Black Friday and the WI

  • Now I know what you’re thinking, how one earth are these two connected, well let me tell you…

This week has been all about teaching. I love teaching and demonstrating (there’s a whole back story to this which I will tell you all about in my next post) and this week I’ve had classes and demonstrations every day. Today and yeterday were both with the Women’s Institute. Yesterday was a demonstration to 80+ women which was great fun, especially as it was the first time I’d used a microphone (I felt like a pop star!) Today was part demonstration and part hands on to a smaller group of 18.

Now the Black Friday part. I knew it was happening and after last years chaos I didn’t want to go anywhere near a shop!

I was driving to the church hall this morning, whilst listening to BBC Newcastle, and they were interviewing people at the MetroCentre. A few of them had been there since ten to six waiting for the shops to open! I was really engrossed with their stories and just as I was turning off the main road I noticed a young couple with a large fishing net collecting blackberries. What a contrast if I ever did see one! They were probably blissfully unaware that there was a massive sale on!

Now I only live about 6 miles from the MetroCentre and it really made me think about how different people live their lives!

We had such a fun day, making Christmas characters, I was only planning to stay for the morning but I was ‘persuaded’ to stay for lunch and was very pleased I did. We had (all homemade) soup with, fresh out of the bread maker, bread, then quiche and salad and we finished off with lemon drizzle cake and a cuppa!

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I am now resting my rather full stomach whilst looking for a bread maker in the Black Friday sales!

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Cakes + Old Age = Stress

For anyone reading this who doesn’t make cakes for a living I bet you’re thinking, how on earth can you be stressed making cakes?!? It’s such a lovely thing to do. Pop the oven on, dance around the kitchen whilst you whip and whisk, into the oven the cake batter, all thick and gooey goes and voila, a lovely cake appears, ready to decorate at your leisure… I think I can remember the time of innocent cake making (with a huge sigh!)

I’m not saying I don’t love what I do, I really do and I’m not looking for sympathy (honest!) but my stress levels are definitely growing. When I was young (and carefree) I happily sailed through my orders, sometime 4-5 wedding cakes per week as well as all the other celebration cakes. I would plough through the week and deliver all cakes safely without a care, but now it’s a different story. (At some point I will tell you about the cake disasters and the ‘oh my god, how did I pull that off’ moments!)

For example, this weeks wedding cake worries.

Will everything go to plan?

Have I got everything I need and the time to make everything?

My worry then grows more the night before the cake is due, will it be ok overnight, do I know where I’m going to, how will I get into the venue, the room, is there stairs, a lift, will I be able to carry it. And then the big day, and the slow, grandma drive to the hotel. I have a sticker on the back of my car saying ‘wedding cake in transit’ but that’s worse as drivers then come right up to me to the back of my car to see what the sticker says! So you make it to the venue and into the room and then it’s trying to find somewhere to put the cake safely so you can lift it out of the box and onto the stand. Your hearts racing, your hands are sweaty, your throats dry but you’ve just got to do it! (It’s even worse when the staff are asking you a million questions about how long it takes to make cakes!!) So if this all goes to plan I bet you’re all thinking, brilliant, that’s it all over, eeeerr NO! My worry is now about will it be ok for the rest of the day, will it cut and serve ok and will the bride and groom be happy with it! I’m not completely over the worry until maybe Wednesday of the week after! Then it all starts again, sometimes the stress even overlaps!

At this rate I really don’t think I can do this job for much longer and I’ve always liked the look of Ice Road Trucking!

So that’s my weekend (and nearly every weekend!) I hope yours is going better!

About me

Hello, I’m Karen and I love cake! It all started for me when I was 20. I saw an article in Women’s Weekly on how to make a Mr Men birthday cake. I was totally amazed at how the little characters looked so real but totally edible, so I decided I wanted to have a go! My first cake was a Wallace and Gromit birthday cake for my best friend this didn’t seem too challenging and I was really impressed with the results! Looking back maybe not so much, but we all have to start somewhere! So I’m now nearly 20 years older and definitely wiser! My passion is still going strong and for the past 10 years I have had a cake making and Sugarcraft supplies business with my long suffering husband!

I hope you enjoy my ramblings!

Welcome to my shiny new blog

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Well hello! Fancy seeing you here!

Hopefully you’re here because you love cakes, sugarcraft and anything cake related! If not then I might just convert you so please keep reading!

So I think I’ll start with a little bit about me… I’m Karen and I’m 38 and live ‘Up North’ in a little village called Rowlands Gill (not far from the Newcastle Upon Tyne or the MetroCentre). I’ve been making cakes for 18 years. Starting off for family and friends (as you do) I now have an established cake making and sugarcraft supplies shop.

I’ll keep my first post short and let you know what I’ve got planned for you. From my point of view my life is quite boring – get up, do stuff, go to bed and repeat. But sometimes funny stuff, irritating stuff and horrible stuff happens so this is what you’ll get. I’m not promising it will be regular or interesting but hopefully it will give you something to read while your waiting for the kettle to boil or waiting for your computer to load your 50 million emails since yesterday!

I’ll leave it there as I’m really struggling to get to grips with how this blogging thing works and I feel like I’ve been trying to write this for 200 hours (actually only an hour!)

See you soon x