> The Beesley Buzz

Word of the Week: Audience

Image from Di Coke's Superlucky blog. I've been featured in a Q&A with Di this week!

It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster of a week this week – but definitely for all the right reasons.

After what feels like forever I finally got around to finishing the book I’d been working on in little snippets of time here and there for the best part of 2 years (within that time there were whole chunks of time – the longest being around 6 months - that it didn’t even get looked at but I was conscious it was there, unfinished and waiting) so it felt good to finally get it on Amazon and ‘out there’.

It is a book about what has become my main hobby in recent years; entering competitions or ‘comping’ as it is often referred to. And whilst on the face of it, it may seem a happy light topic, the book is written within the context of certain struggles in my life too.

If I’m perfectly honest, I didn’t expect too many people to be interested in it. After all it is a relatively niche hobby amongst the general population (although in the online world I think there is a lot more awareness and involvement in comping) and to make it even more niche, it is based on my own experiences of comping, and only over a 3 year period of my life.

However, when I’ve met people who I’ve told about my hobby, many of them do take an interest in wanting to know more – so I knew it would be of interest to at least a few people. But I’ve been blown away by the kindness, comments and encouragements I’ve heard from so many people. Including my first amazon review!!

What has made a huge difference is the support of the wonderful Di Coke. Known well in the comping and blogging world, Di loves to tell others about this hobby and helps promoters run successful and engaging competitions. Di kindly wrote the foreword for my book – which was a real honour – to me she is like comping royalty so it was amazing to be able to include a foreword from such an expert in the topic.

This week Di posted a Q&A with me about my book as part of her ‘Meet the Compers’ series. That again has been incredible. Di has a huge following on social media and is so widely thought of as the go-to person when it comes to all things comping related.

Ordinarily I dislike being the centre of attention. I don't like big parties. I'm an introvert in my day-to-day life and I even think of myself as a blogging introvert as I don't like to publicise my own blog or blogposts very much. I blog for myself because I want a record of family life and memories to look back on but I'm genuinely not worried about whether a post gets one view or one thousand views.

But when it comes to sharing an important message that I care deeply about - relating to Juvenile Arthritis - then it does matter how many people that message gets out to.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Perceptions and awareness haven't changed in the past 30 years about Juvenile Arthritis. Miss T gets the same response that I did all those years ago...'I thought only old people got arthritis' and the notion that it is just a few aches and pains rather than the cruel and debilitating disease that can rob children of their ability to walk and sometimes even cause blindness with uveitis affecting their eyes - if left untreated.

I owe massive thanks to the hugely talented Neill who blogs at Gary Wasabi's Golden Luck Muscle, and who very exceedingly kindly put in many hours to edit my book. He had the wisdom to take the information I'd written about Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis and stuck at the very back of the book and bring it to the front of the book. So even if you want to have a peek at the sample version which Amazon allows you to download for free, you'll understand a little about JIA and my motivation for writing the book. (With proceeds going to the Juvenile Arthritis Project, if anyone did want to buy a copy of Overcoming the Odds it can be found on Amazon here. It is available as paperback and on Kindle.)

I told you I was a blogging introvert - anyone else would have put call to action to buy the book and been shouting it from the rooftops right at the top of the blogpost. As for me, I add it inside brackets!!!

But thanks to the Q&A Di published it has meant that my book, and therefore the message about JIA has reached a far bigger audience - and I'm so grateful for that.

Reaching a bigger audience means greater awareness, greater awareness will lead to quicker diagnosis and treatment, and early treatment is so important for getting better long-term outcomes for children with JIA to prevent joint-damage and needing joint replacements later on as I needed with my hip replacement due to the irreversible JIA damage that had been caused when I was a child. 

So I've chosen my word of the week to be: Audience

Linking up with Word of the Week at its new home on Raisie Bay:


Autumn flowers

More photos from September 2017 in an attempt to clear space from my phone. These photos were taken when we visited Sissinghurst place last year.


Meeting Chef Aldo Zilli at Firezza with Sacla and Healthy food magazine

This is another exceedingly belated post from September 2017. Again, I want to keep my photos somewhere easily accessible and yet clear some space on my phone so getting them up onto a blogpost is the perfect solution. 

When I won tickets to a Saturday lunchtime event at Firezza in Dean street, London, I knew exactly who to take as my plus one. 

My foodie son and brilliant chef, D. 
 It was a sunny Saturday and we arrived early so snapped a few pics outside.

The event had been organised via Healthy food magazine in association with Sacla.

We had a cookery demo from Aldo Zilli and learnt loads of great tips.

