Sunday, 2 March 2014

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

Did I say a whole week ago that I was looking forward to getting back to some sort of normality? Who was I kidding? Not sure life is ever really normal round here but even by my standards it's been pretty rubbish.
 
 
Actually that is not entirely true as I had a lovely inspiring day out on Wednesday at a fabulous exhibition followed by a browse around Borough Market and a leisurely a stroll along the south Bank, a perfect day spent with a good friend...  I'll save the details for another post.  And last night I had a lovely evening with my eldest son as we cooked supper together, drank wine and later watched a DVD.... however...
 
The rest of the week has been somwhat overshadowed by a nasty experience to do with work. It would be unprofessional of me to go into details but I have been accused of things that are not true by someone who has not even spoken to me never mind met me, been threatened with possible legal proceedings and ultimately been left feeling like I never want to teach again. I don't think I've heard the last of it either but I'm resisting the urge to send hate mail and I'm trying to stay calm...

 
So I went into the next round of the Cambridge Bake Off yesterday looking forward to a couple of hours of escapism, confident that my Best Ever Chocolate Cake would win over the judges. But alas, it was not to be. The very same cake that scored 9 out of 10 last year on taste with the comment "Fantastic, deep adult taste" managed a pathetic 4 out of 10 this year with the comment "Flavours don't meld, lingering savoury aftertaste". Savoury? What was that all about?

 
I've renamed it my Crap Chocolate cake but fortunately my tasters and judges at home don't agree. They've voted it the best ever and this is all that is left!

 
So to cheer myself up, I've spent the afternoon doing some dress making. All afternoon I've been happily stitching away to find that I've put the lining of my dress in all wrong... I've hours of unpicking ahead... what joy! I might just bin it! I'm not going to tempt fate by hoping this week is better but I do have some good news for you my readers...
 
This week has seen blossom appearing on the trees, daffodils swaying in the breeze and birdsong everywhere, (crikey, that was a bit poetic) so what better time to announce that I have two tickets for the Country Living Spring Fair to give away to one lucky reader. Leave me a comment letting me know if you'd like a chance to win and I'll pick out a winner at the end of this week


 
The Country Living Fair takes place from 19th - 23rd March at the Business Design Centre in Islington. It features carefully selected exhibitors selling jewellery, fashions and items for interiors and gardens. There are talks and workshops as well as plenty of new ideas for your home and garden this Spring. You can read more details on the website:
And if you aren't lucky enough to win the tickets you can get an additional discount if you book in advance on the website and enter the code Blog11... adult tickets for £12 instead of the usual £13 or £16.50 on the door.
 
Go on... leave me a comment... cheer me up!

44 comments:

greenrabbitdesigns said...

Well I don't think your cake looks crap but certainly being accused of things that aren't true absolutely is! Try not to worry (easily said I know) but you know what, truth will out!!!!!
And next time apply for the GBBO where they have judges that know what they're doing!
V xxx
P.S. As much as I would love a trip to London in a few weeks unfortunately that's not going to happen, so I'll have to pass on the draw.

Diane Kelsey said...

Sorry to hear that life is not as good st it should be, I hope things are resolved soon. As for that fantastic cake how can the marks vary so much. I'm going to make one myself, I'll let you know my families opinion as too chocoholic judges. Shame it won't be decorated to your standards. X

Joanna said...

A virtual hug to you and I don't believe in tempting fate, so I'm hoping for a better week next week for you.

I hate it when people are unreasonable, when I'm feeling charitable I wonder what on earth made them that way; when I'm not feeling charitable I start thinking of all the ways that I could get my own back, but then remember that is probably not helping the situation and letting them win anyway. I do hope that situation is resolved quickly.

Cup of tea and a piece of cake seems the best response to that.

Joanna said...

Oh yes! Should add, I'm in Berlin that week so no good to me, especially since I'm usually in Latvia or Estonia anyway. So unless I find someone in the family who would love to go, then it is probably best to count me out of the competition for the tickets anyway.

Iz said...

Oh Gina what a crappity week you've had. No real comfort perhaps, but I've also been dressmaking today, carefully ironing my pattern pieces, ready to hand stitch my tailor tack markings like they taught me at school, only to discover that I hadn't traced off any of the pattern markings for darts, gatherings etc when I borrowed the pattern book from the library. I'm having to make it all up as I go along :(

millefeuilles said...

Dear Gina,

Your cake is calling out to me through the screen! Oh my! Drooling aside, I suffered, and I do mean 'suffered' a very similar experience at work many years ago. The colleague in question was suffering from paranoia and she accused me of the strangest things. It was awful but, as Vivienne above wisely wrote, the truth ALWAYS comes out. Have faith and try not to dread Monday too much. Things can turn around for the best quicker than you would imagine.

Stephanie

Frances said...

