A series of anecdotes with or without any connection to the running of a restaurant.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Sea There?
























Tales of the sea. A very rough interpretation of a Millet painting.
The sea has always a dear place in my heart. The Mediterranean Sea but also the Atlantic and the Indian Oceans.
The Med where I grew up, the Atlantic and Indian Oceans where I sailed during my holidays from Naval Architecture School.

Nowadays, the North Sea.

In the Summer of 91 on the hottest Saturday of the year, I suggested a quick dip to my young chefs. After all, we had had a very busy evening cooking for over 60 people. Those were the days when I slaved over a hot stove. The kids were game for a laugh!

We sneaked out of the back door and across the road onto the beach as the clock hit 11pm.
Puzzled onlookers must have thought we were ghosts of past sailors as we ran towards the sea in our chefs whites.

No skinny dipping. Just a quick paddle in a North Sea that never warms up beyond 20 degrees even at the height of the hottest summer.

Our allocated half pint of lager at the end of the shift provided enough Dutch courage for us to remain at least five minutes in the icy waters. Our frozen fun was thankfully cut short by a hungry seagull who attacked one of the youngsters probably mistaking him for a juicy cod!
We still laugh at that episode when we meet up.

Karen caught me as I ran up the stairs to my office for a quick change of clothes. She shook her head in desperation.

"You act like a six-year-old! I can't believe you're a businessman!"


I quickly mentioned something about motivational team bonding! I don't think she was convinced.

20 Comments:

Blogger tacit1 said...

This reminds me of a group of folks we have here in the US called the Polar Bears. Every year on New Yrs. Day, a huge group of them take off in their swimsuits in below freezing temps to run into the ocean (which has gotta be 10-20 degrees). Craziness!

4/1/06 2:14 AM  
Blogger Guyana-Gyal said...

My ex-boss used to take us to lunch to celebrate our birthdays. Talk about motivation. We loved it, we were happy, we won awards [blow trumpet here haha]. And we're all still in touch with him.

4/1/06 3:23 AM  
Blogger Hayden said...

wonderful story! I can just see the sea gull dive bombing your friend!

"adult behavior" is soooooo overrated!

4/1/06 4:59 AM  
Blogger Hayden said...

Cream, I know you have 3 or 4,000 projects going, but is there any chance you'd be interested in partnering with me and illustrating a childrens story? I'm having trbl with my mail utility - would you email me at foster_hayden@hotmail.com? I could send you a rough of the first part so you can see if it interests you.

I'm just so charmed by your art and think it would be perfect for this story. VERY flexible deadlines..... ? We'd only need 2-3 drawings to do submissions on spec -

4/1/06 5:04 AM  
Blogger Janet said...

Fun story! ..and I love your finished mosaic. I wish all of your blog friends could be there for your grand opening!

4/1/06 5:36 AM  
Blogger Shyha said...

Hehehe, I would like this kind of motivation, as hayden said - adult behaviour is so overrated :D

4/1/06 8:06 AM  
Blogger cream said...

Tacit, every Boxing Day hundreds of mad people take a dip for charity on the same spot where we had our swim. Never done it, but there's still time.

Gigi, your boss wasn't daft! I might try that, except for the fact that most are 16-18-year old ladies. Karen will definitely send me back to the Sahara!
We never repeated that midnight dip but my young helpers, now scattered all over, still remember that episode with great fondness.

Hayden, adult behaviour is indeed so overrated! I prefer to remain young at heart!
As for the offer, you definitely have overrated my "talent". I will email you!

Janet, thanks for visiting. Whenever I am over at the new restaurant, full of dust and muck at the moment, I follow visitors' eyes when they call in, to see if they notice the mosaic. So far, I've had to prompt them. Well, there are lots tables and chairs stacked up in front of it.

Shyha, if anyone understand what motivation works for what type of person, I say that they've cracked their trade. I'm still working on it!

4/1/06 8:30 AM  
Blogger Christine said...

LOL Cream, you so crazy!! :D

I love reading about your conversations with Karen. She's quite funny. I can just picture her rolling her eyes at you!

The Mosaic turned out fabulous. Like Janet, I wish we could all be there for the grand opening. We'll be there in spirit though!

Have a great day!

4/1/06 10:17 AM  
Blogger iluvnyc said...

being young at heart is always needed in this life, considering that there're so many problems in our life making us grow old so fast :)

4/1/06 10:56 AM  
Blogger DCveR said...

"motivational team bonding" is the technical translation for a bunch of adults acting like a bunch of kids, right? I must keep those words in mind, it is bound to be useful someday.

4/1/06 11:03 AM  
Blogger Hayden said...

cream, I figured it out and emailed you. if you haven't found it check your junk folder. Hint: Hayden is my nom de blog, and I sent it from my regular mail box.

4/1/06 3:14 PM  
Blogger cream said...

Janet, you are welcome!

Penny, thanks for your encouragement. Karen does roll her eyes at me! Just makes me laugh nowadays!

I couldn't agree more Iluvnyc! We need to keep a young outlook otherwise we'll begin to vegetate!

DC, some companies take their employees on Paintball days out where you fire balls full of bright paint at other people. Quite a bit of the time, the workforce get their own back on the management. Good laugh and nobody ends up getting hurt!

Hayden, I have received your mail as "spam"! Will get back to you as soon as I've read the story.

4/1/06 4:03 PM  
Blogger cadiz12 said...

i love the ocean. did you ever sail past kanyakumari where the three bodies of water meet at the southern tip of india? i've heard it's spectacular.

happy new year, btw!

4/1/06 5:52 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

I love the sea too - I grew up near it...and I really like your interpretation on that painting..it's quite nostalgic.

4/1/06 9:55 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

A question - I Googled Millet...and saw there's more than one...which one was your painting done by?

4/1/06 9:57 PM  
Blogger cream said...

Wendy, I boobed! It was John Everett Millais not Millet!
Sorry! The painting is called the boyhood of Raleigh.

Cadiz, no I haven't been that side of the Indian Ocean. It was mainly East Africa all the way down to Madagascar!

4/1/06 11:01 PM  
Blogger gudbrandsdottir said...

Great mosaic you´ve done in the bar! Very nice!
And thanks for your comments, they made me glad.... so you are planning on having a dip in the sea at la zenia? -well its a little cold, but the finnish people do have sauna and icebath afterwords.....
Best regards :)

7/1/06 3:14 AM  
Blogger carla said...

What a wonderful story and illusrtation...they have different moods, but they both speak to the allure of the sea. Perhaps my only real sadness about relocating for love is the fact that I am now inland for the first time since I was born, except for a year in Vermont. I've even lived on a boat for a few years, so I do miss being near the sea...very much!

9/1/06 2:21 AM  
Blogger Twisselman said...

Very nice. You're a teller/painter of tales.

9/1/06 11:42 PM  
Blogger cream said...

G, I'll wait till I come over to San Miguel in May before I'm brave enough to have a swim at La Zenia!

Carla, there is nothing like living by the sea, even if it is the North Sea! Cold and grey...

Twisselman, thank you for visiting!

10/1/06 10:39 PM  

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