The Rickitt Reports

The Mid-Life Epiphany

Recently, Prince Harry and Meghan caused quite a stir with their decision to step away from the Royal Family and follow a road less trodden. As a senior royal, Harry’s stature is certainly unique, but his situation isn’t. Everywhere I look I see people, most often in their 30s or 40s, making bold life decisions. Is this the new age of the mid-life crisis? Or is this really a mid-life epiphany, asks Katy Rickitt.

KR4 - Learning a new skill…cleaning

As you know, at the end of last year Adam and I embarked on an adventure together, taking on our much-loved Dexter and Jones.

What ensued has been a bonkers couple of months, balancing the pursuit of news across the country or, in Adam’s case, performing on set, with admin, management, ordering and, of course, serving epic gins and ales whilst dancing behind the bar!

On the road again. On the road again.

But therein lies my point. I hope when you’ve popped in you’ve found us smiling, because for Adam and me the term ‘passion project’ applies on so many levels. Don’t get me wrong, running a business is far from easy! But we get to nurture a place we have always loved and get to chat to like-minded people, while stealing time together.

But a decision like this doesn’t come easy. Inevitably, I’ve had to reduce my time a little at ITV to balance the two, and I’m very lucky I work for a company which openly encourages flexible working. I know not everyone is so fortunate.

Then there’s the pressure we put upon ourselves in our careers. If I went back and told my twenty-something self I was dropping an hour, let alone a day, she’d have gone into an instant meltdown!

Like so many, I took every extra shift going, worked every hour under the sun and earned myself the nickname “The Duracell Bunny’ to get to where I am.

I love it no less and hope to remain in journalism for many more years to come.

From one uniform. From one uniform To another. To another.

But the epiphany I’ve had in my thirties is that there are so many things in life’s rich tapestry I want to share those energies between. One is teaming up with my best friend to see what we can achieve together.

Everywhere I look I spy like-minded people. Our dog walker is a part-time bank manager; the owner of one of our favourite clothes shops is a HR guru, and recently we met a GP setting up her own cleaning company!

It seems bosses are becoming more susceptive to the idea that having a family isn’t the only reason to divide your time. Although that is one of the most wonderful and most valid reasons, for those of us who can’t or don’t have children there are still many amazing avenues to explore which can only make us more rounded, skilled and experienced human beings.

We’ll have to wait and see how it all works out for Harry. But for me, the mid-life epiphany is something I’d highly recommend.

After all, we only get one shot.


Dry January be damned

In the world of hospitality there is one phrase sure to strike fear into the hearts of every establishment….’Dry January’, writes Adam Rickitt.

Our Beer Ben…not goodbye just see you soon! Our Beer Ben…not goodbye just see you soon!

In truth I’ve never understood the concept, Christmas is over and that whole magical period has deserted us for another 12 months. It’s still cold outside, everyone is back to work, feeling a bit blue. So, I know, let’s give up alcohol as well just to cement the misery!

Thankfully, good sense prevailed, and it seems to have bypassed most people.

In fact, January has been a huge month for us…although tinged with sadness too. Our beloved manager, Beer Ben, has packed his bags and followed Cupid’s arrow down to London where his fiancé, Anna, works and lives.

Gutted as we are, I really want to take this chance to thank Ben. He had been looking to move down in the summer but when he heard we were taking over, unbeknown to us he kindly decided to stay on for 6 months to help us settle in.

His patience (especially teaching us the till system) and infectious passion for all things ale has been utterly amazing, and although the M25 now separates us, I am happy to say he’s not gone in spirit.

Dry January be damned! Dry January be damned!

We have big plans for Dexter and Jones, and Ben is…and always will be…very much a big part of them. He is still doing all the beer ordering as with knowledge and devotion like his it’s not something you want to lose.

It did mean we got to welcome back Cam as our new manager. Most of you will know him from previous spells at the bar, and it’s great to have someone, already under the spell of what the place does, back on board to keep the ship storming on.

Of course, sod’s law means bar mania 2020 has coincided with probably the busiest spell I have had filming at Hollyoaks. I can’t give much away (it will become clearer soon), but it has meant 14-hour days on set or out freezing on location, then 14-hour shifts in the bar.

Maybe it’s not all doom and gloom on set Maybe it’s not all doom and gloom on set

The scenes have been emotionally draining with lots of breakdowns and tears (cue stabbing myself in the eyes before every take!)….but one thing I can say is that it’s a storyline I am very proud to be a part of, one which really sheds light on an incredibly important issue.

Thankfully, though, the bar is as much a holiday as it is a passion and chatting with the friends who frequent it has been the perfect tonic.

So, Dry January be damned. I say start as you hope to carry on…best bar, best beverages and best banter!

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