It's been a bit more of a break from my blog than I intended; going back to work after a holiday is always busy, and last week was only a short week owing to a hospital appointment and a final hurray of the summer with two nights at the seaside to celebrate my fiance's birthday.
Here's the cake I made for his birthday - it's the gilded chocolate cake with ganache from Fiona Cairn's Bake and Decorate. Fiance was suitably shocked at the extravagance; it is quite expensive and some of my sheets arrived slightly crushed, the combination of reasons why the cake features an abstract design rather than being covered completely.
I've also been doing an awful lot of swimming. Unfortunately the Great North Swim was cancelled due to poisonous blue-green algae which developed just before the swim. As regular readers will know, I had been raising money for Mind, the mental health charity, so I needed to do something to fulfil the challenge that I had asked people to sponsor me. Not being one to do things lightly, in recompense I've signed up for a challenge that requires me to swim 125% further...I won't be swimming a mile, I'll be swimming 2.25 miles, which will take me about an hour and a half. That's quite a challenge! As such I've been putting huge miles (literally, one before work each day) in to try to get my stamina up. If you'd like to sponsor me, then please do here...and thanks to the extremely kind people who read this blog who have already donated money to this fantastic cause. If it won't bore you, I'll let you know how I get on after 27th September.
I have been popping into some other people's blogs, but now it's time to do a bit more blogging of my own. Tomorrow I'm going to share some literary pictures from our holiday, as I was able to visit the locations of one of my favourite children's books. I only purchased one book on holiday which was a little pamphlet of Favourite Lakeland Recipes, and I look forward to baking a couple of things from that in due course (maybe not the Kendal Mint Cake which I tried whilst we were away and which I thought tasted like toothpaste, but perhaps the Lakeland Sand Cake (although the Lakes aren't too full of sand...) or the Windemere Spice Biscuits or one of two sorts of gingerbread.
I'm on a bit of a book buying, in fact, anything buying hiatus, from here until Christmas, and probably beyond, as I try to save up so we can meet the rest of our wedding costs. It'll be fun (!) to see if I can wear out some of my clothes and really beat the TBR into oblivion (I did quite a good job on my break and finally read White Tiger - it was good!). Less fun drinking instant coffee in the staff common room than having a nice decaff Americano in Pret but I shall try to view it stoically.
English Pastoral: An Inheritance - James Rebanks
11 hours ago