26.01.2020 – Shifts

I’m sat on the District Line on my way to yoga, after what felt like quite a long day, especially on a Sunday. On Sundays we get all the decorating and baking done as quickly as possible so we can spend the afternoon deep cleaning the kitchen. Not the most joyous of Sunday activities but very satisfying at least. I will be honest and say that I’m struggling with the thought of having to wait until next Saturday for my next day off, however I can only blame myself. I decided to study patisserie in my spare time after all!


Contrary to my little moan, working shifts as opposed to my previous 9-5 life, has been a lot less of a downfall than I thought it would be. I thought I would feel really disheartened about not being on the same schedule as my friends but it hasn’t been the case so much. The way it works at Ottolenghi is that we are given our rota for about three weeks in advance, and the time in which you start, as well as your days off, will change every week. Therefore my weeks are never the same and I certainly don’t have much of a daily routine. Alongside working at Ottolenghi, I attend pastry school once a week on one of my day’s off therefore I get one day off per week (that often flies by at the wink of an eyelid). I quite regularly get questioned on how I’m still standing, what with everything else I try to cram into my life, but the truth is, I have more energy and drive now than I ever have!

Waking up at 4am in the morning to bake all the morning pastries in time gives me life. I am yet to have a single day where I wake up dreading going to work. Yes, sometimes I wish I had a little more time to catch up on sleep, but I know I won’t regret sleeping more when i’m lying in my death bed. In fact, since my free time has become so precious, I am a lot more conscious about how I spend it and try and get the most out of every moment of the day. One may struggle to think of many benefits to starting work at 5.30am however what I really enjoy, is finishing my shift at around 3/4pm and having the whole afternoon and evening to do whatever I wish. On a good day, I’d have worked, gymmed, cooked a yummy dinner, showered and in bed by 8! Early bed times for early risers.

Fact is, all of the above wouldn’t be so easy if I didn’t have a true passion for baking. I have previously written a post on ‘Ikigai’ which is a Japanese saying that translates to finding your purpose in life. Everyday I am so incredibly grateful that I am now able to practise my passion for a living, and this is what makes it so easy for me to jump out of bed at 4am in the morning, with minimal time off. Hospitality is a tough industry, with long hours only being one of the known struggles, and so for those who aren’t truly passionate about food, it can be really taxing. It was hard enough for me to motivate myself to work 9-5 in a sales role, so I couldn’t possible imagine how one could be a chef without a true passion for it.

So, next time I’m sat on the district line, dreaming of a day off, I’ll ask myself why I even need a day off when I get to do what I love every day of my life (minus deep cleaning the fridge).

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