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An early coffee delivery from Bartholemew preceeded Jo’s arrival up the M40. First to be picked up was Cat, who was ready with her rucksack full of Haribo and Yarn, followed by a quick detour east to collect Anne. It was a good job she set off early because those road connections into deepest darkest Norfolk are treacherous. Stopping off in Swaffham, Cat was despatched for another coffee and they finally arrived at Anne’s just before 8. Anne, uncharacteristically wasn’t quite ready as she was still marbling her kitchen worktops. Apparently the stone saw was late arriving and the water coolant was playing up. Sensing her friends’ frustration (mostly Jo muttering and checking her phone every 2 seconds), Anne sighed and gave up, passing her chisel to hubby before grabbing a floppy hat, a raincoat and her Hellraiser bag. By 8.15 the three of them were back on the road to Birmingham to pick up Brum – Jo’s organisation and planning was excellent (well it was when Cat reminded her).

Next up was a complete U turn back down south when they realised they had forgotten Adele and Vicki. By 10am, they still hadn’t reached Caterham and Anne had eaten all the Haribo. Brum kept talking about googly eyes, which completely confused Jo, not helping her concentrate at all.

Having got completely lost in Colchester, the 5 had eventually arrived in Clacton just before lunchtime. Vicki had completely forgotten they were coming and answered the door in her Beetlejuice pyjamas.

A frenzied 15 minutes later while Anne, Cat, Jo, Brum and Adele played ispy in the car park (Adele won). They were ready to be on the road again. Cat couldn’t quite understand how the six of them had managed to fit in Jo’s Renault, but wasn’t about to start arguing with quantum mechanics.

Soon they were on the M11 and arguing about the best way to Liverpool, Brum assured the others that it was best to avoid Birmingham altogether and by 3pm they were in Stoke on Trent. By this time Vicki had crocheted the end of Cat’s Scarf into a kitten and Cat had knitted three socks. Adele and Anne had come up with a magnificent idea for marbled soap and Jo was convinced every pigoeon they passed was Bartholomew.

A text from Lexie at 3.15 querying where the hell they were and that she was hungry was followed by Swearah enquiring if they’d set off yet as she wanted to nip to Lidl for an angle grinder and would then catch the train to Scarborough.

Hanna, having become bored, had caught the bus to Stockport and instantly regretted it once she stepped into the bus station. There were ADG billboards everywhere. She soon distracted herself by designing the next three week’s worth of Social Media posts on her phone until the furious beeping of Cat alerted her to their presence. (Cat wasn’t driving, it was just that Jo’s car’s horn was broken, so Cat had to beep)

Quickly squeezing into the never ending back seat, Hanna had to dislodge 3 crochet hooks from under her posterior and move a soap cutter from the footwell, but they were soon on their way to Scarborough.

They passed the next 2 hours (Jo can drive really fast while keeping to the speed limit) by singing Disney songs, although Adele slept through most of the journey. Lexie was waiting by the castle with Swearah, when they arrived which wasn’t really that helpful, given the parking, but at least Swearah had got down from Durham in good time to avoid them having to negotiate Newcastle at rush hour. Deciding it was too late to head further north without sustenance, they ate fish and chips while paddling in the north sea and listening to the tranquility of the waves lapping the yellow sands and giggling when Adele fell in.

They had this nagging feeling they’d missed someone, but the back of the car was too crowded to notice and soon they were travelling up the A1, with Lexie telling them all about the fucking idiots she encountered on a day to day basis, turning Westwards at Scotch Corner, heading to the Border. Anne and Cat were soon arguing over the map before Vicki pointed out there was a Sat Nav and made them all feel daft. The one thing they could agree upon was that the search for Nessie was going to take them beyond bedtime and they were going to be lucky to make it to Lonn before then, so having reached Stirling, they all checked into Witches Craig Caravan & Camping Park for the night, unloading the tent from the previously unspotted roof box. Between the 8 of them it took 2 hours to erect. It would have been faster where it not for Jo and Lexie having fallen asleep in the car. Finally cramming into the 4 man tent, it was decided that the hunt for Nessie would resume at the reasonable hour of 10am…

Try Google(y) Eyes

Try Google(y) Eyes

It was a flurry of activity this morning as Hanna fresh from her attempts to run a taxi driver over yesterday in her monster truck, had yet another idiot to share with us and we all gathered around the campfire to share the mirth… or the metaphorical virtual campfire as it were. It seems she’s contributing to the world’s single use plastic problem with her disposable resin mermaid tails…

She’s also been asked to provide a quotation for a new customer – and is considering a bit of Dickens, or perhaps a bit of Helen Fielding (West Yorkshire Lass, don’t you know?), “Christ, is that blue soup?”

