For a variety of reasons I won’t bore you with, I haven’t worked since August of last year (besides a couple of agency shifts). I have found baking, and blogging about baking, to be a tremendously beneficial activity in giving the long, empty days a sense of purpose and achievement. At the risk of turning this into an open-journal therapy session, there have been times when I needed a boost to my mood, and baking has provided it in spades.
I have been looking for work, unsuccessfully, since the beginning of the year, and have begun to lose hope of finding anything suitable, especially considering that, long-term, I know what I want to do (Music Therapy) and am 2/3 of the way through the three year MA that will allow me to do it (though on a hiatus). But in the mean time, I need to earn some money, and even when I’m qualified, I am unlikely to begin working as a therapist full-time over night. I’ll be piecing together freelance work from therapy, music teaching, etc.
Like many, I’m sure, the thought of earning money from my bread-headed obsession has crossed my mind more than a few times. The PArtisan baker, with his talk of micro-bakeries first sparked my interest when I took my first steps into the online bakommunity (too much?). It turns out friends of mine happen to have taken a course about the very subject, though I’ve still not been able to get together with them to pick their brains. But in the last week or so, various things have raised the subject in my mind again, as if fate were giving me a shove (not that I put any stock in such half-baked notions). The first of which was an article in The Observer Food Monthly about postgrad students turned artisan bakers. Then came a tweet which led me to Loaf Online‘s brilliant video, which in the space of 10 minutes got me all fired up about the notion again (if you’ll pardon the half-pun).
Tom’s subscription model, combined with a social-enterprise approach, really resonated with me. Then the last episode of “Our Daily Bread” on BBC Radio 4 (sadly now off the iPlayer) had an interview with him, as well as some people with mental health issues working in a cafe/bakery talking about how it helped them to rebuild after a breakdown. Given my therapeutic background, you can imagine that by now the cogs were already whirring somewhat furiously. Community bakery meets outreach work?
Reality check: for reasons relating to those described in the opening paragraph, I am currently back home with Mum and Dad. This has been surprisingly straightforward on the whole, but it does mean that the kitchen is not my own. Also, it doesn’t make sense to set up something potentially long term whilst not living in the city I love (Bristol, Je t’aime).
And then, as I prepared to finish writing this post, I find that Loaf Social Enterprise Ltd are hiring… Sadly, I don’t think I have the experience to get such a job; it seems they’re after someone experienced enough to run the kitchen, and I would be at best an apprentice…
Maybe one day, when the fates align…