Thursday, 17 July 2008

Let’s start a porridge company

The next part is a bit of a blur. I think that our total lack of experience in the area of business actually helped us at this point. It’s a cliché to say ‘if we’d known how hard it was going to be we might never have started’ but it may also be true. There are so many things to consider before you set up a company but we didn’t know that so embarked on our radical career change after a conversation that went like this:

FE: ‘I love making billions of identical pots of porridge, let’s start a company and work for ourselves and do what we like and sell it to Waitrose and buy a beach house’

AE: ‘Alrighty’

I then went to Denny’s chef outfitters in Soho and spent some time and some considerable money putting together an outfit that made me look and feel like a porridge manufacturer so that I could really start ‘inhabiting the role’. Abi went to Cowes week.

By the time Abi was back I had registered Grasshopper with Companies House and we were off. At first it was difficult to work out how to split the work. This conflict arose primarily because as an obsessive I prefer to be in control of everything and have everyone do exactly as I say, as if they were a puppet. Unfortunately as Abi shares my DNA she is able to anticipate most of the rudimentary control mechanisms I employ. In fact try as I might to make her yield to my will even my most advanced mind control techniques were powerless.

In the end the matter was resolved like this:

AE: ‘I’ll do the PR and events and marketing and you can do the business stuff’

FE: ‘OK’

What this actually means is that Abi gets to go to Antigua week to ‘promote’ Grassy while I do an evening class on Corporation tax.

The best bit of Grassy back then was turning my kitchen into a porridge laboratory and making billions of identical pots; the secure feeling I got when they were stacked up to the ceiling in my room, towering over me. Sleepless nights from ‘new business jitters’ were easily soothed by putting on my health and safety approved food preparation outfit and chopping oats in the Magimix. Even now the sound of industrial strength food processors helps me to feel calm and centred.


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