of the Lot catalogue. So far so good, everything is going swimmingly, paperwork, organisation & dealing with people, all things I am used to doing all the time as the Editor of Daxi. So I celebrate with a delicious burger from the food & drinks stall outside provided by Jimmy & Margaret. But why is there a knot in my stomach when I think about standing on the podium & auctioning the first item. Not usually nervous in front of people I confront my fears with Tony, the auctioneer who reassures me & gives me some guidelines about how to deal with the bidding, where to start & a description & a viewing of the item I will be auctioning. Step 4: The moment arrives & Tony plays the intro music & opens the auction with some guidelines for bidders. He then introduces me to the audience & I get a welcoming round of applause which makes me feel less edgy (thank you audience). The item is a Bronzed figurine & after a bit of encouragement I get a few bidders interested & finally sell for a ten Euro hammer price, which I am happy with as the reserve on this item was five Euros. The best moment of all was when I banged down the gavel & exclaimed â€˜Soldâ€™ something I have always wanted to do. Recovering from the excitement of the sale I write on the sheet the Lot number, the paddle number of the winning bidder & the hammer price. Tony then resumes the auction & I get to hold up the next item for viewing. Step 5: Whilst I was busy auctioning off my item, there was a lot of background work happening. The rest of the team were logging the reference number, Lot number & hammer price, working out the 15% on sale commission & fetching the item to the collection desk ready for the new owner. Step 6: During or at the end of the auction the winning bidders go to the collection table & pick up & pay for their goods. If it is a large item they can leave a deposit & have 2 working days to collect the item & pay the balance. The Auction Room work in association with Reliable Removals, a local company that can deliver items to the buyer or collect from the vendor to help move larger Lots. Summary: The auction is a huge success with a vast array of items going under the hammer including ornaments, electrical goods, beds, rugs, tools, heaters & the biggest bid on the day was for a beautiful table & chairs set which sold for over 300 Euros! Thanks to all the team at The Auction Room: Teresa & Jan Vanwoerkom, Martyn & Ann Butler, Tony Bilsland & Gary Muir.
We would give Natalie 10/10 for her efforts, she got involved with the vendors & bidders & sold the item for double the reserve!
A Day In The Life ... Hairdressing at Rubie Reds You can all be forgiven for thinking that because I am a girl, hairdressing should come naturally to me. Let’s face it, its just a bit of a wash, painting a few colours on, a quick flick of the scissors, a blast with a hair dryer & off you go. Besides girls are always fiddling with their hair, what could be more natural right?. WRONG! When it comes to hair, makeup in fact anything girly I was at the back of the queue when those skills were given out, so I knew a day at Rubie Reds hair salon with Jo Randall would be one of my biggest challenges yet! I arrive a little nervous but determined to give the day my all & Jo starts me off with a world renowned skill of every hair dresser in the land.... Making coffee! Now this I can manage. I then meet my client for the day, Gina. Gina is a colour technician by trade & has agreed to let me loose, colouring her hair, she has even brought a picture & some colour ideas with her to help me understand the look she wants. I don’t know at this point if I should feel better or worse about having a seasoned professional to work on, but she seems relaxed (more relaxed than me) & very approachable so after an initial chat about her ideas, we get to work. Jo & Gina both explain to me about mixing hair colours, never did I imagine there was so much to it. With so many variations of colour available these days the technique of mixing the exact shade should require a fine art or even a Chemistry Degree! I firstly mix the bleach to tone down Gina’s existing colour & to prepare it for the ‘shocking pink’ she has chosen for sections of her hair. Jo then talks me through dividing up the hair by following the hair line & thinking of the overall effect against the dark violet colour which will be used on the main section of the head. Identifying sections of hair, I have discovered is an art form in itself. I watch Jo demonstrate for me & her actions are minute & fluid with the speed & accuracy of someone who has been doing this for years. It’s then my turn & hair is falling everywhere, sections running into one another & with me temporarily frozen to the spot, Jo comes back to the rescue. It's the same old story putting foils in for the colour, for some reason the hair sections are unruly & I can’t quite get the foil technique, funny because when Jo did it, it looked so easy! After a bit of sweeping up, another coffee making session & a phone call to the suppliers, I take Gina over to the sink, remove the foils & wash out the remaining bleach. Jo then shocks me with another technique, the correct way to wash hair, & here I was just thinking stick a blob of shampoo on & give it a good scrub!
