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Greetings and Salutations
Thu 17-Jan-13
9:32 pm
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Rob12
London, UK

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Good evening one and all.  I just wanted to pop in and say 'hi' as I have not really had much time to hang around on the forum lately and catch up with everyone properly.  Seems silly that I now have both a smart phone and a tablet in addition to the computer but find myself having much less time to do anything constructive online.

 

2013 is shaping up to be a busy year and an exciting one at that.  On the cooking front I have been asked to develop a range of sweet desserts (of the sweet, candy, chocolate variety) for a large function around Valentines Day...so am experimenting with home-made chocolates and the various possible fillings for them. 

 

In addition to that myself and a friend have decided to take a stall at a market in London later this year so I am pickling and preserving up a storm to build up sufficient stock ahead of that.  Fortunately I am also generating reasonable sales through my current work/office so what does not sell at market should find a home easily enough via that avenue.

 

I have also decided that I need to study further to improve my employability within IT and to that end am currently studying CompTIA+ at home (painful) in the hopes that it may help me secure a job nearer to home...here's hoping.  Italian studies continue on the side.

 

and then there's the book...still trying to write (busy with a journalism course too though that is all but dead in the water now) but have resolved that my Lent commitment (as we both give up something - an indulgence or bad habit, and take up something - a good habit or learn a new skill) is to dedicate the period of Lent to working daily, solidly, on the book.  38/40 Days of focused attention has to yield something...even if it is only 100 000 words of drivel.  Drivel can be edited...

 

The new little doggie is settling in well.  I don't know if I shared that I finally managed to get a Norfolk Terrier - we have a now nearly 6 month old female called Rosie.  She really is a joy to have around and fortunately has a lovely disposition and learns quickly...I think she responds better to the training than we do...

 

We have settled in well here in Crawley and most of the major work on the house has now been done.  We are currently getting quotes in to get the backyard tidied up and fully paved so the dog can go outside at will come better weather...we have already planted up around 200 daffodils and I have around 150 tulips still to go down...veg is underway but slowly now as well.

 

How is everyone here?  What's news, scandal, gossip and/or intrigue?

Fri 18-Jan-13
2:12 pm
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Aly
Normandy France

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Lovely to hear from you Rob and pleased to hear all is going well.
I am currently snowed in, hopefully not for too long!
Which market are you setting up a stall at? Will it just be pickles you sell? Not much happening on that front here due to lack of things to pickle! Must start planning this years veggies as keep saying I will! Maybe today as I cannot go anywhere.
Good news about Rosie. Are you taking her to classes? Bruno is doing well with his agility classes and is now 9 months old and very big!
Hope the book gets finished, what is it about?
Lovely to have such a full and busy life, you do seem to have settled well in Crawley. There are times when I miss it. Am hoping to get over to visit my daughter in Southgate in the next few weeks. Also want to check on my dad in Horsham.

Trying to enjoy life as it is

http://www.letertregites.com

Sat 19-Jan-13
12:47 am
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Terrier
York

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Hi Rob, sounds like you've been busy, do let us know what pickles you decided on, I'm currently dithering about what to do with a load of limes I bought recently, I love lime pickle and this weekend with all the snow might just be the right time to get on with that.

Sun 20-Jan-13
3:50 pm
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Sooliz
Somerset

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waveHello again Rob.....sounds like you've been busy.

learning to love veg…..except celery :-O

Sat 26-Jan-13
6:27 pm
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Rob12
London, UK

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Evening all, me again.  Aly, we decided in the end to get a trainer to come out to the house for Rosie.  The reasoning was that she (and us) needed to be trained in the environment she lived in so that the training and behaviours stuck.  Second to that we still do not have a car and I usually only get back into Crawley after 6pm so getting to any sort of class in time would be difficult.  Broadfield is to my mind the most attractive part of Crawley but it is also historically one of the poorest so you don't get much in they way of classes or anything extra curricular going on around these parts - you always have to travel to Ifield, Three Bridges or other parts of town.

 

I liked the bit of Horsham that I saw - as spring marches on this is a good time for you to visit.  We already have daffodils flowering hereabouts.

 

The book is a piece of fiction and under wraps at present.  Once I have figured out the full storyline I will share (right now I have  a few scenes and have to link these together somehow - for me writing is not a logical process).

 

The market I want to sell at is the Slow Food Market in southeast London that I participated with the launch of last year.  Considering I did rather well out of that with the bare minimum of preparation and almost no stock, going in with a plan this year will hopefully allow for even better returns (though 100% sales last time was great!).

 

Terrier - right now I am building up stocks of the blood orange marmalade (aiming for 100 x 225g bottles - will have 72 done by the end of this weekend).  I have already made a batch of the curried green beans and will do more (also aiming for 100 bottles).  I have experimented with cranberry & orange jelly but think the cost of production is prohibitive, same for the blood orange & port preserve - so these are for home use only.  Good old bread & butter pickle (though zinged up with a jalapeno pepper added) is also on the list.  However these will be made nearer the time I go to market as they have a shorter shelf live (3 months as opposed to 2 years for the others).  I want to make up some more Bangladeshi Lemon & Ginger marmalade as well but that is dependent on getting a decent price on the Bangladeshi lemons (they are not cheap).  Other than that we have debated doing the onions pickled in a mustard sauce, some chutneys and a few other jams...the final list is yet to be decided but I want to limit it to 6 (3 x sweet and 3 x savoury). 

 

I have also passed samples of some of the products on to the manager of a South African shop in the area and so far the reception has been positive.  It would have been ideal to sell at market in Horsham but there are already two South African stalls there (one doing pickles, preserves and baked goods, the other doing meat products).  Crawleys market scene is a bit dismal at the moment so I have decided against trying to sell here...

 

A friend of mine will take the stall with me - though her half will be selling Jamaican street food.

 

Lime pickle is great!  I was introduced to that only recently and fell in love (my other favourite is garlic and chilli).  Lime marmalade is also nice, and about the easiest of the marmalades to make.

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