Last week, I was invited to attend a customer’s stand, Cheese Cellar, at the Olympia Fine Food Show.
It has been a while since I last visited the Olympia show and
although it was very short notice and the train fare astronomical, I thought it would be a good thing: to support our customer, meet people and to see the show and to see if there were any new products or pick up fresh ideas.So, after a very early start on Monday morning, I drove to Skipton to catch the 6am train to London, changing at Shipley. I was so tired and scared silly of sleeping in, I ended up not really sleeping the night before and then when I got on the Skipton train I was worried that I would miss my Shipley change. But everything went according to plan, despite being stuck behind every quarry wagon in the universe driving to Skipton, a journey that should take about 40 minutes took 55 minutes, I arrived at Skipton train station, shaking like a leaf, with about 4 minutes to spare. Phew!
As some of you will know, I lived in London for about 17 years, although I spent much of that time working
overseas, it was actually a nice feeling to walk out of Kings Cross station, across the road to the underground. It felt familiar and even though the area has changed out of all recognition – gone were all the drug dealers and the jaded prostitutes and the young scared run aways and in their place lots of helpful looking people with fluorescent jackets and people picking up litter. I don’t know whether the helpful people were there because of the Olympics and now the Para Olympics. Kings Cross had, in all fairness, changed (for the better) in the last few years that I did live in London, but the new development at St Pancras hotel and station had just started and now it is all finished and the area looks fabulous. All this made me realise that I’ve been back living in Yorkshire almost six years now.
It was interesting to see the trends at the show. One year I went, there were a gazillion parma ham stands, another year a lot of Turkish produce stands. This year the theme was chocolate – there were so many chocolate companies selling all manner of wonderful items. The show seemed quite quiet to me and that even though I was there on Monday from about 10am onwards and the early part of Tuesday, it felt that there were more trade people attending as visitors than members of the public, which I thought was unusual.
Still, I met the Cheese Cellar guys who were all very nice and welcoming and I spent Monday talking to people about our cheeses and had samples of our award winning Yorkshire Goat Gouda and our Old Tyme Wensleydale. I enjoy meeting new people and I especially like talking to people about our cheese (you can’t shut me up!) I am lucky enough to have a friend who lives in Covent Garden, so I stayed with her on Monday night and we had a good girly catch up, lubricated by a few glasses of wine and the next day I took the tube back down to Olympia, saw a few people and then headed back to Kings Cross, then to Leeds and then to Skipton from where I drove the tedious journey on the A65 back home.
Thank you to H&B for inviting me and good to meet the guys there, Conrad, Ian, Tracey, Richard and Graham and especially Owen, whom I have spoken to many times but never have met.
It was an exceptionally busy week last week: London for two days, Leeds on Wednesday to get my dissertation bound and handed in (yay!), Thursday our first cheese making course of the month, Friday a mega waxing day and Saturday and Sunday in the shop. Saturday evening was also our part timer Mark’s wedding do which was fantastic, lovely to see the bride and groom looking so happy and relaxed and having a thoroughly good time, (great food too!) so I went to that and today is a day off.