One of these statements is not true. Which one?
A - I once met Robert De Niro and made a bit of a plonker of myself
B - I am naturally a red head
C - A screenplay I wrote was a quarter-finalist in the Oscars Academy Nicholl Fellowship
Well I couldn't think of a better way to introduce myself so why not a little quiz?! Those who know me personally will know I love a good game so let's kick this blog thing off with one!
If you thought A was a lie then you are incorrect! I worked on the set of Stardust (2007) commuting everyday from Bournemouth to Slough! I am a huge De Niro fan and when I finally got to speak to him I basically bowed and then started rambling and talking to him as if he were a small child, offering him food and explaining what sausage rolls were *cringe* - I am sure he thought I was a complete imbecile however he never showed it (unlike my friends who were rolling around in fits of laughter - to be honest I don't blame them).
Fun fact - well maybe not fun, or actually a fact, but I think it is interesting so maybe it should be called 'interesting observation' instead (not quite as catchy) - Robert De Niro is much shorter in real life than I had anticipated!
Anyway, back to the quiz... If you said B was a lie then you are also wrong! I had a fire of red hair when I was younger. I was completely teased for it and was told not to wear all black or I'd look like a Duracell battery! I didn't discover I could dye my hair until I was nearly 18 at which point I went brown and have since been pretty much every colour going including black, petrol, pink and blonde! My hair has got naturally darker over the years but still has a hint of red to it. Sometimes I contemplate going back to red but for now I'll stay blonde. Well that was a lot of pointless information for you there :)
So, if you said C was a lie you are probably expecting me to say well done you got it right, but I'm afraid you are wrong too! All three statements are true! I know I am such a tease! Sorry (not sorry!) My background is in screenwriting. I studied screenwriting for film and television at university. I was commissioned to write short screenplays for local producers and one screenplay I wrote was shortlisted for the Alan Plater prize, got to the quarterfinals of the Nicholl Fellowship and was a finalist in two American screenwriting competitions (ah always the bridesmaid and never the bride eh?!) Writing was my life and I so desperately wanted to write films for a living but when I met my other half and we decided to get a house and have kids and all the other very-grown-up and money-eating things that adults do, I needed a job - one with a regular and stable income. So I went into teaching. I know, I know... if you can't do, teach! I taught film and screenwriting so I kind of kept my passion going right?
None of this has much to do with cakes I hear you cry (well I imagine you are wondering why this cake blog seems to have gone off on such a tangent anyway). I have always baked cakes since I was little. I remember being taught by nan and baking with my mum. When I was at primary school I baked a cake for a visiting local weather man (Ron Lobeck for those Kentish folks) and a picture of my cake ended up on the local news (claim to fame!) however I had only ever done cakes as a hobby. They were yummy of course but I had literally no skill in decorating cakes.
The decorating all started when I had my children. I wanted a certain type of cake for my daughter's first birthday (a ladybug themed cake) but I had no idea how much bespoke cakes were (now I totally appreciate the time and effort that goes in to them). When I contacted people for prices I couldn't afford anything I wanted so I decided to have a go myself! Always a trier haha! It took me about three weeks to make and it was by no means perfect but I had so much fun doing the cake and got so many comments on it I decided to do it more often (you can see this cake below). Over the next few years I taught myself everything I could about cake decorating from watching videos and tutorials, studying photos and following cake makers I admired.
After the birth of my son three years later I decided to leave teaching so I could spend more time at home with them. I found as a teacher I was bogged down in paperwork and marking all the time (and the myth that teachers only work until 3pm and get a million days holiday a year is definitely not true!) I got a job in a local cake shop baking and decorating cakes and continued doing cakes at home for fun or for friends and family.
Over time this passion for baking and decorating has blossomed into D'licious Cakes and now, still relatively new to the industry, I have set up on my own (which may I just say is absolutely terrifying) and I am absolutely loving my job! I entered Cake International for the first time in 2019 and was stunned to come away with two bronze awards and a merit. 2020 has been exciting already as I have been named regional winner in sculpted cake category of The Cake Professional's Awards and I can't wait until the awards ceremony in March. My skills have developed so much but I am still always learning however I have definitely come a long way from the ladybug cake (see a more recent cake below).
Of course it is not all positive - I have literally put on about 4 stone since doing cakes full time (far too much cake off cuts laying around whispering at me to eat them!) My husband however just inhales all cake off cuts and leftover buttercream and remains as slim as ever (remind me to punch him in the face!) I am also a MASSIVE perfectionist and am extremely self critical so I can often spend far more hours than need be on a cake as I want it to be perfect (don't worry I don't charge for those extra hours, I'd just rather each cake go out the best it can be).
I hope this has given you a little insight into the lady behind the cake! If you have read this far thank you - I have no clue how to write a blog so just going with 'put down on paper the ramblings in my mind.' I promise future posts will be more cake related :) and I hope you will continue reading!