Will You Be Star Baker?

It’s all up to Jeanne to decide!

And it’s all up to you to bake!



and Crushed Caramel (Learner at love)

would like to invite you to join us for



with our special judge ajeanneinthekitchen


Are you the King or Queen of the Kitchen?

We would love you to take part in our baking challenge!


star baker

We will be publishing posts detailing what the challenge is

for THE GREAT BLOGGERS’ BAKE-OFF all of next week.

Look out for future posts!


Did He Really Say “Don’t Call Me, I’ll Call You”?

It was the first date Annabelle had been on since saying goodbye to Robin. Matthew was a friend of Nina, who had been a friend since college. Nina had told Annabelle that Matt was a very decent guy, and although he could come across a little shy, he was a real catch.

Matt had suggested that they meet at the Victoria and Albert Museum in South Kensington. He loved history and often spent hours wandering around the museum at weekends. Annabelle knew the museum well. She used to live in an apartment around ten minutes away.

Before meeting they had told each other what they would be wearing, and agreed which entrance into the museum to meet at. Robin e-mailed Annabelle the night before saying how much he was looking forward to meeting her. He also announced that he had decided to carry a book and a rose, so that she could identify him amongst the crowds, and hoped she wouldn’t think it too much of a cliche.

Walking towards the museum, Annabelle spotted Matt and had time to regard him before he saw her. He had light brown curly hair and a handsome chiselled face. He looked smart.  Matt seemed surprised when Annabelle approached him and inquired, “Hi…are you Matthew?

Yes, hi. Are you Annabelle? Wow!

Annabelle held out her hand, and Matt accordingly took it and then leaned forward and kissed her on the cheek. Matt seemed to be shaking.

Annabelle suggested they find a cafe to sit and have some coffee. They crossed the busy road and headed towards the many cafes that were bustling with tourists. Matt seemed to keep a distance from Annabelle. Rather than walking besides each other, he seemed to make sure his pace was too fast for Annabelle to keep up with. Annabelle pointed to a pretty Italian cafe. Matt nodded and went in ahead of Annabelle, and found a table which was right at the back of the cafe near the restroom.

Do you want to go first?” asked Mike.


Do you want to get your coffee first? I will look after the table.

Oh! Yes, sure. Shall I get you a coffee too?” suggested Annabelle.

No! I will get my own.” Matt grinned.

Annabelle stood in the queue trying not to contemplate whether she was enjoying the date so far. It had only been a few minutes. It just felt so different from dates with Robin. As she reached the front of the queue, she ordered a peppermint tea. She only drank peppermint tea when she felt anxious. As the waitress was making her tea, Annabelle turned and saw that Matt was looking her up and down and that he had a broad grin.

Once Annabelle had returned to the table with her tea, Matt jumped up to go and join the queue. He remarked that her coffee looked odd. Annabelle sat staring at the rose and the book that were laid on the table while she waited for Matt to join her again. They sat opposite each other and for a few moments there was silence, which Annabelle could not bear. She started to ask Matt questions about his work and his family, whether he had hobbies and interests other than history.

Matt then asked Annabelle what kind of relationship she was looking for. Annabelle was hesitant for a moment and said she did not really have any particular expectations. Matt then told Annabelle that he didn’t really want a relationship with lots of talking and chatting. He said he can’t cope with a woman who is needy. He explained he likes his own space, and did not really want someone always disturbing his peace with phone calls and messages. He mentioned that if he is watching something interesting on television, the last thing he wants is an interruption.

Annabelle absorbed what Matt was telling her. She was not sure how to reply. So she said something that she doubted was wise on a first date, “The thing is Matt, I have just had a year-long relationship with a wonderful man. He and I were in touch nearly everyday and we did things together. We visited lots of interesting places, we went for walks in the countryside, we made love a lot… there was a lot of making love. I am not really over him. But he has gone, he is in another country now. We have said our goodbyes and although we will always be friends, we have both agreed that we are now single and free to pursue romantic connections elsewhere. So I am just starting out with dating again, I don’t have anything set in my mind.

Oh this is the guy Nina mentioned. Well, if he has moved to a different country, it’s over then isn’t it. I don’t mind having sex with you, well, I mean, I am sure I will quite enjoy it. It’s all the chatting I don’t want. It does my head in. I had a girlfriend for a couple of years, and she was driving me insane with wanting to talk all the time. I’m not having any of that. I am a man who needs his space, but who likes to spend time with a beautiful woman every now and then, and of course sex will be a part of that.”

So, am I correct in understanding Matt, that after today, you don’t want me to text you, or call you. You will let me know when you feel like having a woman’s company? Is that right?

