Off to Britmums – without the baby bump this year!

At last year’s Britmums I was about 37 weeks pregnant and not exactly light on my feet. It was fun but I am terrible at striking up conversations but I did put some names and faces together. Hoping to be better at that this year! Also Owls and Pears is coming with me and she has been known to make me do all kinds of bold things. Oh wait, maybe that’s the other way around….

Pictured with the former bump, Sproggett who won’t be coming. Bring on the wine.

Name: Gail

Blog: -> Bake Make Rake <- and also One Million Gold Stars. Both have been a little neglected since I went off so much food during pregnancy so food blogging went way down the priority list, and since then have been running to keep up with the little man and lurking on social media as much as posting.

Twitter ID: @gaildoggett

Height: 5ft 6ish

Hair: Shoulder length dark brown, usually swept back at the sides

Eyes: browny-green

Is this your first blogging conference? My third I think. I could be seen rolling around as a Massive Fat Pregnant at both Cybher and Britmums last year.

Are you attending both days? Yes! As long as my babysitter doesn’t let me down.

What are you most looking forward to at BritMums Live 2013? Focussing on blogging and writing and giving it some headspace, along with meeting people.

What are you wearing? Hopefully not maternity wear, or baby food but depends on how the diet goes in the meantime and whether I remember to leave putting on my ‘Outside clothes’ until just before I leave the house. Man, kids can reach really far with grabby grubby little hands.

What do you hope to gain from BritMums Live 2013? Inspiration to keep blogging, even if it’s at my slow snail pace. Photography tips always good too. I’m kind of wavering between keeping both blogs going or just one, maybe I will have decided by then or I’ll manage to make a decision that weekend!

Tell us one thing about you that not everyone knows I make awesome Star Wars cookies. Oh and not immediately obvious from online stuff, but I’m Irish.

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How does your garden grow?

Barely at all, frankly. Our back garden is mostly terracotta tiles with a border of bed, a disused pond and flowers in garish shades of pink and orange as beloved by the previous owner. It’s dominated by an overgrown bay tree that desperately needs to be cut back by half. Although without any input from us, the apple tree had beautiful blossom this year and the pear tree looks good too, so fingers crossed for another good crop this year.

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The histamine plan is… flexible, let’s say. I do think it’s helping but god, it’s hard. And I get bored of it really easily and just want to eat chocolate. Not terribly helpful. But I am coughing less.

Yet again this year I am banging on about wanting to grow vegetables in the garden. Foolhardy? Undoubtedly. There are days I don’t manage to brush my hair due to demands of the small child so weeding and watering a mini-allotment is going to be interesting. But as even things like bagged salad do seem to set me off coughing, there’s never been a better time to try growing some veg here.

I aim to start small, with four 35cm square planters and two hanging baskets. I’d like strawberries and tomatoes in the baskets and cut-and-come-again lettuce and perhaps courgettes in the planters, plus herbs I think. Any suggestions on what varieties to try? I’m kind of tempted to offer one planter up to Meantime Brewery for their True Brew of London which I think is a genius idea of theirs.

They’ve planted hops in royal parks and gardens all over London, including grand institutions like the Natural History Museum and Battersea Power Station, and lots of pubs are participating too. I think the closest growing stations to us are the View Tube at the Olympic Park and Waitrose in Stratford. The hops will be harvested in September and then dried. After that they are mixed with malt, yeast and water and left to mature, to be ready for drinking at the end of the year. Given that hops are perennials, I presume they could make this year after year?

I’ve just realised that May is marching onwards so hopefully we’ll actually get to a garden centre somewhere to get some plants before it’s too late to sow them.  Any advice for a first-time, time-poor veggie grower?