This year has rattled by and with November now here, it’s only a matter of weeks until the new addition to our family is due. I’ve been trying to get to as many places as possible to promote my book before ‘d-day’, which this week has meant some really fun visits.
On Monday this week I went up to a fantastic bookshop in Warwick – Warwick Books run by Mog & Pauline – for a fun afternoon of cookery demos and book signings. It was pretty much a perfect way to spend a day and everyone who came along seemed to have a great time. It made me think I want to book more demos in the new year, particularly for smaller groups of 15-20 people, as I really enjoyed talking to everyone and sharing some of my baking techniques. Huge thanks to the photographer Martin Sean, who took so many pictures of the day – it was lovely to see so many smiling faces.
I’ve noticed that for the past few weeks my blog hits from the US have grown and grown. Last winter, PBS aired our series of Bake Off, called “The Great British Baking Show” in the States. It’s now available to watch via the PBS website, Amazon Prime (US) and Netflix (US), and it really seems to be growing in popularity. It’s been lovely getting so many messages on Twitter and through my blog from American viewers. My recipe book, B.I.Y. Bake It Yourself is available on Amazon US to download for Kindle, but I’ve had lots of requests for my recipes with US Measurements too. I’m working on a few new recipes at the moment so before Thanksgiving, I’ll try and post a recipe on my blog with both US and European measurements.
Yesterday I went along to House of Fraser in Reading for a book signing and meet-and-great in their home department. I’d met some of the folks from House of Fraser at the TV Baftas back in April and since then I’ve done an interview for their website and shared my favourite chocolate and raspberry cake recipe from my book with them. I’m hoping to schedule some more book signings in before Christmas – probably in London though with the imminent arrival of Baby Burr – and as always, I’ll keep the Appearances section of my website updated when things are confirmed.
Yesterday was also HALLOWEEN of course! As our kids get older, Halloween is becoming a bigger and better event every year for us and we really look forward to it. This year, I took both our daughters trick-or-treating and we were out for about two hours. They’ve now both got cauldrons full of sweets that should last them until Christmas! It was such a good atmosphere and we bumped into so many of our neighbours, who really got into the spirit of things too. I used to really love Guy Fawkes Night as well, but unfortunately our dog gets very upset by fireworks so I try to follow the RSPCA guidance to reassure her. We still do sparklers in the garden on Bonfire Night and I’ll usually make the chilli con carne pasties from my book to have with them too. As soon as Guy Fawkes Night is out of the way it’s my cue to start my Christmas Cake – the recipe for this is in my book too.
I was up and out by 4am this morning for a drive down to Eastbourne to go sea fishing. I am a really keen fisherman – mainly fly fishing and sea fishing. However, for the past two summers I’ve been so busy with Bake Off related activity that fishing has been on the back-burner for me and I’ve missed it loads. Today was the first time I’ve managed to get out all year and it was a glorious day for it. My dad and I caught and brought back about 30 plaice, 20 mackerel and 4 gurnard. My wife Sarah doesn’t like fish at the best of times but she’s even more sensitive to the smell of it when she’s pregnant, so I’m lucky I live opposite my parents as we’re storing it all there. I’ll be spending the next few nights across the road with my kids working our way through our haul – can’t wait!
Anyway, I’ve only just got back from Eastbourne so time to change out of all my fishing gear and get an early night. See you next week!