Sunday, 27 November 2016

A Life of Cake

Where does the time go... aside from the little bit of self promotion mid week which wasn't exactly overly successful... although many thanks to the couple of people who did buy patterns from my shop... I've barely had time to think about this little blog. Except for wondering should I carry on bothering with it at all... but then I'm feeling like that about a lot of things lately! My weeks seem to be defined by cake. Lots of other things get done but it is all interspersed with cake.

I'm continuing to bake for the farm shop but it does feel like flogging a dead horse at times. I make them small loaf cakes and quiche to sell by the slice. There were a couple of weeks in October when I made three quiches and over twenty cakes in a week and I thought that it was really taking off at last. But I popped in on Friday and they had sold two slices of quiche and one little cake all week which seems to be a trend lately. And of course if it doesn't sell I bring it home and we either eat or bin any profit I might have made.

I made my first batch of mince pies of the year for my last embroidery class on Tuesday. I actually made two batches... who knew that gluten free pastry was so difficult? You probably did, but not me! But my gluten free lady was very appreciative so it was worth while. 

Last week I was out five nights out of seven... mostly meetings but I'm getting too old for this lark. I hanker after cosy evenings round a fire with my knitting. This week was better, just two nights out. One to get defibrillator training and learn about a village first response group. It was a really interesting evening but something I hope I never have to put into practice. My second night out was to see the wonderful Laura Mvula. I thought she was fantastic and  it made me forget all about cosy fires and knitting. Stewart wasn't so impressed unfortunately.

The farm shop baking maybe somewhat demoralising but the orders for birthday cakes keep trickling in. Which is good because they are fun to do, although if I'm realistically going to be making a living I need to be doing several a week (or put my prices up!)... but then I'm guessing that might stop being so much fun! The two this week were lots of fun though.

Friday night I got my night in with my knitting and we watched this film. I read the book a while ago and thought it was excellent so I was apprehensive that the film would be disappointing  but it was really good. Very gentle, quality acting... I can definitely recommend it. And the knitting... that might even be a post all of it's own as I optimistically delude myself into thinking I can make everyone hand knitted gifts for Christmas. See even my knitting is a frantic attempt at doing too much!

And yesterday I had an afternoon out with some of the other volunteers from Free Cakes for Kids and the very generous Helen Marie who runs Helen Marie's Cake Boutique. We spent a happy couple of hours playing with fondant decorations and I think all my Christmas cake orders might be topped with fondant poinsettias this year.

And if the tone of this post sounds tired and grumpy I do apologise. I'm not particularly grumpy but I am tired, probably doing too much, packing too much in and trying to make decisions about the future. I listened to a snippet of a radio programme whilst in the car this week. Not sure what it was but there was a woman who works as an end of life companion being interviewed. It wasn't at all morbid but she said the thing she has learned from listening to those who are dying is that she no longers feels she needs to pack her life full of doing things and being constantly busy, but she now tries to do less and savours the moment. I'm working on it... but the week ahead looks just as packed!


  1. Phew! I'm exhausted reading this Gina! And breathe! I'm not going to give you any advice I'm afraid because the reality is I'm the same, so much to do and not enough time.....truth is I think if you're that sort of person, then, you're that sort of person and you AND everyone else around you just has to accept it!

  2. I agree, savour the moments definitely and try and do less. We are all the same, running ourselves ragged. Retirement definitely taught me to enjoy every moment. Prioritise and decide what is important definitely. Have a good week. B xx

  3. Aw Gina, I so get this. If you are that sort of a person, and enjoy creating and making for others, it can be so hard to learn to put yourself first and do less - while also making a living. Don't know the answer really, other than being very careful who you say "yes" to.

  4. It's a 'failing' so many of us have. I am 80 and could employ a gardener and cleaning lady but every week I make myself a list of jobs which need to be done and tick them off as I go. My husband can't do very much these days and my energy is in short supply but it is a challenge I set myself. I do take a few short cuts and am glad I am not a perfectionist. Be kind to yourself and get the knitting out!

  5. Please don't stop blogging. I know things get a bit much at times but I really love hearing about your busy life. How is the dog?

  6. Your cakes are amazing Gina and I'm sorry the farm shop sales have slowed down. Perhaps it will improve as Christmas approaches. I listened to the radio programme too and found it quite thought provoking. Hope you find some time to knit and relax occasionally this week.

  7. So sorry to hear that you are disheartened with your experiences at the farm shop. You're certainly more persistent than I would be. A little face to face research with your potential customers might be fun perhaps? It's what suppliers do at our local upmarket grocery. Well, at least I enjoy talking to the makers. Whether they enjoy it as much as me is another issue.

    Strangely enough I've been thinking about reading Brooklyn this week after hearing Colm Toibin on the radio. I loved the film. It made me weepy from the word go because it really brought home to me how brave my lovely Irish auntie was to emigrate to another country as a young woman. The scene at the lunch for the single men when one man got up and started to sing broke my heart.

    Oh dear. I may have to go and find some knitting to do myself. Hope the week is a good one for you in every and any way.

  8. Dear Gina, first of all, how lucky to have been able to see and hear Laura Mvula perform. I think she's great.

    Now on to cake. Your cakes are so delicious looking, and I am quite sure that they are also delish. Having become a truly absentee baker myself, I cannot quite imagine how you to manage to bake them all!

    What you describe about the variations of demand at the Farm Shop makes it very tricky to know what to supply there. What Colleen has commented about possible face to face research with potential customers might be a good idea.
    Blog when you wish...I expect that all your followers will be here waiting for you. xo

  9. Hi Gina, I used to work full time and then do craft fairs at weekend them out of the blue, last Christmas, both my children announced a baby boy and a baby girl were on their way. Well, something had to give. So now I work 3 or 4 days a week, knit baby clothes and baby sit. Wonderful. Total lifestyle change but what the heck!! Please keep blogging. I sometimes read it a week late but I do enjoy it. Best wishes. vera

  10. Your cakes look amazing, I hope that someone asks you to make one for my birthday! Please don't stop blogging, I really enjoy reading your posts

  11. couldn't keep up the pace of your life ... I am only just getting to catch up with SEVEN posts. I'm late but reading with interest.


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