Next month marks the tenth anniversary of my working for the House of Commons. That’s 53 dog years wearing M&S trousers held together with wonderweb, 56 cat years listening to the division bell, and a decade of my life feeling like I don’t fit in. So, in advance of this pre-midlife crisis, The Other Mrs Waltshaw (TOMW) and I formulated the Grand Plan: to open and run a cafe bar in South London.

I want to blog our progress as a reminder and a keepsake, and also to help keep the dream alive when I am pretending to be reading about media law at my desk.

At the beginning of the year, TOMW gave up her job at a drinks company to try her hand at various things that should prove useful in the future. This has included a less-than-successful brush with an entrepreneur trying to make a fortune out of fried potatoes, being the voice of a talking rabbit, waitressing in a local cafe, and now she is managing the bar at the Royal Court Theatre. She likes it and is learning a lot so she’s staying there for a bit.

I have just started doing an NVQ in professional cookery, which will hopefully see me qualify as a proper chef some time next year. I am doing this in the evenings after work. I work in Westminster, I live in Selhurst, and I go to college in Twickenham. I spend a lot of time on trains. The key to success will be to not fall asleep on any of them and wake up in Epsom at midnight with creme patissiere in my hair.

So far so good.