Tag Archives: The Great British Bake Off

We’re Going Through Changes…

In case you are confused, this is still Savidge Reads… I just thought that it was time to have a minor facelift of sorts to be honest, and we all like a change now and again don’t we? This isn’t going to be one of those big revamps which involves lots of fireworks and shouting to everyone about it nor is it a case navel gazing because its coming from a positive place and just seemed like the right time.

As you might have noticed if you come here often or occasionally (and thank you if you do) in the last few weeks I have been a little bit quieter. This isn’t because I have ‘been thinking’ about everything blog wise –  which has happened in the past – but other things have taken priority. Firstly just with getting Gran sorted out with a hospital (as she was so, so poorly suddenly in the last two weeks), which as I mentioned before take so much rigmarole it is untrue, which took about four days of telephone calls, also with everything Liverpool Literature Festival wise and because I accidentally got a new job…

Yes, that is right (and I think I am allowed to tell you about it, though I don’t start till next week) I am now Social Media Strategist for Culture Liverpool three days a week and I am beyond thrilled – in part as I now get to go to all the summer festivals the city is hosting and also because the office is on the 10th floor overlooking the Mersey, I don’t normally like heights but the view is amazing.

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All this has meant I have had more time away from the blog and the needed step away to realise it had become a bit of a monster that needed feeding everyday and I was possibly struggling with it more than I thought. I also realised I didn’t feel I was in it as much, so be warned the posts and reviews are going to be less ‘professional’ and more my sense of humour, hopefully you will like it but sorry if you don’t. Hence the change really, and the changing banners (thank you Gavin) which I love, love, love – oh and I have made a Facebook page now too, can’t really be a Social Media Strategist if you don’t do your own.

Now speaking of that new role of mine again; one thing I will be doing, as well as the book reviews and book thoughts which are the main focus points of the blog, is keeping you informed of the lovely events and stuff I am going to be doing off blog. Some of these might be a retelling of an adventure I had recently walking to a ‘treasure island’ from the coast the other weekend, some might be the things I am doing for work. In the latter case, to clear any thoughts doubting Thomas’s might have up, I will not be messaging about them for work but because you might be interested in coming on the off chance or you just might like to hear about them after, as I know most of my readers don’t live down the road but miles (tens, hundreds and thousands) away. And hence I will simply pop two pictures below and you can do with the information what you see fit…

Council Estate of Mind Debut Authors

Not being funny but that is a pretty good line up isn’t it? Anyway, enough from me! I might be back with a review later, depending if I am happy with it, though I am actually hosting an afternoon tea with John Whaite (he won the Great British Bake Off last year, which I looooooove) this afternoon and might get lost with all that, which I will be reporting back on in due course. How is all with you? What do you think of my new view at work? Do you like the changes to the blog?

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The Great British Bake Off Returns…

I am faffing today. I feel a little restless this week and today I can’t seem to quite focus on the possible posts that I wanted to pop up. I have almost finished something along the lines of ‘Am I Literary Enough?’ but it doesn’t quite sound right yet and then I was going to do a brief post on ‘What Makes A Classic?’ but am a few hundred words in now and have no signs of shutting up and know it will need a huge edit. So in the interim, and on a tangent, I thought I would mention The Great British Bake Off which returns to the BBC tonight, and a previous post showed just how much you all liked baking…

The Great British Bake Off, which I think I have mentioned to you all before, is a programme that sort of shouldn’t work and yet definitely does. Take a group of contestants who love to, and clearly can, bake and make them compete over differing recipes and bakery treats each week with the legendary Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood (who makes everyone swoon, especially when he is angry, or is that just me?) judging, throw in the comedy of the marvellous presenters Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc and it is just perfect. As you can see from the clip below from last year.

A rather fortuitous parcel arrived in the post the other day too from the lovely people at Bloomsbury, I can now (should I wish to) whip up some baked goods with alongside Paul Hollywood, well with him directing me through the medium of the pages, such as sourdough, brioche, croissants, you name it.

Not sure if I will have time before the show starts at 8pm tonight but we will see… I am wondering if I could get him on The Readers for a Cookbook special, we will see. I am still wondering how I could start a ‘Great British Book Off’, suggestions welcomed.