Healthy Food magazine editor and nutritionist were also there with some sensible advice on eating healthily.
It was a hands on demo where some of us were able to get involved in helping to make the delicious bruschetta under the guidance of chef.

 Then it was time for pizza!
 Aldo was brilliant and for aspiring chef, D, it was amazing to meet him.

Aldo also went beyond expectations and gifted one of his recipe books to D, signing and dedicating it too!
Thank you to Aldo, Healthy food magazine, Firezza and Sacla for a great day. 

Apple picking- a belated post from 2017

I'm rapidly running out of storage space on my phone. And yes I do back-up my photos so I could delete them. But once they're off my phone I rarely get to look at them again. 

However, photos on my blog get looked at time and time again as I love looking at old blogposts and seeing how the children have grown.

This blog was born the same year as Miss T,  in 2012, so it's been a record of her baby, toddler and childhood years.

These are a few photos I snapped on my phone in August 2017 and I love them so much I didn't want to delete them from my phone without being able to see them readily again. 

So here they are... 



The plan for baking along with GBBO this week was to make the Rye bread open sandwiches - "Smorrebrod". Despite having numerous types of flour in my kitchen cupboards, spelt, buckwheat, teff, gram, brown rice flour, and so on, I didn't have any Rye flour.

Then events conspired against me the day I'd planned to go to the health food shop to buy some. So I thought I'd get some at the big supermarket on Thursday en route to work. There they only had one bag of Rye flour left and the bag was split!

So I've ended up with a change of plan. I've attempted Aebleskiver; those little Danish spherical pancakes filled with apple.

Knowing full well that they are supposed to be made with a special Aebleskiver pan and cooked on the hob, I knew it wasn't going to turn out quite right as I didn't have the special pan.

But I was going to give it a try anyway so I used Paul Hollywood's recipe for the batter (You can find it here on the GBBO webpage) and I decided to bake them in a muffin tin in the oven.

I pre-heated the oven to 180C.

Next I made the batter. It is a little bit more of a faff than making a pancake batter because you need to whisk the egg white with a little sugar first and then put together the rest of the ingredients, add melted butter, then finally fold in the egg white. But it seemed to work and I ended up with a light fluffy batter.

I greased a 12-hole muffin tin with butter and heated it up for a couple of minutes in the oven. Then
I scooped the batter into the holes of the muffin tin.

After two-minutes they were cooked enough on their bases to add the apple and turn them.

In place of the proper Aebleskiver apple mixture I just used chopped apple because I didn't want to add extra sugar into the recipe. I figured that the teaspoon of caster sugar already in the batter combined with the sweetness of apple and the dusting of icing sugar would make it sweet enough.

I used two wooden lollipop sticks to turn the little pancakes and then placed them back in the oven for a further 5 minutes to cook through. I gave them a good dusting of icing sugar before serving to help hide how ugly they looked!

They may not have been the prettiest Aebleskiver, nor were they anywhere near spherical in shape but they were polished off in minutes by all 5 of us diving in. To make them neater in future, I think I've perhaps make plain ones rather than attempt to add apple to them and then serve them with apple alongside or a chocolatey dipping sauce.

So I've called them 'alternative' Aebleskiver to reflect that they weren't cooked in the traditional way or with the proper apple filling. But still very tasty nonetheless.

I was thrilled that my Vegan bake from last week got Star Baker on the #GBBOBloggers2018 linky!

Linking up with Mummy Mishaps and Casa Costello for #GBBObloggers2018 and #GBBOBakeoftheweek:

Mummy Mishaps

Giveaway Winner announcement and #Run250 update!

Firstly a massive congratulations to Alex who completed the #Run250 challenge in aid of Juvenile Arthritis Research. Alex had pledged to run an incredible 250 miles in a two week period to raise awareness and funds for The JAR Project (Part of Jabez Charitable Trust). 

Alex averaged over 18 miles a day during this 2-week period culminating in the Tonbridge half-marathon which he completed with his wife Lynette. 

Having heard Trinity's story and hearing about what she has to go through week in week out as she battles Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis, he wanted to make a difference and help people understand that children can get arthritis too. As well as raising awareness, Alex also raised a whopping £1,000 for charity.

Thank you Alex and Lynette for this amazing achievement! 

You may remember that we had a little giveaway that started when Alex set off on his #Run250 challenge. Rafflecopter has randomly selected a winner - So congratulations to Victoria B (who has been contacted). You will be receiving your prize shortly in the post Victoria.

Many thanks to everyone who entered and helped spread the word that children can get arthritis too.