Bartholemew was very much in demand this morning with coffee flasks being despatched around the country. The Northern run involved a return leg with a box of mint green tea towards West Yorkshire. The poor fella has never been so busy and Jo is now considering investing in a second pigeon.

Adele managed not to eat him this time and sent Barty back to Jo’s with the last of the Caffeinated Savage to keep the theme going.

Anne was back to using Darren’s Chinese translation pen to proof read some Japanese ironing instructions and Cat dropped by to show off her South West Pirates outfit.

Having gotten up ridiculously early, Swearah went to Pirates class to have a nap on the mats and found her boobs most useful. Can’t say I blame her actually, as that’s what I’d do (sleep that is, not finding boobs useful). Mats arrr most definitely for sleeping on 😉

Dave has lent her last fiver to her latest case support so he can make beans on toast for breakfast and has volunteered to row us all to Amsterdam for a city break, following Swearah’s idea for a day out. Brum is booking the hotel and Hanna is packing her gas mask in preparation. Lots of yarn has been ordered for the crossing.

Brum managed to inadvertantly insult Lee, so he’s going to find a way to pay her back…

Trying not to be ungrateful for being given a Volvo, Brum was most perplexed by John’s request for bumper grommets. It was suggested that she might have some in her box of bits… Swearah reckoned ladies don’t keep those sorts of things in their bits, but turns out Brum’s bits are covered in googly eyes. Darren couldn’t look her in the eye after hearing that…. (didn’t know which ones to be fair)

Taking delivery of a mystery bag, it’s looking like bacon-wrapped fish for lunch at Brum’s cafe tomorrow…

Gretna marriage plans had to be put on hold when there weren’t enough Googly eyes left to stick the Volvo’s bumper back on…

Melly is keeping everyone is suspense with her mystery dream visitor which she’s chronicalling in her Dream Journal. I’m now starting to think she’s trying to resurrect Freddie Krueger…

Swearah continues to attract the bot accounts sliding into her DMs. We have informed Elton John… (Lexi doesn’t get it)

In sports news (Yes, I’m still doing this) Ness has been training for the North Scottish Badminton trials and has been polishing her shuttlecock, Jyoti and Clair are taking part in the Coxless pears cider making championships and Mike is teaching Lonn Semaphore…

With a little help from my friends..

With a little help from my friends..

So, I’m just going to get a little serious here. Group Cake is more than the sum of its parts. When one slice is hurt, the whole cake feels the cut and comes together.

We’re here for everyone and it’s a place for a giggle, for friendship, a vent, and above all for support. The wonderful Adele of Pretty Savage has had her fingers burnt by a nefarious business guru and came to the group for advice, for assurance that she wasn’t being unreasonable, and above all, for support. That’s what we’re here for, not just an automatic not-looking retweet (Lovely!)

Despite Swearah offering to go postal on her ass, the sentiment was sincere. We are all here for you. You’re doing a wonderful job of trying to grow your fabulous business and juggle your day job and family life on top of it. Most of us are in the same situation and really emphasise with you. Some days we feel like crying too, but you are never alone. We’re always here and despite Darren’s assertions that we’re all c***s, we’re really not 🙂

You have the love and support of an absolutely amazing small business community, hampered only by geography (still don’t know what an ox-bow lake is)

So no matter whether you want inspiration for a new name for wax melts, a request for testimonials or reassurance that you’re doing it right, we’ll always be here.

You know that when she’s sobbing into her Special Brew in that stinking underpass, you will be smiling with the satisfaction of knowing you made it without her, and that you have CAKE…

(The title of this post was inspired by NotLexi, Hanna and Vicki)

Normal daftness will resume shortly.

Please sir, can I be excused?

Please sir, can I be excused?

Swearah’s exciting Weather Machine purchase from the middle Isle at Lidl appears to have developed a fault, causing the sun to turn to rain. After spending an hour looking for the receipt, she planned on taking it back for a refund.

In Norfolk, however, Anne was experiencing some fabulous sunshine and has invited us all over for Scones. This of course will be after she’s cycled over to her mum’s to pick up some curtains to be translated into Japanese…

Cat was having a day off from making coffee for other people and instead is making her own coffee soup to eat whist attempting to rebuild the alpaca website. She’s planning on adding the soup to the cafe menu tomorrow… Joining many other people, she has taken the step of closing her Etsy Shop and is now going it alone, selling creative cats on her own website. She’s only got the one, so we’re not sure what happens when she sells it…

In Sewing news, Swearah had a motivational start to the day deciding to Work From Bed™. Unfortunately plans to launch her brand new Shopify site took a further delay as she sewed herself to her duvet and almost missed #elevenseshour. Having unpicked herself from the bedding, she’s now taken herself on a date with herself to watch absolutely everything at the cinema. She’s going to be back with us hopefully some time in June…

Speaking of Elevenses, Hanna made a welcome return to host and was inundated with chat. None of it made sense of course, because #TeamCake, and she’s still replying back to the hashtag even as I type.