Back to colouring, Jo takes over the application of the pink as I don’t feel confident, certain that if I am left to my own devices Gina will come out looking like an eight day old piece of Candy Floss! After the colour takes I wash it out, a little more confident about the wash technique now as in between I have washed another clients hair who seemed to survive the ordeal without being drowned. Jo then helps me section off the pink from the area to be coloured dark violet & I am left on my own to do the remainder of the colour. I am scared of making a big mistake here & can’t seem to get the action with the sections of hair right. Gina is very patient & begins to talk me through over & over again until I hear a squeal from Jo behind me announcing that I have got the ‘hairdressing wiggle’ which apparently all hairdressers develop over time. This gives me confidence & I work my way through the rest of the colouring. The one thing I have noticed throughout the day is the way Jo makes her clients feel comfortable & confident about what she is doing, this is all important when being responsible for something as intimate as someone’s hair & I can see how this customer service, really makes a difference to the whole ‘experience’. Jo takes over the final cut & style, she works in a speedy, fluid action & I find myself excited about the final result & am thinking how it must take years to be so confident in this intricate skill. Gina is finished, her hair looks amazing & not a colour run in sight! She is really pleased with the result as am I. I feel proud to have been a part of creating her new look & finally get an insight into the buzz of being a hair dresser & creating such a personal work of art. The day has been a real eye opener for me. Never did I consider whilst sat in the client’s chair that there was so much skill, attention to detail & hard work involved in what most of us take for granted. Thanks to Jo of Rubie Reds for giving me the experience & to Gina for being really calm & patient.
I would give Natalie 10/10 for her effort, she was really scared at first but her confidence grew throughout the day & I know she felt she had learned a lot & got a better insight into our profession. Jo Randall
When it was first arranged for me to go & spend a day at Primesat it didn’t really phase me. I naively thought I’d spend the day twiddling with remote controls, answering a few phone calls, taking a few maintenance/fault finding job bookings, meet a few customers & maybe fix a few satellite dishes ‘in house’. Ready for my chilled out day I was picked up for my ‘shift’ by James a satellite technician for Primesat & off we went to the office. The rest of the team were very welcoming & Sarah (Company Secretary) made us all a lovely cup of coffee before showing me the ropes with the administration, financial & organisational systems of the business which she heads up assisted by Pauline (Part time Administrator). A few telephone enquiries, job bookings & a meet & greet later, I am feeling more than relaxed about the day. In the meantime James, Ray & Sotos the owner have been ‘fiddling’ with a few satellite dishes & boxes in the office. They then ‘announce’ that its time to go out on some pre-booked calls, so I jump in the truck with James & Ray & off we go! The first house is in Protaras with excellent views, little did I know I was going to see those views up close & personal when I see Ray scuttle up the ladder with a Satellite dish & several other pieces of equipment in his hand. Then comes the realisation that I too have to go up the ladder to get a better understanding of what is involved with the job. James holds the ladder at the bottom for me & I begin to climb, it's a bit wobbly but I am ok, that is until I reach the top, see how high I am & realise I have to get off the ladder onto a pitched, tiled roof. By this time my heart is pounding & I admit I am pretty scared. I finally (with Rays help) get on the roof & we are quickly followed by James. They are wondering about the roof (approx 24ft high) carrying all sorts of heavy & funny shaped equipment & cables. They work well together, one sorting out the cable & the satellite box in the house whilst the other installs & tests the dish on the roof. Ray shows me how they fit the dish on the roof, the view is magnificent, but I can barely look as I concentrate on keeping my balance & trying to hold the testing box in place whilst Ray tests the signal. Luckily the job doesn’t take long as Ray had pre-prepared the Dish at the shop whilst James had pre-programmed the box so I am soon climbing safely back to the ground.
The rest of the day is a combination of new installations, repairs & servicing, although not all involved walking around on pitched roofs. Thankfully some dishes are located on flat roofs that can be accessed by stairs or a hatch. What is interesting is watching James & Ray work, how organised they both are & how they both know which one of them is doing what to get the job done effectively & efficiently. Their calmness climbing roofs with heavy equipment must only come with experience, something I am glad I don’t have do every day especially in harsh weather conditions! Meeting existing customers for servicing & repair jobs was also really interesting, they had nothing but praise for Primesat & the excellent job that the boys do. We arrive back at the office, hand in our payments & job sheets, & catch up on the days events including the jobs Sotos has been to & any incoming enquiries or job bookings Sarah & Pauline have been dealing with. After a final cup of coffee we finally finish for the day, & I must admit all the excitement & trepidation of the day made sure I slept really well that night! Thanks to Sotos, Sarah, Ray, James & Pauline for welcoming me to experience just what it takes to run an efficient, professional company such as this. It certainly was a real eye opener for me. To find out more about Primesat please see advert above.
