Thursday, 29 July 2010


This week has been one of the most emotional weeks I’ve ever experienced. The fact I’ve graduated has finally sunk in as we finish off our intern projects, and the rest of the office prepares for its closure tomorrow. Thank you and farewell cards have been signed, hugs and words of encouragement have been exchanged and tears have been shed.

I have no idea what I’m doing for a living until I get a job. I’m applying for all sorts of things, I have the intention to write articles and send them off in the hope someone will publish them. I want to build up a portfolio so I can start getting paid for my work. I will get work experience in publishing houses – keeping my hand in an industry which may move up to the North West in the next coming years. I’m waiting for the BBC to commence recruitment for the Administration section of their Salford Quays development, and somehow, among all this, I will save up for my flat with James and keep writing fiction (again, submitting stories until someone publishes me. I will get published!).

Now the majority of my work for the Lancashire Cookbook has been completed, I’m taking a moment to reflect on the last few years because in all honesty, I haven’t had much time to and putting it into writing helps so I have something to look back on.

I’ve grown in confidence as far as my writing is concerned and as a person. I am more confident because I believe in myself and know that I am capable of anything. Learning to love myself is probably the highest hurdle I’ve had to overcome but once I got over it, the rest was a doddle. So many friends, old and new have helped me along this amazing journey. I’ve watched some of these friends on their own journeys, becoming mothers, wives and successful in whatever they’ve done.

I’ve fallen in love with the most amazing man in the whole world – in fact he has become my world.

And best of all; I’ve made my friends and family really proud of me and the fact I have no job lined up just yet hasn’t stirred any judgements, accusations or negative feelings within any of them. They’re just proud of what I’ve achieved and that will always mean a lot to me.

It’s the end of an era and I’m a quivering wreck of emotion which is sadness, anxiety and happiness.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Chicken Soup

Job seeking aside, I'm loving this cooking malarky!  With 3 days til pay day and cupboards all bare I wondered how I was going to make 3 chicken breasts last me.  I say bare cupboards but I still had left over barley, a box of cornflour and plenty of stock cubes sitting around.  So I've thrown the lot together with some chopped parsley and voila, a thick chunky tastey chicken soup to last me until pay day.

Down in the Dumps

The dept I have been working for these last 18 months or so is being dissolved.  It only had funding to run for 5 years so we all knew this time would come.  What we didn't know was that jobs were going to be hard to come by.  The jobs are there, it's just harder to get an interview.  It's frustrating and we're all rather unhappy with our lot.  So we'll be marching to the nearest temp agency in order to avoid joining the ever increasing special brew crew in the Peace Garden near the Media Factory. 

I do have an interview on Monday at long last, just getting an interview has made me feel happier.  Interviews I don't have problems with, it's the job applications that seem to be the problem.  I hate doing everything online, I'm sure my cv is just lost in a big black hole somewhere.  And when I do get acknowledgement, it's usually a rejection.  It is actually a horrific experience this job seeking lark but I'll be damned if I have to sign on.  I've never signed on in my life and I don't want to start now.


Pain comes in different forms, shapes and sizes.  Some people think their pain is worse than someone else's, others think someone else's pain is worse than theirs.  Whether pain is mental or physical and no matter how severe or slight it may be, I don't think you can compare one person's pain to another's. 

Apologies for the 'deep' blog but it's a thought on the forefront of my mind today and I wanted to share it.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Roasted Vegetable Soup

After the Cook Off we had quite a few ingredients left over.  As the girls like to bake they kept the flour etc and I took away the left over vegetables, stock and herbs.  What was I to do with all these things?  What all eating establishments do at the end of the week.  Make a special!  So I'm in the process of roasting the vegetables (covered in olive oil, herbs and seasoning) and simmering some barley.  By the end of today I'm hoping to have a rather tastey roasted vegetable soup simmering on the stove - my personal chef will be here later to taste it and give me his verdict. 

Homemade soup can be frozen and heated up easily so in future, don't throw out your left overs - throw it all in a pot and see what happens! 


The veg I'm using is an unusual mixture of courgette, carrot, kale cabbage, celery, onion, chesnut mushrooms and garlic.  I'm using fresh rosemary and parsley with the added assistance of olive oil, salt, pepper and vegetable stock.  I'm going to crumble some tangy Lancashire Cheese into the bowls before serving.

Lancashire Cook Off

So I've been heavily involved with the editing of UCLanPublishing's Lancashire Cooking book.  It's going to be a cracking little book, to be sold in Waterstones, Preston with all proceeds going to the homeless charity, Shelter.  With the Hairy Bikers, Paul Heathcote and Nick Park on board we've also been in touch with local food suppliers, merchants etc for exclusive interviews, recipes and features.  We delve into the history of food with a look at both the shipping and industrial revolution and how those had a great impact on food.  Obviously I cannot divulge any trade secrets-you will have to buy the book when it hits the shelves in Autumn. 

Last week we organised a Cook Off in order to test the recipes that have been contributed and invented.  The recipes were all fun to make and include variations of hotpots, cakes, puddings and other tasty treats.  Spending an entire day rolling out pastry, chopping veg, baking things, cooking things and doing a lot of washing up; we found ourselves hitting exhaustion!  A photographer took photos, her dog liked our chicken so much she ate it when our backs were turned for one second! 

I appreciate what my boyfriend does for a living alot more than I did before.  He cooks for hundreds of people 5 days a week - sometimes 7!  Now I know why he likes a very long lie in at the weekend. 

We took our meals and cakes into the office where they were greatly received.  Everyone loved every morsel and myself, Vic and Fiona are extremely pleased. 

Update in a Nut Shell

I graduated with a 2:1!!!  Hooray!!!

Still no job.  Boo!!!

Still on board with the Lancashire Cooking Book project.  Yay!!!