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Boxing Day Books (The Savidge Reads Advent Winners)

Hello one and all, I do hope you have a lovely Christmas Day? Thank you for your festive wishes. Mine was very nice; I had goose for the first time and found it rather delicious. I have also been playing card games (mainly spite and malice, which my thirteen year old sister has been teaching me), scrabble, drinking rather a lot and worn my party hat all day long. Oh and I had presents, no books but I got a really funky set of psychedelic proper chef knives for my new pad (I am moving at the end of Jan, oh the books are going to have to be sorted), lots of Jelly Belly – too many is never enough and my favourite present so far has been three pairs of Mr Men lounge pants (Messy, Tickle and Bump) so there was one present with a literary twist. I have been reading but not as much as I would have expected, that is normally left for today, Boxing Day, my favourite Christmas Day.

There is something about Boxing Day that I have always found rather joyous, and not just the left-over’s from Christmas dinner which normally end up in a sandwich (though my Mum is currently off making pastry for a pie this year) and the endless supply of crisps and chocolates that we all buy for Xmas day and then don’t eat because we are too full. I love the fact it’s a delightfully lazy day, well at Savidge Christmas’s it is, we generally spend most of the day lounging around reading before a big TV fest in evening (Miranda Hart going trekking with Bear Grylls will be my Christmas TV highlight) so I am looking forward to that, I have already recorded an episode of The Readers so I feel I can now slob – that was my hard work of the day, now it’s time for my good deed of the day. It’s time for present giving…

Boxing Day can be another day of presents as the family you didn’t see might pop round, we won’t be seeing any other family members so today I have plucked all the Savidge Reads Advent Calendar winners from a random number generator and here are the winners…

Day 1; The Complete Nancy Mitford – Reading With Tea
Day 2; Burned by Thomas Enger – Harriet and Ellen B
Day 3; Smutt by Alan Bennett & Half Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan – Steel Reader and Gaskella
Day 4; Godless Boys by Naomi Wood & Snowdrops by A.D. Miller – Louise and Dog Ear
Day 5; The Great British Bake Off Book – Dovegreyreader and Janet D and Novel Insights
Day 6; Jennifer Egan books – TBA
Day 7; The Proof of Love by Catherine Hall – Rhonda Reads and Simon Saunders and Belinda
Day 8; Shes Leaving Home by Joan Bakewell  – Gaskella and Mystica
Day 9; Sophie Hannah’s series – Emma
Day 10; In Other Worlds by Margaret Atwood & China Mieville books – Louise and Ragamuffinreader
Day 11; Sue Johnston autobiography – Sue and Simon T and Ann P
Day 12; Wait for Me by Deborah Devonshire – Janet D and Dominic
Day 13; Selected Agatha Raisin books – Kirsten and Victoria
Day 14; The Beautiful Indifference by Sarah Hall – Janet D and Ann P
Day 15; When God Was A Rabbit by Sarah Winman – Femke and Ruthiella and Alex and Joanne In Canada
Day 16; all David Nicholls novels – Sue
Day 17; Patricia Duncker novels – Gaskella
Day 18; A Tiny Bit Marvellous by Dawn French – Ann P and Gabrielle Kimm
Day 19; all the Yrsa Siguardardottir novels – Kimbofo
Day 20; Frozen Planet & White Heat by MJ McGrath – Emma and Mystica
Day 21; A Novel Bookstore by Laurence Cosse & The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey – Nose in a Book and Novel Katie
Day 22; The Hunger Trace by Edward Hogan – Jenni and Ann P and Femke
Day 23; Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City series  – David
Day 24; Tess Gerritsen’s Rizzoli and Isles series – Harriet

Merry Christmas to both those of you who won (and some of you won a few times) and those who didn’t. If you did email me savidgereads@gmail.com with the book/s you have won in the subject and your address and I will make sure these are sent out in the first week of January. Right, I am off to go and pick at some stuffing before curling up with my book. Hope you are all having a wonderful time, what did you get for Xmas?