Gina, it's so odd when a bunch of unwanted stuff seems to collect all at once. It almost makes me a true believer in astrology. (I am more of an agnostic on those stars.)

Your cake looks totally decadently delicious. I am about to begin my Lenten no chocolate bit (or bite) but would so loved to have had a Mardi Gras experience with that cake of yours. Oh yes!

Wish that I could attend the CL Fair. I haven't been to one in along time, but have fond memories, particularly of the first one i attended, way back when Francine Lawrence was the CL editor.

We are due to get more snow tonight. I'll be doing my snow monitor watch alongside of keeping an eye on tonight's televised Oscar show. Now that's escapism! xo

Heather said...

It's not been your best week, has it? When someone behaves so unreasonably it is hard not to be shaken - I'd guess that those are idle threats and hope you can shrug them off. As for your wonderful cake - some folk should never take on the task of judging!
Better times ahead.

The Crafty Mugwump said...

That cake looks stunning!

Catherine said...

Hope next week improves for you.. And the work thing turns out fine

Cake looks scrummy!

Sending some positive vibes your way...

Heloise said...

Hope next week is better. The cake looks amazing. I've been making a pattern and sample wrap skirt today. It must be the spring air that has got us sewing.
Please do not include me in the draw,. Would love to go sometime.

Lyn said...

I hope it gets sorted at work and I bet that cake was delicious....looked it! Xxx

Terry Baker said...

What a rubbish week - just don't let the b******* get you down. As for your cake, it looks WONDERFUL and surely the most important thing is for your baking to be appreciated by the people who are important to you, which it obviously is. Count me in for the draw please. 19 March is my daughter's birthday and she's a country living kind of girl, so it would be a terrific way to spend the day together. Terry

Julie said...

The cake looks delicious and I'm sure your family are the best judges of the taste. I'm so sorry to hear about all the crap you've been given and I'm with all the supportive comments that have already been given. The Truth will out and I hope this is all settled very quickly and hopefully with an apology. xxx

Thimble Fingers said...

Unfortunately there are always people in this world who do things that are hard to fathom and although its very hurtful and distressing, try and rise above it, your true friends and supporters will always back you and know the truth. I know thats easier said than done, and I hope it all resolves itself quickly. Your cake looked amazing and I'm sure it tasted amazing too. Don't lose heart. Sending you positive thoughts and hugs.

Robin Mac said...

Oh Gina, what a crappy week you have had, but that is all behind you now. You cake looks so mouth watering I could climb through the screen to eat it. As the others have said truth will always out, so I am sure you will be exonerated soon. Have a lovely week ahead watching all the spring flowers come out. I would love to go into the draw for the tickets, but fear it would be more than somewhat difficult - 10,000 miles difficult! Cheers

sharon young said...

Oh you poor thing, what a rubbish week, some people are just plain spiteful, I hope it's soon all sorted and these are just idle threats.
As far as the cake's concerned it looks amazing and I can't for the life of me see how you could get 2 such different results, but I suppose that's the nature of competing in competitions.
It's always the same when one thing bad happens you can guarantee there will be another 2, so hopefully this week will be back to the positive again.
I'd love to go to the show, but the train fare is somewhat prohibitive these days :-(

Living to work - working to live said...

Gina - you're getting a lot of supportive comments. How lovely for you.

On the work issue one tip. Write down now your version of events - you could email it to yourself - while it is still very clear in your mind. And also, if it is appropriate, start to find ' witnesses' who can vouch for your side of the story. If they can also write down their version of events now it might help nip the whole thing in the bud. H xxx

Celia Hart said...

Hope the work thing gets sorted quickly and without too much angst.
You day out in London sounds a real tonic - and who cares about cake competitions?! the real judges know your cakes are delicious xxx

Celia Hart said...

Ooops! btw I won't be around to go to the CL Fair, so don't include me in the draw xxx

Wendy said...

The programme is not only about baking, for the entertainment part they chose an eclectic mix of people, it may be that you are too 'normal' to be chosen. Not fair but that's tv!
The rest is unpleasant but will be sorted out, and you mustn't let one person dictate whether you carry on tutoring.
Hope the new week brings sunshine

Locket Pocket said...

I'm so sorry you've had such a bad week - I hope the work thing can be quickly resolved. And how that cake didn't get you through is beyond me! It looks incredible! Please don't include me in the CL draw as I can't go this year xx

vintagerockchick said...

Don't worry Gina, we all think you're lovely. I've made a list of the people who've been mean to you, and I'm 'sending the boys round' as we speak.
I'm still prepared to force a bit of your cake down if it's available – savoury aftertaste, or no savoury aftertaste. I once ate a whole bar of marmite chocolate at one sitting,
Yours, Greedy and Weird of Hertford.
PS
No tickets thanks, I'm due to have a lovely day at NEC instead xx

Maggi said...

