Yes, you read that right and I haven’t been on the sherry, just an average week in the Life of a Village Florist.
It was an typical Monday afternoon, we’d had a fairly relaxed morning and we were eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Flying Dutchman with our main delivery of the week, when suddenly… darkness fell.
I frantically searched around for my phone, to check the time. Wondering if I had somehow passed out or fallen asleep? The street lights had come on and I could see headlights shining through a yellow haze as I stepped outside into an eerie silence, where I joined several other bewildered villagers, looking expectantly skyward.
We were all expecting something from ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind‘ and then we heard IT; not electronic keyboard music combined with a Jean-Michel Jarre type light display, but the gush and hiss of hydraulics, together with blinding lights – the ‘Flying Dutchman‘ had ARRIVED!!!
We got busier and busier as the week went on, until Friday when we were totally FRANTIC! We had TWO weddings ( thankfully no funerals) on at the weekend and there were a thousand things that needed to be done. We now have six florists who come in on different days, in different combinations, sometimes two, sometimes three, but today we had all SIX in together. I say ‘in‘ but to be honest the shop was bursting at the seams, like a 2lb sausage in a 1lb skin. There was simply no room for customers, so poor Annemarie and Charlotte – who came to us wanting some work experience (evil laugh), had to work on making two 30ft floral swags OUTSIDE (yes I know it’s October, but that’s why I suggest eating more cake, it keeps out the cold).
Then the time came when we had to start transporting flowers to venues. That might sound simple enough, but my maths is not as good as it could be. We had six florists, two venues, two 30ft swags, at least a HUNDRED separate floral items and ONE VAN!
Luckily, the set up at the first wedding venue Fizleroi Barn was fairly straight-forward. The design and flower choice was exquisite, but thankfully it didn’t take us too long to get everything assembled.
The assembly at the second wedding venue however, was mmm…a little more challenging.
Most of you will have seen an episode of ‘Only Fools and Horses‘ where Del-boy, Grandad and Rodney agreed to remove a very expensive chandelier, with disastrous results. Well imagine a similar scene with myself, John and the brilliant Becky staring upwards, scratching our heads, looking at two iron rings swinging from the rafters of a vaulted ceiling. An excited group from the pre-wedding party had gathered behind us, waiting to see how we were going to get our bounty of beautiful flowers up there. We had absolutely NO idea, so we just kept smiling, until it became uncomfortable and we made an excuse to retreat back to the van, where we put our heads together and came up with a Plan A and a Plan B!
Plan A involved ME, yes ME, climbing a 15ft ladder and then throwing a rope 25 foot into the air and over a large wooden beam. Well that was a ridiculous idea! For a start I’m 5’2ish, I have very short arms and I get vertigo, so that plan was very quickly kicked into touch.
Plan B was much better, Becky went up the ladder, I stayed on terra firma, making sure there was no wobble (except of course, when I needed two hands to take the pictures for this blog). When not busy taking pictures, I simply passed flowers up to Becky, occasionally offering a little direction as to where to put them, until Becky offered her own advice as to where I could stick my suggestions!
The Flower-ball was absolutely stunning, a huge ball, 4ft wide, but getting this in place was a little tricky. After putting our heads together again we constructed a rope lattice beneath the iron hoop in which we could cradle the ball.
At the time of writing this blog I’m unaware as to whether or not the giant flower-ball remained in it’s cradle throughout the wedding, but we obviously ran the necessary Health & Safety checks, mainly jumping up and down heavily as if dancing to a tune by Led Zepplin and I’m pretty sure it was secure before leaving.
It didn’t finish there. Although most arrangements can be assembled and put in place the day before a big event, some flowers MUST be kept in water until the very last minute. So, Saturday morning was as manic as most people’s Monday mornings, up early, racing around trying not to mix up bridal bouquets, making up button holes and adding the finishing touches.
I LOVE my job, but sometimes I wish aliens would abduct me and suspend time, just for a few hours, so I could catch up on a little sleep.
Maybe that’s what happened last Monday.