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(We need to wash our windows…)

Well. Its been a while. Again. Its also been an even busier period than it was during my last stint of silence. I have composed a list of what has been happening to keep you in the loop.

  • We bought a house. Two days before Christmas. Madness. Since then we have spent 3 months working on it intensively. I posted lots of updates on instagram if you are interested in seeing the process. It was very run down when we got the keys, and proved to be triple the work I had naively thought it would be (turns out stripping wall paper and a lick of paint doesn’t always cut it, que re wiring the whole property, new boiler, new radiators, new walls, new ceilings, the whole shebang). Now having moved in though it all feels like a foggy – very dusty – memory.
  • We also bought a shop. Well the building we bought is split over three floors, the top two being the flat and the ground floor and basement making up a small shop. It seemed a bit too good to be true frankly as James was looking for a flat, and I was looking for a shop. At 21 I had no plans to buy anything let alone a flat and a shop, I was simply looking for somewhere to rent. Surprisingly the price and timing was right and as we bought it jointly it was just about manageable. The price was right because of the amount of work required, but after lots of youtube videos and a willingness to get dirty we managed to do a pretty hands on job of it all. Cake icing and decorating are very much transferable skills when it comes to plastering. And I can now open a beer bottle with a screw driver. Lots of important things learnt.
  • During the stripping, plastering, filling, sanding and painting my book was released at long last. Gatherings was published on January 26th by Mitchell Beazley and is available here. I had a great time running all over the country meeting wonderful people at signings and Q&As. And it was a good excuse to get out of my overalls. I have also really enjoyed being sent images of what you are all making from Gatherings. Tweet me pictures @florashedden or on Instagram @sheddenflora. I love seeing them and hearing your stories. I will post a separate blog about the book as well as sharing a few recipes and images very very soon.
  • A new job. I am now one of three new presenters for BBC Radio Scotland’s weekly food programme The Kitchen Cafe. It’s such a joy to blether about food and be paid for it. An added bonus is that as it is radio I can blether about food and not even have to worry about how I look. I love radio. We are on every Thursday at 1.30pm, and all previous episodes are on iPlayer. Tune in for some treats!
  • Another new job. As well as blethering about food on the radio I am now blethering about food in the papers. More specifically baking in the new weekend supplement in The Sunday Telegraph. Read my column every Sunday where I discuss recipes, ingredients and keep you up to date on my other exciting new project (see below). Its great fun coming up with two new seasonal baking recipes each week and has provided the perfect excuse to play about with classic recipes I have been doing for years.
  • And last but not least my other wee project. Well when I say wee, I am opening a bakery. Of course this was going to be what I did with our shop downstairs. It has been a long term dream of mine and so to see it being realised so soon still leaves me speechless. After a long wait for planning permission and a building warrant work is finally commencing next week. You can read the full story about ARAN over at www.crowdfunder.co.uk/aranbakery. I am busy building the website so I will share that with you as soon as it is finished, but in the meantime we are on Facebook, on Instagram @aranbakery and on Twitter @aranbakery if you want to keep up to date with developments (good and bad).

So I think that is about it from me. Its been a busy busy 4 months and I am so sorry you have been so neglected – I will be back soon with lots more snaps, stories and recipes. I promise.

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