Wow that is some awful week. Definitely a good idea not to respond in haste. Obviously cake judging is akin to quilt judging - sometimes you wonder if they are all looking at the same piece!

No draw for me please as I am busy that weekend.

Christine said...

Judges, what do they know? (tho' obviously the first set of judges knew what they were talking about!) On the basis of the picture, I think we'd all be prepared to come to your house and sample the cake, just to reassure you, you understand!
I do hope you're getting support/expert advice with your work situation,nothing worse than false accusations. Onward and upward!
PS I'm too far away for the fair, so no draw for me either.

Toffeeapple said...

Don't put me in the draw, I should never manage to get there let alone walk around.

I am so sad that you are being targeted like that, I do hope that it will all come to a satisfactory end very soon. Hugs. x

Suztats said...

Crappy? Week-yes. Cake? no. What is it with those judges? Barmy. Perhaps your delightful desserts are just too adult for them.
As for work, stay calm, and hopefully sanity will prevail. I've been there, and it's most unpleasant, but hopefully the truth will out, and all will be resolved.
Hoping this week will be a more enjoyable one!

Suztats said...

Oh, please don't put me in the draw as I just couldn't go-- I live too far away.....

annjennyg said...

I'm so sorry things have been difficult for you at work and I hope it is sorted out very soon. Your cake looks wonderful and I'm sure it tastes delicious too. I'm not sure I could make that weekend so count me out of the draw please.

Ali said...

Oh Gina, poor you. But as my Mother always likes to remind me, bad things happen in threes and you've got yours out of the way, so now the only way is up. Hang in there x

September Violets said...

Oh dear Gina ... this post makes me want to cry and laugh at the same time. Life can really send you flying off your feet sometimes can't it. I used to work in a litigation law firm, and quite awhile after I left my dear friend the lawyer decides he wants to put the blame on me for something he messed up years ago. I was to be called in as a witness, and I'm telling you, I didn't sleep for weeks leading up to it. In the end, the case was settled, and I didn't have to go to court. But it really was so unsettling to be on the receiving end after having sent out hundreds of "summons" to others over the years. I do hope your troubles ease and everyone stays calm & rational. And as to the cake ... it sounds like the judge forgot to clean his/her palette before he tasted your gorgeous cake (probably still tasting his beef pub pie from lunch!). Even from here I can tell it's a 10 out of 10 ... easy. I'm so glad you had a fun evening cooking with your son (one of my favourite things is to bake with mine). Your week can only get better from here! Hugs to you, and stay tough, you'll get through :) Wendy x

Amanda said...

Oh my! I hope all is resolved amicably and soon too. And I don't need the tickets, thank you, but a slice of cake posted wouldn't go amiss. ;)

Twiglet said...

Your cake looks and I bet it was truly scrumptious. As for the nasty folk who are making you miserable - keep strong, you know you are a good person. They will struggle to prove otherwise! x Jo

jude said...

Arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

jude said...

Arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Thelma said...

Sorry, it's a very late comment, but I just wanted to say that I think your integrity speaks for itself, Gina. As for the chocolate cake, which looks - and I'm sure is - absolutely fabulous, I think your regular tasters are the best judges!

Please put my name in for the draw.

Kath said...

Unfortunately I won't be available to use the tickets. Although I am sure I could be available to eat some of your lovely looking cake :-)
But I would like to send you a virtual hug, you need it.
Kath (nb Herbie)

Diana Studer said...

without tasting the one, or knowing the details of the other - I'm sure you're right with both. If I could ... I'd love a slice of that cake.

Diana Studer said...

and a Very Important PS - don't let the b@#@#@#s put you off teaching - those skills shine thru, loud and clear.

Thimbleanna said...

Oooh, if I win those tickets will you buy my plane ticket LOL??? I hope you're cheered up by now -- I would think that lucious cake would cheer anyone up!!!

alice c said...

Oh - I am so sorry for your troubles and hope that they slink back into the shadows where they belong. Living to Work's advice is good - I would add that keeping a diary of events associated with the issue can be helpful. It is surprising how days can slide into each other when you are busy with other things as well.

Magical Stitchery Tour said...

Oh you poor sausage- life is monumentaly shit sometimes isn't it? Fingers crossed that the rising sap brings you a better time. xx

Annie @ knitsofacto said...

Missed this post - and please don't put me in the draw, if you haven't drawn already - but I just wanted to send a hug of solidarity. I have also been the subject of a malicious smear in the past, and yes it did get legal, and yes the malicious smearer got her comeuppance ... hurrah! Life can be a bitch but I find friends (and karma!) get me through. Here's hoping your last week is soon just a distant memory x

Rosie said...

Think the cake judges must have had their tastebuds adulterated by some of the things they'd tasted previously (over-sweet, maybe?) Hope things are calming down and cheering up for you.