Hello! This is me when someone tells me we’re not having dinner tonight.
Just kidding! It’s just hard to keep a straight face while Jeanne is taking a photo of me.
Welcome! My name is Michelle and I’m the author of this blog. I’m a South African who fell in love with an Englishman and moved to the UK in 2004. Ah, love! Unfortunately, here in Essex good restaurants are few and far between and I had no choice but to put on my apron and get stuck in.
Thanks to this blog, my career has changed from programming to food photography. Interested in my services? Check out my details here.
For more information you can read 100 Things About Me.
You can now follow me on Google+.
On this blog you won’t hear stories about our wonderful life such as skipping in the meadows, picking and smelling wild flowers and my kids pooping gold nuggets. There is no perfect facade and things are kept 100% real as we hobble along through this thing called life.
This is my husband, Neil, also known as The Man, Neiltjie or Mr. Fix-It. He is a very frank critic with the fear that I’ll serve him the same dodgy experiment twice. A fussy eater at the best of times and a pain in the ass to cook for but he’s worth it. Ask him anything IT-related, and I mean anything (building computers, programming, Unix and other doodads), and he’ll have an answer. If not, he’ll find out one way or another. That is why he is the technical administrator of this site. He has no choice.
Here are our children, Gabriel and Robyn. Gabriel is autistic and although he talks we don’t understand anything except for the odd word here and there. Fingers crossed he will talk someday and not just rely on Makaton and PECS. This doesn’t define him though. He’s got a keen sense of humour, loves cuddling and although he’s receptive to learning he much prefers solving puzzles on the computer or playing Rayman on the Wii.
Robyn is a chatterbox with strong “leadership skills” (read very bossy). She loves going to school and diving into her closet to pick out new outfits. Always keen to cook with me she’s a pretty open-minded eater and “Daahgle” (what she calls Gabriel) is her best buddy.
Pluji was adopted from the SPCA in June 2003. She is fiercely loyal, learns quickly and is a tad on the pathetic and neurotic side. On your first visit to our home she won’t like you and when feeling confident and reassured will even growl or bark at you. After your eighth visit she might warm up to you and if you are lucky you will receive a lick and lots of affection. She’s a walking dustbin and will eat anything, including Shacia’s food. Her proudest achievement was when she was a puppy and got away with eating seven bowls of cat food before anyone noticed the cats weren’t that hungry after all. With a stomach ready to explode, she waddled, not walked. Every time Gabriel chases after her another hair turns grey. I guess it happens a lot.
On Shacia’s arrival, adopted August 2003, Pluji was seriously ticked off but learnt to accept her and now the two are inseparable. A complete opposite to Pluji she will play with everybody and look at them as if to say “Are you my mommy?”. She is the friendliest and lickiest dog I’ve ever known and have never seen a hint of aggression from her. She is a picky eater though. Her proudest achievement was when she caught a fat, corn-fed pigeon from the wheat fields adjacent our house. As a knee-jerk reaction I immediately threw it in the garbage can but she was heartbroken and pawed miserably at it. Ridden with guilt I took it out again and she ate the whole bird, fair and square, except the gallbladder while Pluji looked on in disgust and momentarily turned into a vegetarian.