That would be ideal, you’ve got it in a nutshell” replied Matt looking satisfied that Annabelle had understood him so quickly.

Annabelle put her bag over her shoulder and rose up from the table. “Well, thank you for making time to meet me Matt. I will do as you say, I won’t text you or call you. I don”t want to disturb your peace, or your enjoyment of life, or any interesting television programs.”

This was great Annabelle, I am glad we got on so well and that we understood each other. I will call you about next time. We could have sex if you want next time we meet up.”

I am going to have to go Matt. I need to be somewhere and I am worried I am going to be late.”

Alright Annabelle. Look forward to seeing you next time. Do you wanna kiss before you go like?

Maybe next time Matt.” Annabelle turned and fled from the cafe. As soon as she left, she began to run towards the tube station. She boarded a train headed west-bound. Forty-seven minutes later she stepped off the train and bounded towards the escalator leading upwards. She rushed through the tunnel towards the elevators where scores of people were waiting patiently. When the doors of the elevator opened, Annabelle managed to squeeze her way into an elevator which then speedily took it’s passengers up three floors.

On leaving the elevator, Annabelle viewed the signs and message boards that were displayed. She walked towards a desk under a glowing red sign that read “Singapore Airlines”. A pristine assistant greeted her with a beaming smile and asked how they could be of service. Annabelle asked if she could purchase a ticket on the next flight to Adelaide, Australia.

talking on phoneAs soon as she had purchased her ticket, she dialled Robin’s number on her phone. Within a couple of ringing tones, she heard his voice “Hey baby, I love it when you call me at three o”clock in the morning. I was just thinking of you when my phone started ringing. How did you know?

Oh Robin, I am so sorry I woke you, I forgot about the time difference.”

Annabelle, you can call me anytime, I love hearing the sound of your voice.”

Robin, do you have plans twenty seven hours from now?

Hmm – let me see that will be Monday morning at around six o’clock. I think I will be exactly where I am right now, in bed, dreaming about my girl back in London.

Do you think you could change your plans for me Robin?

What no hot fantasising about you?

Would you maybe meet me at the airport instead?

Here? The airport here in Adelaide! Yaa-hess! Wow Annabelle – you’re coming over!


This post in response to The Genre Challenge hosted by Teresa aka The Haunted Wordsmith

Today’s genre: Romance


Everyone Adored Him

On the road we call life, we pass many people. Some only briefly share the road with us. But all will leave their mark on us in some way.

I think most would agree that leaving primary school and starting high school at the age of eleven is frankly terrifying! When other students are friendly and help to put you at your ease you are so grateful.

One of the most super-friendly students in our high school was Carl Sanderson. He was a handsome young man. But what everyone would remember him for, was his smile. When I was eleven, and beginning high school as a Year Seven student, Carl was fourteen starting Year Ten of high school. He was friendly with everyone, not just me. Yet it made such a difference to know there was a friendly face and a cheerful smile, belonging to a fellow student who was going to look out for me.

On my first morning of high school, while I stood nervously at the bus-stop waiting for the bus to arrive, he was one of the few that said hello. At the end of the day he saw me again and asked me how was my first day of school. How many of the older students care to ask a younger kid how they got on during their first day of school?

I quickly realized that Carl was one of those boys who was everyone’s friend. Everyone adored him. He was soooo cute (too old for me to worry about how cute he was). The teachers clearly were very fond of Carl too.

I don’t have many memories of Carl in all honesty. Just that he was super friendly and always had a smile and a greeting for you. I wish I had more to tell you about him. It kind of makes me angry that I know so little about this lovely young man. After I had been at school for a few weeks something happened that shocked me and the whole school.

Carl Sanderson was killed when a motor cycle hit him. The driver was speeding of course. I was told he was travelling at around 80 miles per hour when he hit Carl. Apparently Carl died at the scene. He had been crossing that road on the way to collect a younger sibling from school.

Carl made an impression on me in the short time that I knew him. I realized how much it means when you are nervous or alone, to be greeted by a warm friendly smile. I realized how much it means when another human takes the time to show interest in you. During the brief acquaintance I enjoyed with him, it struck me how warming and encouraging another person can be just by their friendliness. I decided I wanted to be like Carl.

When I look back at the brief time Carl and I were at the same point along the road of life together, I still draw inspiration from that lovely boy and remember how it feels when a warm and friendly face shows a little personal interest in you.

I would love to meet Carl again one day and to be able to tell him that despite our brief acquaintance, I had never forgotten him and had actually tried to be more like him.