Sunday, 8 November 2015

A book launch with the lovely Cressida McLaughlin

On Wednesday 4th November I had the pleasure of attending Waterstones, Norwich, for the launch of "A Christmas Tail", the new book by Cressida McLaughlin.

I've known Cressy for a long time now, and it was an absolute delight to share the evening with her celebrating the launch of her book, which is a full length paperback version of 4 ebooks released over the course of 2015. The series has received great reviews and demand on the night was absolutely huge. The room was packed and I was too late to get my hands on a copy!

Cressy proves that with passion, hard work and determination, dreams can indeed come true. HarperCollins snapped up the series, and I don't doubt that we will see much, much more from this hugely talented writer over the coming years.

If you'd like to check out Cressy's work, "A Christmas Tail" is available in all good book stores. You can also find all the ebooks and the new paperback on Amazon  Cressy has a Facebook page, and you can follow all her adventures on Twitter too. She is also part of the Novelicious team, a page very much worth checking out if you are in to books.

Thanks for having me along Cressy, you totally deserve all the success coming your way, and I look forward to reading your new book!

Saturday, 24 October 2015

The Rivergarden: The Full Service

Last weekend I returned to the kitchen at The Rivergarden in Thorpe St Andrew, Norwich. Having had a taste of the activities a week before, I was really looking forward to my evening of documenting a professional working kitchen.

Having never witnessed the happenings during a full service, can I say first of all what an amazing thing it was to watch and experience. It gave me such appreciation of the effort that goes into making good, tasty food for customers to enjoy. It will certainly make me think about how my food gets to the table in future too.

Chefs Jake Garwood and Charlie Wilson are the core of a great team during food service. They work seamlessly to create beautiful dishes, taking such care in their preparation and presentation. Watching them in detail for the first time, it is almost like they are telepathic. After working together for quite some time, they just *know* how the other does things, and it all comes together perfectly.

Each dish produced is a work of art. It was a total pleasure to watch. I also liked talking to Martyn, who kept things going by making sure all the things coming into the kitchen were cleaned again and ready to use.

I really, really enjoyed taking these photos, and I had a great time with Jake, Charlie and Martyn in the kitchen. In the restaurant the team worked tirelessly to ensure customers were satisfied with everything coming from the kitchen, and from the total lack of food scraps coming back on all the plates, the customers were indeed satisfied!

Monday, 6 July 2015

Scruffy 2 Fluffy, Wymondham

There's a place in Wymondham that's THE place to be - if you have four legs and a waggly tail.

I'm spending a bit of time with my great pal Ruby dog this week. I'd planned that the first of our days together would be spent giving Ruby a treat, so I booked her in for an appointment at Scruffy 2 Fluffy in Wymondham to have a bath and a trim.

Ruby has never been to see a pet groomer before, and I was keen to make sure she saw the best. I checked out some local places, and Scruffy 2 Fluffy caught my attention - they really seemed to care about their canine clients and were quick to come back to me with answers to my questions and an appointment.

It seems this place is popular, and gets booked up fully each week. I can see why, after Ruby's morning here! We arrived after an excitable walk down Fairland Street. The salon is right next to Myhills and easy to find. Ruby cautiously approached, not knowing what to expect. Instead of taking her straight through, Sam (the owner and groomer extraordinaire) sat down and introduced herself to Ruby. Ruby was keen to check out this new and exciting person and place, and so we went through to the parlour.

The grooming parlour

The bath
The grooming space was lovely and light with a friendly atmosphere and very appropriate decoration. It was decked out to make visitors feel totally comfortable and at home. Ruby was going to like it here! As you can see, she was rather fluffy and was not appreciating it also being the hottest day of the year.

Sam took some more time to make friends with Ruby, checked her medical history and then popped her in the bath. Ruby had no hesitation in jumping in, unlike bath times at home! You can see by her face how relaxed she was about the whole thing.

I like you
On with Ruby's bath. There was a choice of 3 shampoo's and we went for the citrus one.

Well this is nice... 
Hair wash
Next for a bit of drying off and more making friends time...

Time to dry off...
Ruby was absolutely loving spending time with Sam, who is so gentle with the animals and talks to them so calmly and quietly that they ALL fall in love with her.

Then on to the grooming table. Again Ruby hopped straight up. After some brushing of the accumulation of burrs, it was time to be blow dried!

Ruby getting a blowdry 

Having a brush  Next up was the trim. There was A LOT of fur to come off...
Trimming the tail 
  Ear trimming  Then a paw trim.
Paw trimming 
  Paws for thought 

Ruby Time for a quick hug. Then nails.

New friends
And almost there!

Ruby looking all trim
Just the finishing touch of tooth gel and paw balm left.

Paw balm
And at the end, one super happy little dog!

All done
She hasn't stopped skipping around the garden since. She feels so much better. I think that's a smile.

You can find Sam at Scruffy2Fluffy online at:
and also on Facebook 

If you'd like your pet to have the Scruffy2Fluffy experience then make sure you book in advance, as Sam's reputation is spreading - people have said to me how much their dogs love going to see her. We will definitely be returning...

See the full set of photos here.