We would give Natalie 10/10, s h e w a s genuinely interested in what we do & was not afraid to get her hands dirty, she was also very brave working at height.
A Day In the Life of St. Modestos Vets. They say never work with children or animals. Well last month I survived working with the gorgeous children at Tiny Tots Kindergarten so I thought I might as well keep myself ‘in the deep end’ & this month went to spend the day at St. Modestos Vets in Dherynia. St. Modestos vets was first opened in 1990 by Dr. Miltiades Protopapas (Dr. Mac) who named his clinic after St. Modestos the saint of all creatures great & small. Alongside his veterinary nurse ‘Gina’ who also writes a column in Daxi magazine they offer a fantastic service to animals all over Eastern Cyprus. St. Modestos clients are made up of a huge variety of animals including dogs, cats, chickens, birds, farm animals, rabbits, horses, goats, cows, ferrets & many other pets & farm animals. Services offered include: general health checks, 6 monthly & annual inoculations, breaks, sprains & other damaged bones & body parts, operations to prevent breeding, pregnancy, car accidents, treatment for poisoning & disease, grooming services & even the purchase of pet supplies. The Day Begins My day begins win a refreshing cup of coffee & a tour round the building which was originally designed as a shelter in the war. The converted house is huge & boasts a reception, office, staff room, clinic, operation theatre, grooming area & Cat Hotel. St. Modestos also have a Dog Hotel located a few minutes away. Our first client arrives ‘Penny’ the dog. She comes in every day for a check up as she recently sprained her leg & has been feeling under the weather after a bad reaction to an injection. ‘Penny’s owner tells me how happy she is with the service she gets from Dr. Mac & Gina & has even brought them both a bottle of wine as a sign of her appreciation for all they have done for her beloved Penny. Straight after this I am thrown in at the deep end with another Canine customer ‘Maggie’ who has come for her yearly Parvo injection. Thinking I am just going to watch I soon learn that it is me who will be giving the injection. After some tuition by Gina as to how to use the syringe & how to hold the skin at the top of the back whist inserting the needle I get on with it. I think I was defiantly more fazed by the experience than Maggie who didn’t bat an eyelid! Dog & Cat Hotel It is then time to go to the dog hotel which is a short car ride away up the road. The security at the dog hotel is excellent & it is located in the countryside away from busy roads & surrounded by beautiful trees cleverly planted by Dr. Mac to give shade to the kennels in the Summer & sunlight in the Winter when their leaves die off. The kennels are very clean & everything has been considered from flycatching strips to suspended water bowls so they don’t get spilled over by excited dogs.
Each kennel has a courtyard area & then a shed area which is where the animals food is kept in the shade & where they enjoy a comfortable bed & any toys from home their owners have sent with them. The dogs are fed on the food sent by the owners to give them continuity & familiarity during their stay. All guests at the dog hotel are let out in the open courtyard area for exercise a minimum of three times a day. They are cleaned out daily & receive an inspection & checkup from Dr. Mac every day to ensure optimum health at all times. Back to St. Modestos now & Gina shows me round the Cattery. The cats have loads of room & lots of dry food as well as wet food 2-3 times a day depending on their owners specification. There are scratch pads, toys, comfy cushions in fact it really is like cat heaven, not to mention the cuddles & attention Gina can’t help but give them every time she walks past! Her system for the cattery & the kennels is very organised, each animal has a sticker with information on the front of their cage. The information is very comprehensive & includes their name, how long they are staying, what food to give & how often, toys, likes, dislikes, medical conditions, contact numbers & personal information about their individual personality. It is also updated with new information every day so whoever is looking after that particular animal will be fully informed of events prior to their shift. Day to Day Activity No sooner have we finished feeding the cats & cleaning out the litters than a new customer needs our attention. This gorgeous dog is suspected of having an ear infection so its ‘Dr. Natalie’ to the rescue! I am given an instrument which you put inside the ear, it acts like a magnifying glass & shows up everything no matter how small. I am instructed by Gina how to check for mites & infections, thankfully it is a false alarm & the dogs ears are perfectly fine. On then to another little cutie, this time a standard check up of the heart & lungs. The small puppy sits patiently as I use the stethoscope to listen for abnormalities, the problem is I am not sure what sounds are normal & what are not! After further instruction from Gina & Dr. Mac I am happy to confirm there are no worrying sounds & the heart & lungs seem healthy & clear. Its then into the operating theatre with one of the dogs who needs an x-ray. Gina gives me a very heavy x-ray suit to put on & shows me how to use the machine. I was very lucky as the dog was so well behaved & sat still unshaken by my lack of experience & cumbersome handling of both him & the machinery. It is fascinating to see an x-ray close up & identify bones that are healthy as opposed to those that are damaged. My final jobs of the day are to serve a customer who comes in for flea protection products for her animal, which after being shown where things are & how to use the till I feel confident about & updating the computer. The system on the computer is based on the same process as the stickers at the dog & cat hotels with comprehensive details of every visit, treatment, diagnosis, contact details & more. Sounds easy enough but with 2,923 clients on the system there is a lot of information to keep up with & being written in the local language, well its all Greek to me!
