Either or both of our 2 young children are generally my wake-up call. Sunday is my morning ‘on-duty’ with the kids and it all kicks off at 7.30, – 8am is a lie in and a God send but very rare, with a 4 year-old boy able to seemingly recharge his batteries via sleep in less time than it takes to recharge my phone. How do kids exist on so little sleep?? 10 years on I still don’t know and am struggling to keep up!
In between the whisperings, of ‘Ssshhh don’t wake your mother’, I, out of habit, check my phone and the log from the Night Team at the hotel, followed by a revenue check thru the Hilton portal and a quick check on social media. Social media is one of those necessities nowadays – whatever your feelings towards it, a business has to partake. Nothing of note, means a relaxing breakfast – something of note can mull around, and from experience only be relieved by a call to the hotel for details and a decision as to what to do next.
Breakfast is usually a negotiation between pancakes, scrambled eggs, or cereal with Charlie – our daughter Molly is self-sufficient and might appear before 9 if hunger forces her to leave down her iPod or iPad or whatever contraption currently holds her interest – most of her TV is now consumed online and I often find myself marvelling at how she and Charlie navigate with ease through the myriad of selection available online today. I’m still on House of Cards, Season 1!
Anyway breakfast over, its time to wake my wife Lisa and then take our dog, Gloria out for a walk – yes Gloria – try saying that in a manly voice at 10am on a Sunday morning without passers-by giving a wry smile. She gets agitated and needy when not walked and for a house dog, she seems to not care for the house much. Gloria is our daughter’s dog, a shitszu, bought for her when she was 4 but it appears to me that myself and Lisa, walk, wash, feed and basically keep her alive on a daily basis. Rather like a 3rd child.
Back home and the TV will go on in the kitchen to catch up on the news and politics – I’ve never voted regardless of where I have lived previously but I am fascinated by the sport. It makes the corporate world seem tame, and loyalty, something I believe is vital to any businesses long term success, is rare.
Lunch is nothing fancy – maybe toasted sandwiches, cooked chicken or pasta. I am fortunate to not work weekends – The Morrison as a city centre hotel allows for this – lots of corporate guests midweek and leisure at weekends – a rarity for many hoteliers and one that I cherish greatly having done weekends for the 10 years previous. That said, I do commute a long distance daily and so weekends really are family time – we try and do as much together as possible and it in many ways is catch up time.
After lunch I will generally play a game of tennis at the local club – a quality establishment unlike my tennis game – I recently took it up having given up squash due to the physical demands & given it doesn’t take 3 days to recover afterwards, think it was probably the right decision.
The children will then want to go to the park for a cycle or general run about and so be it – the park locally houses one of the best examples of a restored, fully operational castle in the country and so we are spoilt with heritage and facilities.
Back home, it’s dinner time – I generally do the cooking at weekends – I like it and it takes me back to my days in the kitchen at the Four Seasons in London. I don’t find it a chore and Charlie makes it entertaining – the weirder the food the more he wants to try it – he has an amazing palate and I hope he continues that trait for life. To eat, it could be a roast, beef stroganoff, fishcakes – anything really – food is casual in our house – I can’t do fancy when off and dishes get put to the middle of the table for family style self-service.
Bath and bed time for the kids is about 8 after which it is TV and box sets until bedtime at 10.30. A late Sunday night throws the whole week out and with a 5.30am start daily, it’s vital to try get one night midweek with 7 hours!
Patrick is General Manager at The Morrison Hotel Dublin.