Oh and a MASSIVE thank you to the publishers who got involved: Penguin, Faber and Faber, Profile Books, Hodder, Picador, Atlantic, Serpents Tail, Ebury, Corsair, Constable and Robinson, Portobello, Little Brown, Virago, John Murray, Headline, Bloomsbury, Europa Editions, Mantle, Macmillan, Simon and Schuster & Transworld

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Oh, Bake Off – The Savidge Reads Advent Calendar Day 5

I have been thinking something along the lines of ‘oh, bake off’ for the last three days since the possibly now over-mentioned virus hit my computer on Friday first thing in the morning. You see not only have I officially lost everything that I had on my machine until then, it has also taken me until now, well within the last 20 minutes, to get all the software and everything uploaded and updated (over 900 updates, seriously??) to the point where the computer works. Enough of that, you want to know what is tucked away as today’s treat don’t you, and the emphasis on today’s give away (don’t forget there is a give away of some books here, and another here which I have belatedly posted) is ‘treat’ as we are going cake and bake tastic!!

One of the highlights of my year has been discovering the joys of The Great British Bake Off on the telly. Who would have known watching some amateur chefs cooking in a marquee with Mel and Sue and being judged by supreme bakers Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood (who I would like to become my personal chef please) would have become a favourite weekly moment for a while? Well it did and so I wanted to share this joy in some small way.

So along with the lovely BBC Books I am giving three of you the chance to win a copy of ‘The Great British Bake Off: How To Bake: The Perfect Victoria Sponge and Other Baking Secrets’ as a treat (my aunty is very jealous). Sadly this can only go UK wide but if you have someone who can pass it on, or a P.O. Box, then do still enter oh and don’t forget the previous two international book give aways. Anyway, all you have to do is tell me what your favourite cake is and why? You have until 11am GMT on December the 8th – Good luck!

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No Books, Lots of TV… Blimey I Must Be Feeling Ropey, But I Am Thinking About Books on TV

I’ve not been feeling quite myself (tired, full of cold, drained, more tired) for the last few days and today its culminated in my reading going out of the window. I have been rather glued to the television, well television on demand if I am honest, and its been kind of lovely, though its made me think why oh why are there no good TV shows about books on every week, or fortnight, or something… But before I go off on that what on earth have I been watching?

Well when I am feeling a bit ropey there are two sorts of TV that I like. One such thing is reality TV, no I am not talking about Celebrity Big Brother (which I can inform you I have barely seen any of, in fact I haven’t been in the slightest interested this year) I am talking about shows with real British people doing terribly British things. This has included catching up with the whole of ‘Village SOS’, a show hosted by Sarah Beeny (always pregnant, quite busty who you wish was your mate) where a city saves itself, or its high street and tries to reboost itself and not become a ghost town. Fab. Though not quite as fabulous as ‘The Great British Bake Off’ which I am now utterly hooked on and cant wait for the next episode on Tuesday. It’s basically the comedy duo Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins (who loves a book) hosting a show where Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood judge average joe’s who have a passion for baking, whilst telling us the history of baking, and who have a bake off with three tests (we have so far had fairy cakes, pastry and bread) and if you loose you are off. So simple, so brilliant.

The other thing I have been in the mood for is some good murder on the telly box and so I am watching ‘Waking The Dead’ from the beginning. This might also have something to do with interviewing Sue Johnston on Tuesday (I must watch the first episode of ‘Brookside’ too) and ooh its good. I do love that show, how could the BBC cut it? Anyway this then led me to ‘Sue Johnston’s Shangri La’ where she goes in search of the world she read in the book ‘Lost Horizon’ by James Jilton, which I had never heard of, she read about with her mum as a child. Have any of you read that?

Looking on all the different ‘TV on demand’ channels I was really distressed, though it should come as no surprise, that there are no TV shows featuring books on at the moment in the UK. Not even the blinking TV Book Club is on. This needs addressing. I am now wondering how on earth you suggest a TV show to a TV channel, as I have an idea… and in involves Sue Perkins and Sue Johnston (who don’t know it yet but who both love books).

What would be your very ideal TV show about books? Who would you want presenting it, a celebrity or a (possibly unknown, ha) book lover? Who would you like to see on it and what books? A mix of old and new? Features on the book world or just peoples thoughts on specific books? Let me know. Time for ‘Dr. Who’ shortly, so must dash… yes that’s right MORE telly! Are you watching anything good at the moment?

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