Editors Summary My days experience certainly opened my eyes to how much work is involved running a business like this. Animals like humans are individual & all have differing needs & Gina & Dr. Mac really do take this into consideration. They are very affectionate with the animals trying to keep them at ease all the time as they realise it can be a very daunting experience for many. The animal hotels are like a home from home & having now seen then for myself I would not hesitate to use their facilities for my pet in the future.
10/10 Natalie showed a great interest in our clinic & the work that we do. She was not scared to get her hands dirty & was more than happy to handle the animals & chat with their owners.
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF SPICERS Having been in Cyprus for three years now I tend to know the best places to go food shopping & my meat purchases are no exception. I have been a customer of Spicer’s in Paralimni for the majority of my time here & like many of you I suspect, when you find a good thing you tend to stick to it. With over 14 varieties of sausage, homemade burgers, coated ribs, chicken breasts & much more to choose from I can always guarantee quality & choice when shopping here. It’s easy however to take for granted a product or service such as that supplied by Norman & Sharon Spicer & with this in mind I set off to spend the day working behind the scenes to find out what really goes into creating their delicious meat products I regularly enjoy so much. I arrive at 9am & am greeted by Norman & Sharon who immediately give me a rather fetching outfit consisting of a Spicers apron, a special paper hat & some latex gloves! Ready for action I am taken into the back of the shop where all the preparation takes place. Norman has a fresh tray of meat waiting which I pour into a large mixing bowl with Spicer’s secret recipe of water, herbs & rusk. I mix the ingredients by hand & find the whole process quite therapeutic. Once the mixture is at the right consistency Norman shows me how to load it onto a tray on a machine which has a hole at one side & a plunger, the idea is to push the meat through the hole & compress it down so that it comes out compact ready to be fed into the sausage making machine. Once the mixture is all through Norman pulls out the skin casing that the meat is fed into to form a completed sausage. Norman finds the end of the Sausage skin & pushes it on to one end of the cylinder on the machine, he then demonstrates how to feed the meat mixture through one end of the tube whilst holding the sausage skin at the other end. This looked very easy until I actually tried it myself! The skin was slippery & my tube of sausage meat was coming out rather inconsistently with some parts of the tube really slender & some very thick! Norman comes to the rescue & thankfully balances out my mistakes. He then shows me how to make the links to create individual sausages. This is a very fluid action when Norman demonstrates with a looping & pulling through technique. My attempt doesn’t quite work out so well with long sausages, then short sausages & very little consistency. With a little practice I become more confident & Norman seems pleased with my progress & ultimately my sausages which are for orders for the Market the following day.