PE Kits have been issued to all Cake members after SarahX highlighted that she wasn’t the only one who didn’t have one. This of course led to a flurry of excuse notes to teacher. Apparently Swearah’s head has fallen off and SarahX has grown an extra three legs. Vicki is currently making Dean write the next three months’ worth of excuse notes.

Brum has filled her house with kittens and puppies and can no longer bake quick enough. She says they’re not all staying….

Jo, fresh from the hilarious experience of LiveTweeting Eurovision is away writing her first novel. It’s set in the the world of Cactus Painting in Oxford, using her everyday insights into this niche area and her constant struggle with the demands of a fun-seeking toddler. Today sees her attempting to write whilst swimming.

Having been exasperated whilst trying to update her website, Adele has baked herself into a person-sized cake from a recipe sent by Mike and has spent the rest of the afternoon eating her way out of it. Following her argument with her Eatsy Auditor, Group Cake were ready with the Pitchforks, or would have been had Lee not left them in Stockport. Darren is currently on the phone to a rake rental firm..

Ness has made a welcome return to the Cult and has replaced Billy Duffy as lead guitarist. Recording starts next week.

In late news -turns out everyone is FILTHY! (according the the carbon footprint webscanner anyway…)

In short-lived Cake career, SarahX suggested we added the Spanish Transit Fetishist which resulted in an hour long debate over whether we should keep her or not… Was lovely knowing you… 🙂

Only Kidding 😉

It wasn’t the coffee that carried her offee…

It wasn’t the coffee that carried her offee…

Having gone to bed burying his head in the sand over a panicked Etsy order, Lee has now gone back in time to 1856 and found his password and hence, listing, being relieved he put in a sensible lead time. Past Lee seems to have been uncharacteristically sensible, which present Lee is very surprised, but grateful for…

Anne, before heading off to proofread the latest screenplay for Friday 13th Part 13, announced that she would be dressing up as a Christmas Pixie to deliver Christmas lunch to her best friend who’s just come back from a round the world trip to Prestatyn and is going to help her count dandelions in Great Yarmouth. We await photographs…

Running by in a flurry of frenziedly scheduled #EarlyBuzz posts, Jo threw a quick hello at the group, landing on Cat, who had to wipe it out of her eyes, before flying through the door and knocking the postman over. She was still running at 300mph in the opposite direction to the bus stop…

Cat was very much looking forward to an exceptionally busy day at the Llama Kharmeleon Cafe (funny name for an Alpaca farm), excited to be making every known coffee under the sun. SarahX has given her the recipe to a Double Banana Mocha Flat White which she is going to start putting on the blackboard. She also has plans for a crochet lesson based upon the idea and has additionally been inspired to make a new flavour of yarn dye…

Melly is planning to take a small break from Social Media while she updates her dream journal following a mysterious visitor in her slumbers last night – we suspect it has something to do with Dragons Den and the Cloud Fans…

Following the stress of yesterday’s Pilates Starfish episode, Swearah is taking it easy today in preparation for her probationary shift at Vicki’s Dungeon™ tomorrow. Not to be thrown in too deeply, she is going to be starting with the feather dusters.

Mike has had to head back north to feed Lonn, after the French Submarines failed to turn up for the third day running, so the tunnelling duties have been left to Darren, who is kindly taking over from Dean (to protect his hands). Now behind schedule, Darren is madly manifesting an extra pair of hands to manage the workload.

Adele has been requesting videos to use on her website but has had to sadly reject most of them… not really what her business coach had in mind, Darren. Helpful those were not… Might be handy for a side project though…

Faced with a dilemma on rising prices, SarahX was convinced by Darren that a price rise of 25% across the board was not unreasonable , as long as the hands were still in the photographs. In a shocking revelation it has been made clear that SarahX does not wear gloves to pack orders and Darren had to have a lie down (but not before agreeing to buy all of Lee’s remaining Scarecrows following an intense hand-off).

In serious news – sales of Pitchforks and Flaming torches in the Stockport area have been reported to be on the rise…In need of a Nemesis, Swearah has set off on a quest to find The Map©, aided by her trusty padowan SarahX, who is carrying the donkey (hopefully back in time for her shift)

For some reason, Wuthering Heights appears to be the earworm for today. I wonder why?…

Absence permission slips (#possiblypeas) have been accepted from Vicki, Hanna, Brum and Ness and in all seriousness here, we miss and love you guys and hope you’re all doing ok. Care parcels of cake (or penguins) are in the post.