Is it me, or has this year passed by in a complete blur? I can’t believe the end of the year is here already.
I feel very fortunate to be able to say that 2012 was a great year. I’ve had a few mediocre years of late, so I appreciate it all the more.
I’m actually really bad at writing this sort of thing, as I tend to forget so much of what has happened, but it’s been hard to forget what I have been up to this year as it has practically taken over every waking hour of my life for months on end.
In early 2012 I was absolutely thrilled to receive a deal to write three cookery books from my publisher. My agent and I had been pitching one book, so it was a wonderful surprise when they asked me to write three for them. My publishers are such a wonderful bunch of people. They are ambitious, fun and supportive, in equal measure. It’s great to know I am in such good hands, especially as these are my first books. It’s all new to me and I do feel for my lovely Editor, who has been guiding me through the process so well.
Being asked to write not one, but three books at first feels very special. It took about a week for it to sink in – it genuinely is a dream come true for me. But then the reality hits, and whilst writing cookery books is something I love doing more than anything else, the fact of the matter is that I have had to write three full-size cookery books in around 7 months.
As some of you know, I run my own business and work very long hours as it is, but writing these books has been the greatest challenge I’ve ever had to date. Not only was I writing three cookery books, but three large cookery books. All recipes need to be original and triple tested. That’s an awful lot of cooking to do. And washing up! Some recipes worked out really well and pretty much as I imagined them first time around. Some, however, including some pesky (but delicious) muffins, took me 9 attempts to get right. Then there’s the triple testing. I got so many odd looks in the supermarket, picking up 40 packs of butter, bars and bars of chocolate and great sacks of sugar and flour at a time. I hadn’t even considered the logistics of this beforehand, given that I live in semi-rural Dorset now, and am a few miles from the nearest shop. Even a trip to the nearest reasonably-sized shop (Sainsbury’s) is a 10 mile round journey. And when you have just returned from the shops, started cooking and realized you have forgotten a crucial ingredient, that’s a fair way to schlep back for it.
I have had some help though. My family and Tony have been wonderful and I’ve had help with the washing up, which has been a godsend – thank you Lou – I could not have done it with out you!
Writing a cookery book does not mean you have an army of helpers drafted in to help you – every single recipe in those books has been cooked time and time again by me, and then passed to my wonderful team of testers who have helped me endlessly in making sure everything is spot on. I am so grateful to every one of you.
It has been a wonderful experience, meeting so many lovely new people and sharing food with loved ones just a little more regularly that we would have done otherwise.
These books will be published in summer 2013, so please do watch this space for further information.
As a result, 2012 has been a year of less travel and a greatly-reduced social life. I hope to redress the balance a little more next year.
I really would like to take the opportunity to thank every single person who has helped me this year (you know who you are!). It is appreciated very much indeed.
Thank you to all my readers who have, miraculously, kept coming back despite my lack of posts. I hope you like the new look I’ve had this year. Please do stop by in 2013, in what I am hoping will be another good year.
Wishing you all a very happy and healthy new year.
With my very best wishes,