Monday, 15 April 2013

Northern Vegan Festival and other musings!

This blog has moved! See this post on the relocated blog here:

It's been a strange, exciting, exhausting and non-stop couple of months or so for me, hence the utter lack of blogging! A friend of mine recently said that when we are TOO busy, the first things to go are tidiness, and properly cooked meals. Boy is that true! I really have been pushing myself to the limit recently with a ever busier cake business, looking after my wonderful pooch and organising a weekly dog & puppy playgroup, starting a brand new and exciting 'day job' at The University of Manchester, making plans to move house, volunteering with the amazing Didsbury Dinners, and trying to maintain a tidy house, home and person in general! I'm due to begin a distance learning MA in September, so the time is fast approaching to seriously re-think my work/life balance!

Two days ago, there was a perfect opportunity for a lovely big blog post - the Northern Vegan Festival, which took place in Manchester City Centre, and for which I'd booked a stall for my alter ego, Cottage Cupcake Co. I took the day before off work to fully prepare, and baked up a vegan and gluten free storm over about 16 hours. Saturday morning came and I rose bright and early, determined to arrive early and be organised. Alas, I was feeling pretty unwell and through waves of nausea, managed to get myself ready. My wonderfully supportive other half drove me and my cakes to the venue and helped me to set up. Just as the doors were flung open at 10am, to waiting crowds, I was overcome by illness and finally succumbed to the horrible nausea (thankfully in the comfort of the hotel's lovely ladies' room). I realised quickly I was in no fit state to speak to or serve customers, and admitted defeat. Thankfully, my indescribably wonderful friends rallied round and staffed my stall for me all day! Fevered, and from my sick bed, I kept up to date with what was happening and was thrilled to be told my cakes sold out by the late afternoon - this was no mean feat considering the number of truly excellent and professional cake sellers at the event! I worked jolly hard on my own in my teeny kitchen to prepare for the festival and I cannot thank my friends enough for making it all worthwhile :)

I was so sad to miss the festival, and though I'm still not feeling 100%, it's been lovely to see the photos and write-ups popping up. I'm so thrilled that a vegan event in Manchester was so successful! It really does warm my cockles, and I can't wait for next year. Check out this write up from Jojo of Vegan in Brighton - she managed to get some greats snaps of my cakes!

I do believe, though, that many many weeks of burning the proverbial candle at both ends explains why I finally crashed so hard once a tummy bug hit me. I'm normally pretty resistant to bugs that do the rounds (which I come into contact with often, working in a University!) but I was totally wiped out this time. It's definitely time to start taking better care of myself and getting the balance a bit better. I'm really looking forward to moving house and finding somewhere with a large, bright and all round more sensible kitchen so I can work more on healthy, home cooked meals, and produce better and more professionally presented bakes!

Excitingly, but terrifyingly, my little cake business is due to be featured in a proper magazine here in the North West in the next few days, and no doubt that will greatly increase interest in my products. It is VERY hard to balance out my full time day job with 'the cakes' and before the magazine is published, I really need to come up with a plan of action!

I am still recovering from my very unpleasant tummy bug at the moment and am resting up at home. But 2 days spent in bed/on the settee in my PJs have given me time to think, and I think now's the time to come up with some ideas!

How about you, my vegan you find it difficult to balance work/life/more work sometimes? How do you do it? All ideas are gratefully received :)

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