Norman then tasks me with serving some customers whilst he finishes off the preparation in the back. I slowly but accurately weigh the sausages, bag them up & charge the customer whilst they explain that they always buy their sausages here every week as the quality is excellent & always consistent. Just then, the phone rings & Sharon takes a call from the Government Hygiene Inspector from Nicosia who recently took a sausage sample away to test. The news is very good, Spicer’s sausages have passed all the quality & food standard requirements which isn’t surprising to me as before he came to Cyprus, Norman won several prestigious awards for his meat products including Best Butcher in England as voted by The Meat & Livestock Commission & also Best Sausage in the South East of England! We bag up the sausages I made earlier ready for the market, clean down all the surfaces & machinery, after all, hygiene is ever important in this type of environment. It’s then off to do a bit of publicity work at Napa Radio. A couple of years ago Nathan Morley (Radio Napa Presenter) suggested a sausage should be named after his colleague Chris Yearley, many listeners phoned in with their suggestions & Spicer’s jumped at the opportunity & created the ‘Chris Yearley Sausage’ made with cheese, Chilli & tomato. Since then the sausage has been a firm favourite with both Chris & his listeners & is still available to purchase at the Spicer’s shop in Paralimni to this day. This trip is to let Chris taste a Bratwurst sausage, part of a range of European speciality sausages that will be on offer as weekly specials at the Spicer’s shop. Once in the studio, Sharon gets to work on heating up the sausages she cooked earlier & putting them into a baguette for both myself & Chris to try. We both tuck in, the sausage is very tasty & has a really thick, meaty texture. Sharon has a chat with Chris over the radio about the new promotion & Chris is clearly impressed with the quality of their sausages as am I, especially now I have a better understanding of just what goes into being an award winning butcher & highly professional food supply business here in Cyprus.
9/10 As usual Natalie attacked the task of making sausages with enthusiasm. It was survival of the fittest in the fight between Natalie & Chris Yearly for the last sausage!
Sharon & Norman Spicer with Chris Yearley pictured left
A Day in the Life...
My Son is nearly twenty so it has been a long time since I have been around small children. But how hard can it be? Its only a few hours & then you can give them back to their parents right? So off I go early morning to join the team at Tiny Tots Kindergarten in Protaras to see what goes on behind the scenes whilst the children’s parents are out at work. Tiny Tots operate three options of day care for upto 20 children at a time ranging from 6 months to 7 years old. Parents can book their child in for entire days (8-5pm), individual sessions (min 5 hours morning or afternoon) or hourly for a minimum of 3 hours. Under the new team headed up by Kim Haston, the main goal for all the children is to have fun, structured learning, gain social skills & ultimately feel comfortable in a safe environment. My first job is to read the daily story. All the children are sat on the rug in the reading & learning area & are waiting for their structured learning session which is at the same time every day & consists of a story focusing on different sounds (today the sound is ‘R’), followed by singing the ‘bottle song’ which focuses on numbers. After which we sing lots of songs that I vaguely remember from years ago but need to brush up on the specific actions that go with the songs as the children are putting me to shame! The children are really receptive & want to get involved, they all know the words & the actions & are very bright. Before I know it, its break time & all the children line up next to the dinner room, they are very well behaved & sing the ‘Are We Ready’ song which reinforces the need to be well behaved & stand nicely ready to go for break. In the lunch room they all have a drink & some fruit which is sent in by the parents. It is great to see them wanting to eat fruit & choosing a variety to put on their plate. Everyone then lines up to go & play outside. Outside is a large soft play area with toys & games, it has an open section & a well shaded area which is great for protection from the sun. Up until now I have felt pretty relaxed about the whole day, that is until its time to get energetic & before I know it I am running around playing football, & chasing everybody pretending to be a monster. The children loved the chasing game & kept shouting ‘again, again’. By the tenth time I am exhausted but they wont have any of it & demand my energy & attention until finally its Lunch time. This gives me a well deserved break & chance to have a chat with Kim about different areas of focus for her team & how these are implemented on a day to day basis.
Safety - All visitors must sign in & there is a gate inside the front entrance which only staff or parents are allowed to pass through. Only recognised parents/relatives are allowed to pick up children or friends/family members who have the express permission of the parent, if the person is not recognised or no permission has been granted the child cannot be taken. All children are individually escorted to the toilet or up & down steps. All furniture is soft, all plug sockets covered & all children are kept in the same area of the building together as a group. All staff are qualified in child care & Police checked. Communication - The staff operate a communications book which they write in every day. This way when shifts change all staff are fully up to date with all the events from the shift/day prior. Kim is also a specialist in child communication which is a big bonus as the children are of varied nationalities, some with little knowledge of English. In addition all children have a file which parents complete on enrollment. The file contains all emergency contact numbers, medical history & doctors information. This is for staff reference but any medication or even the application of sun screen must be administered by the parent. Discipline - From time to time the children may misbehave or get a little rough. Kim & her team operate a strict policy where a child is spoken to three times, explaining that their behaviour is unacceptable, should the child persist the staff operate a ‘time out’ step, a place where the children sit away from the others until they calm down. Once calm a member of staff talks to them about what they did wrong, confirms that they agree to ‘play nicely’ & then allows them to leave ‘time out’ & go back & join the other children. This method is basic but very effective. Summary - I hadn’t really thought about how much is involved in caring for children outside of their normal home environment. Kim & her team have the flexibility to deal with varying needs, personalities & language barriers. Strict adherence to the rules & frequent inspection from Cyprus Welfare Services coupled with creating a friendly, happy, safe environment for all the children is a tall order. The teams shear energy & professionalism is what gives peace of mind to the parents & a happy, fun, safe environment for all. Well done Tiny Tots.
