Sunday, 30 December 2012

Sourdough Classes

Sourdough Classes schedule at the Northampton based Juniper and Rose Cookery School 
It's hard getting a new business off the ground and I am, as always, impatient.  I want results and it's knowing where to advertise courses that really matters.  For the time being each advert is trial and error.  Of course having a degree in Psychology of Human Communication is helpful  .. however knowing the principles of what works and what doesn't is all very well  .. but I guess I will find out as each advert goes in where the response comes from.

It's not as though I have pots of money to waste to see which ones people respond to and which people don't. Although I love social media with all my heart there but is only so many times a day you can bang your drum to the people that follow you before they get fed up of hearing which courses are available this week.

Ironically if I were not to have been working for the BBC for the past 2 years they would be able to interview me ... but perhaps in a few months time they will feel they are able to have me in.

I am wondering about the larger magazines.  Country Living is lovely  .. or Red magazine..   or are they just too expansive to advertise in? Does anyone have any experience advertising with them?

In the meantime here is the advert above for the local parish magazine. I wonder if it is too wordy?  Perhaps making it look like part of the magazine is a mistake? ... who knows .. there are almost 200 people who read it .. maybe one of them would like to learn to make sourdough?

Getting a cookery School off the ground is a whole new adventure for me and I am nervous.. and excited... and nervous  ... Happy New Year everyone!


Monday, 17 December 2012

New Blog New Direction

New Cookery School in Northamtpon

A new blog and a change in direction .. but can I say goodbye to an old friend?

I've been umming and arring about whether to day goodbye to Goddess on a Budget for months.  About five minutes ago I announced on Twitter my new adventure.  I have officially launched my site for my new cookery and gardening school in Northampton called Juniper and Rose Kitchen Garden School.

It's a beautiful site and I'm delighted with it. It has a blog and I love the way it looks. The most important thing for me is that people can see the courses and they are now able to book them and pay online.  Take a peek at it and let me know what you think?

Despite the fact that is going to be double the work I have come to the conclusion that I can't let this blog go altogether.  This is my emotional site.  This is where I pour my heart when I need to write and this site is like a old friend.  So I am not going to say goodbye after all.

I feel both relieved and excited.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Almost Christmas

Not a Black and White Photo .. this is exactly as I took it. 
Oh it's been the craziest of weeks.  I ran a sourdough course on Tuesday and loved every minute, then on Wednesday I flew out to Milan.  I can't say much more on that subject .. because it would ruin the story which will be out later in the New Year.

In the meantime it is time to say goodbye to my BBC radio Northampton Kitchen Garden Show.  It's  exactly 2 years that I have been doing this show and although I am rather sad that it is at an end, part of me is also hugely relived to have the time back, especially as I've spent more than a day a week putting it together, and with just my expenses covered it's been an amazing experience but I am sure you can imagine how thrilled I am to get a lie in on Sunday mornings in bed again!

As with most local BBC it's a lifeline for so many older people. The local paper has been cut down to just once a week, and I am very much afraid that the local BBC stations will be chopped down as they cut back on local peoples involvement  and I believe that it will be regionalised in much the same way as I have witnessed the print media over the next few years as budgets are chopped.  I loved it and it has been really fun, but now it is time to concentrate on a new project.  As one door closes another opens and I am bursting to tell everyone my news .... but I am not quite ready to say what it is yet.

So to change the subject  .. I've been pouring over Chantal Coady's Rococo book this afternoon .. so I am off to buy some chocolate to make something delicious now, and will leave you with a photograph I took on Tuesday morning this week.  It was so dark and frosty as I walked the children to school that it looks as though I took this picture in black and white... it's not, but I loved the shapes so I thought I'd share it.


Thursday, 6 December 2012

A Beautiful Revolution

I planted hydrangeas last year.  They weren’t expensive, but I don’t want to spend money on commercially grown flowers that are imported from abroad.  So these flowers are free.  The jam jar I got from my cupboard is also reusable.  So these flowers are zero carbon and zero cost and as I popped them on the mantel piece  I got thinking.  Why do I do this?  Why do I write and why do I spend my time talking on the radio talking about how to cook from scratch, and grow their own flowers?  It’s sure not for money I can tell you that!

I was wondered if I do this for affirmation? Perhaps I write as I need to be acknowledged?   But then I thought about it and remembered all the radio shows that I have done have not even had a comment or a phone call, and some blog posts I have written are just completely ignored.  Nope its not that.  It’s not for wanting to be liked either.  In fact if I am honest I’ve never been that popular, and I don’t really care that much about being liked.  Either you like me or you don’t.

The people that matter, those closest to me, they know me, and love me for who I am and that is all I need emotionally.

So my I find myself practically needing my keyboard like a drug fix this morning.  As I realised in the night why I need to write and talk.  It’s because I am really an anarchist.  Yes I know you are now laughing and wondering if I have gone slightly mad, but I am serious.

I am a middle class, middle age revolutionary and this is my way of doing that. I am in truth, terrified of what we are doing to our world.  The world my children will inherit from us, and yet wherever I look so many things are simply wrong.  I can’t fix the world. I realised that years ago and it took all my strength not to decide to leave all together.  When I made the decision to stay I decided that I would make a difference, and although this blog is about food and life it is also about choices.  I chose to be here.

Yes it is full of pretty pictures and recipes, but the messages are carried across are real.  They are true.  Stick you fingers up at the system.  Grow your own vegetables, plant your own fruit trees, have posts of herbs growing at your back door, keep your own chickens, buy your food from your local butcher, fishmonger and grocer, cut flowers from your garden an recycle your belongings and make home made gifts.

Ok so appreciate that I am not tying myself to a tree on a construction site or leading a group of revolutionary housewives to Downing street.  This is my way.  To talk and write in a way that changes the way people live.  A real revolution in thinking starts with you.  My reader.  These small changes in every day life will make the difference in the end.  No one person can change the world, but collectively we can.

So although it may be full of vintage pretty pictures and a  cakes, but this is the way I choose, because it is the way I know and it really doesn’t have to be uncomfortable to make a statement. In fact my kind of anarchy is quieter, perhaps more subtle  .. but it still that.  It is still my way of giving the finger to the constant aggressive insidious pressure of commercialism that is ruining our world.  I just happen to enjoy it as part of my every day life, and that is why I write because I believe that I can make a difference. 

Lets do things differently.  We’ll call it a beautiful revolution

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

My Christmas Recycled Rag Dolls

The perfect Christmas gift .. a rage doll made from old clothes. 

It’s that time of year.  The time of year when the evenings are dark and for some unknown reason it seems to speed time up. Christmas is galloping faster and faster towards me and I’m not ready. I’ve so much to do that I am almost paralyzed.

This morning rather than get on with the work I have to do I stayed in my nightdress and cleaned.  I cleaned the floors and the oven and the walls and the tiles.  Of course I really need gloves because now I’ve ruined my manicure. It was the first manicure that I have had time for in months.  I was slightly ashamed of my tragically neglected nails and found myself apologising to the beautician for my lack of upkeep.

Between planting my tulips from Thompson and Morgan, cleaning out the chickens, bringing in the wood from the fire I am hardly one for princess nails anymore!  Still the one thing that I have actually got organised is the rag dolls for christmas.  They make the perfect gift in my book, especially because it recycles old clothes and uses up bits of vintage lace. The one pictured above is made with the dress material from an old 50’s dress from a friend who used to wear it and an old shirt of mine.  She’s so pretty on the sideboard I almost don’t want to give her away.