December 2019 was my first festive season self employed. It was also the busiest month since I opened Wirral Whiskers.
This Christmas was the first one I've had being self employed. Or should I say 'elf employed.
A friend saw a weekend elf job advertised at a local garden centre. She thought I may be interested as I had been involved in circus skills workshops for children.
For the weekends leading up to Christmas, I got my own elf's grotto which was a lovely decorated shed in a sheltered part of the garden centre. I was called ' Bella'.
As I am usually a quiet person, I surprised myself by enjoying this job. It was selling tickets for Father Christmas but entertaining children in between. I liked the quieter times where I had a chance to chat and entertain the children.
It was about the magic of Christmas, listening to the children who were really excited they were about to meet Father Christmas. Every group of children was different - some were entertained by juggling, others had a go a learning how to juggle; some loved my elf jokes whereas others were dressed as elves and wanted to help call all children for the next slot.
One of my favourite sessions was when two children came to sit in the shed to keep warm, and then as the other children arrived, they all squeezed in too. We had quite a chatter, a few jokes and lots of smiles.
Small Animal Boarding
As mentioned in a previous blog, we had extra visitors for small animal boarding! For three weeks during December we had a giant continental rabbit staying. She was adorable and quite a character. We also had two gorgeous guinea pigs for a few days. I still smile at the thought of their chuckle noises and happy jumps.
The whole family got involved looking after the pets and they become part of our family. My ten year old especially was pleased to have more animals around. They were in a quiet room but we popped in a lot to sit with them.
It was lovely to come home to a houseful of little friends that just wanted cuddles, attention and food. It was sad when they went home as had soon got used to popping in as soon as I woke up, throughout the day and then last thing at night.
I was delighted to have lots of cats over Christmas and New Year. I had my regular Bella, as well as three new families of cats. Each cat was completely different but all wanted to play. I loved creating fun at the visits for them.
As the cats weren't used to me, it took a couple of visits for them to get used to me and trust me. I had treats which helped. It is always sad when the visits come to an end.
My biggest surprise was that Bella had got used to me enough to let me brush her more thoroughly. She still has her boundaries and I haven't been able to do her tummy yet. I think it is important to build up trust slowly and it is an achievement to do the back part of her body near her tail. (My cat isn't keen on this part either.)
Here are photos of some of the cats I looked after.