July as been an eventful month. It started with me having a successful job interview then the day later L coming down with chickenpox meaning she missed one of her last weeks in Reception. Thankfully the spots all cleared before our long planned family trip to London to celebrate mine and a certain little lady’s birthday.
MAKE – 5TH BIRTHDAY CAKE
You know when you bake your child’s first birthday cake you aim for it to be relatively wholesome with coconut instead of sprinkles and maybe a lower sugar cake? Well by the time they reach five you’ve torn up the rule book and bring on the sugar and artificial colors. It’s only their birthday once a year.
L had a very specific request. 5 shaped chocolate cake with blue icing, smarties covering it and a prancing unicorn. Not just any unicorn, it had to be prancing.
I think I fulfilled the brief. The chocolate Madeira recipe is from Britt – She Who Bakes and the prancing unicorn came from Claire at FirstLightWorks who whizzed me through custom order.
EAT – BIRTHDAY PICNIC
I’ve eaten out quite a bit in the last month, the perks of being a Lady of Leisure while I’ve been between jobs. Sometimes it’s been a simple cake with friends, a beer garden dinner with a friend to catch up with life during the heatwave or a birthday lunch out for L.
The most memorable of the month has to be my birthday picnic. L was back in school after her chickenpox absence so I decided to head out to National Trust Kedleston Hall to test out my new Garmin watch by running the Long Walk then a picnic all by myself. Weather forecast was perfect.
After a rather sweaty run I managed to bag a deckchair under the shade of an oak tree and didn’t shift for 2 hours. Iced coffee in hand along with all my favorite picnic foods, I was sorted. Heaven.
GET – A NEW JOB
For the last decade I’ve been self-employed working in the Food Education sector. During that time I’ve worked in both the public and private sector teaching or organizing food and cookery workshops. Along the way I’ve worked with great chefs as well as people from MasterChef and Great British Bake Off.
The food education has changed considerably in the last decade and the food & drink sector as a whole has had some huge wobbles. Some of the chefs I work with have gone into administration in the last 12 months.
At the beginning of this year, I had this really odd feeling that I couldn’t shake off; things for me professionally were going to be very different by Christmas 2019. I didn’t know how but I just had to ride this feeling out because everything would be ok in the end.
By March made the big decision to go back to be an employee. After a few unsuccessful interviews and multiple applications, I really began to think my work in food was over. Then a chance application and an interview with someone whose path I have crossed many times mean I have a new job. It’s still within food but in a different division.
It’s going to take a bit of getting used to while we settle into a new routine, but it’s exciting and I’m ready for a new chapter.
READ SEE – BBC PROM 3 – CBEEBIES – A MUSICAL TRIP TO THE MOON
I’ve always wanted to go to a Prom and the Royal Albert Hall. What I didn’t expect that my first experience of a BBC Prom would include Justin Fletcher aka Astronaut Tumble and singing along to the Go Jetters theme tune with a live orchestra.
Getting tickets for the Cbeebies Proms is up there with trying to get tickets for Glastonbury. I nearly missed a dentist appointment while sitting in a virtual box office queue.
Although our seats weren’t the best it was such an experience. L loved it too. During the concert, a new Hanz Zimmer piece entitled Earth was premiered. This spine tingling piece of music and even the noisy and fidgety children in the audience fell silent in awe. It was being filmed while we were there to be broadcast at a later date.
GO – GRAYSON PERRY EXHIBITION AT CROOME
I’ve admired Grayson Perry and his work since I saw a few documentaries he presented a few years back about using social anthropology in art and making art accessible to all.
He currently has some of his tapestries on view at National Trust – Coombe. The detail in them is incredible. I loved how he had combined both modern themes with classic styles and techniques. I could have spent a long while looking in depth at the pieces but with a 5-year-old in tow, it wasn’t the easiest.
The exhibition is at Croome until the end of September and I highly recommend a visit.
After a busy July, things don’t slow down much in August. Start a new job, yet another jaunt down to London for our latest Secret Cinema fix plus there will be a holiday filled of the finest alpine food, adventures and scenery.