I won't even try to fill in the gaps but there have been plenty of smiles, tears, up and downs and lots of cakes and scrapbooking!
So now the sun is out, it's beautiful outside and I have a little bit more time (for the moment anyway!) I will do what lots of you have asked - more news, more photos and projects.
Trip to Nice, Aix and Toulon in the sun...
So we finally finished the scrapbooking A-Z of our hotels and bars - only recently though. It took longer than expected but it was so much fun. A quick reminder - find a 4*/5* hotel in London and visit the bar for fizz or a cocktail. Keep a record of it and design a scrapbook page for and album that matched the hotel theme. Sounds simple?
Well to go from A-Z seemed easy at the time but there were a couple of letters we struggled to find nice hotels but we finally managed it and our last one was Zetter. It was fabulous and they certainly looked after us!
We had cocktails and then dinner to finish of our fabulous project. It was amazing, the food was delicious at Bruno Loubet's Bistrot in Zetter and then cocktails in the Zetter Townhouse. What a brilliant end to A-Z although a little sad to have finished!
The staff were just brilliant and we will return without a doubt!
So now my better half comes up with lots of new ideas for another project - hotels, restaurants, towns, French towns, pubs... all A-Z of course.
I think if we add up how much this one cost we may have to rethink!!!!
As soon as I have finished the page I will post it along with all 25 others!
Cakes have been steady and varied from Christenings to weddings plus cookies, cake pops and gateaux. I have put them all on the website and Facebook but some highlights have included the twins 3rd birthday this week... How time flies and Auntie Jules feels older ever day, especially after the birth of another nephew!!!
Beautiful wedding cakes for friends, family and friends of friends...
So many I can't fit them all on!
Someone asked me recently if I enjoyed making them - well I love it. Creating a cake from start to finish using the freshest ingredients and seeing it transform into something unique and personal to many people is fantastic. Some people have very clear ideas on what they would like and others are more open to ideas.
Have I had any disasters?
Only one (thank goodness) when I had to deliver a three tiered stacked cake on my own down a very windy country lane at night...
...when I drove even more carefully than usual. A pity that the man doing about 60 coming the other way in the middle of the road wasn't as thoughtful!
As the cake slid forward and toppled slightly my heart sank... As I hit the brakes my beautiful cake went horizontal. No amount of icing, patching up or salvaging would have done so I headed home in tears to spend all night making three more tiers. Fortunately I had made enough flowers for spares...
Heart in stomach moment...
Now I have a delivery driver (a reluctant one who refuses to use a satnav!) and I keep a watchful eye on the cakes!!!
So cakes have kept me busy and so have my fabulous friends. Dinner parties galore, cocktail nights and soirees. Friends bring out the best in you and I always laugh so much...
As I look along the bookshelves at the fifty of so cookbooks I have, last year we decided to try and cook at least one new meal a week from a different book. (it makes me dust them as well!)
We love cooking but tend to stick to tried and trusted recipes so this was a new challenge. Some books have pages stuck together where the ingredients have splashed onto the pages and others are covered in fingerprints from so much use. I love all the books but I have to say that Delia will always be Queen...
We have eaten at many fabulous restaurants and we always seem to come back with a book.
This year two of the best were Rick Stein and Nathan Outlaw.
Some recipes are easy to follow and others take a day to collect all the ingredients and prepare them!
Why do meals take forever to lovingly prepare and cook and 10 minutes to eat!!!!!
At the moment Rick Stein's "India" is this week's favourite but if anyone can tell me where to get Kashmiri chilli powder from that would be great!
Tapas from Omar Alibhoy's book "Tapas Revolution is next....
France has been a huge part of my life and looking for a house out there takes up a lot of time both in France and on the internet (that's my excuse anyway!!!). A brilliant summer in the Lot/Dordogne including a beautiful wedding and a trip back to Bordeaux to meet some beautiful and caring people was just perfect. A week at half term with my beautiful nieces was just perfect in a little cottage and we had so much fun. Christmas and New Year in France was brilliant and lots of fabulous food and local wine just made the holiday - and our amazing friends. The little village will never be the same after the Abba tribute (love you Sue!!!!)
Meeting new people and making lots of memories is just the best.
So apart from work which is always a distraction, life is good and with amazing friends, a brilliant family, wonderful neighbours and my better half of course; I look forward to posting more pics and catching up with you all.
My mantra from now...