Natalie would be employed tomorrow at Tiny Tots. She gets involved with the children and is not frightened to act like a child herself, so much so that we couldn't get her out the Wendy House! The Tiny Tots Team : Kim, Joyce, Denise, Karen, Pauline & Cassie
A Day In The Life of......... Mojito Have you ever wondered what somebody’s job entails? Do you ever look at someone else’s occupation & think.... “That’s easy.”..or.. “That looks really hard, I don’t envy them.” Well, as the Editor of Daxi, I feel it is my duty to the community to get out there in the thick of it & find out the facts. This month I experience a day in the life of Emma Watson, Owner of Mojito Bar & Grill, Pernera.
I arrive bright & early (well 9.30am) for my shift. Luckily the place was cleaned down the night before so my nightmares about scrubbing & cleaning as soon as I arrived were not to come true. First things first then, into the kitchen to meet the staff Kerry & Gloria who seem a friendly enough bunch & give me the evening special for my first task....to write the specials board. At this point I must add that writing on a board with chalk is in no way like writing with pen on paper, using a computer all day & with barely legible handwriting most other times, this was indeed a challenge. Not to mention the pressure of being a magazine Editor who without the aid of a spell check, could be a disaster waiting to happen! So after three attempts at making the writing fit, making it legible & a quick spell check, I stand with pride next to my finished ‘Specials Board’. Emma then runs through the procedure of taking the customers order, separating the bar order from the meals, liasing with the kitchen, laying the table & listening for the kitchen bell signaling that the meal is ready to be taken out & just in time as here come my first customers! Having successfully taken my first order, laid the table & served drinks, I am feeling pretty confident. That is until 2 false alarms, where I am convinced I have heard the bell from the kitchen only to go rushing in to find it was the bell signaling the toaster had popped! Having now, placed an order with the suppliers, checked on the companies advertising, cleared a few tables, mucked in with the washing up & signed off for a couple of deliveries, I am well into the swing of things. Apart from having to decipher my hand writing for the kitchen a couple of times & forgetting to set various tables once the customers order has been taken I am doing ok. I must admit, my feet have started to hurt & there are a lot of tables coming in at once as the place gets busier towards the lunch time rush. I also have a couple of customers who wish to book tables for later in the week, which panics me a little as I have not learned where the book for this is. Not to fear though Emma is on hand to help with these minor challenges & I am soon feeling calm & relaxed when I am given my Breakfast break! Refreshed after my delicious breakfast, I am now back into the swing of things & am overjoyed when I receive my first tip!
Everything is going swimmingly, until one of the beer barrels runs out, I call for Emma to yet again come & save the day, however Emma says this is part of her job so I have to learn how to do it! Something else I have never done before, another new experience for me. Whilst behind the bar, Emma feels it is a good opportunity for me to learn how to make the the signature drink of her establishment, the Mojito! This was quite fun actually, & I had glimpses of the film cocktail & me looking really cool behind the bar. I am assured that the ‘cool’ I had in my mind & the actual image of me making a Mojito are two very different things though. Editors Summary - Sore feet, a handwriting complex & a bad case of Tinnitus (bells ringing in my ears) makes me realise it is not as easy as we all think. In addition running a business takes a lot of behind the scenes work like doing accounts, dealing with legal matters, staff rotas & more. Thanks to Emma & all her team: Kerry, Gloria, Gavin, Andrew, Ryan, Lesley & Bee(kitchen staff), Mandy, Chris, Chelle, Aneta & Caz (Bar & Waiting Staff)
Emma’s Verdict: I would give Natalie 10/10, she was very good with the customers & picked things up very quickly.
Published on Feb 17, 2012