The last few years for me have been absolutely relentless. I feel very fortunate to be able to say that 2013 has been a great year. It has been a particularly busy year work wise, and the highlight has to be the publication of my first three cookery books in August.
Luckily, I managed to get away for a few days a couple of weeks ago, which was a great opportunity to relax – well, I didn’t actually spend too much time relaxing, but it was a great opportunity to get away from it all and think about where things are going next year.
I’ve decided to take a break from things at the start of the year and take myself off to Ballymaloe Cookery School to undertake their 12 week certificate course. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for some time now, and it feels like the right time to do it.
It does feel like a massive decision – particularly not to work for three months, and to make such a significant financial commitment. But I’m sure it’ll be worth it.
I start on 6th January and will be blogging my way through the three months in Ireland, so I’d love it if you’d like to follow my experiences.
At the moment, I’m feeling really quite nervous about going. It’s ridiculous having been to University and lived in two foreign countries on my own. But I guess life is different now from the day after my 21st birthday when I packed a suitcase and headed to live in Paris alone – it feels more of a big deal to up and leave now, even for a short while.
I’m also up to my eyeballs planning everything – finishing off work before I go and really boring things like my tax return, and also ensuring I’m prepared for the course. I need no fewer than 11 knives and pieces of kitchen kit, plus new sets of whites (mine are short-sleeved and a no-no) and so on. Students are instructed to have absolutely everything they need ready for the first day, and all kit needs to be up to standard. I’ve spent over £500 today adding to my set of Wüsthof knives, which I need to take to be engraved before I go. I also need to book the ferry – a car seems to be essential at Ballymaloe, so that means taking myself off to Pembrokeshire to catch the ferry to Ireland.
Practical issues aside, I’m really looking forward to the course. I just hope it lives up to my expectations. I am really looking forward to just cooking every day, and to extending my knowledge of all things culinary. It will be hard work, but I’m used to that. I can do it.
So, there we go. I look forward to sharing my experiences with you over the coming weeks.