Tuesday 11 May 2010

Let us eat cake

‘Do you ever review things on your blog?’ asked a PR, very politely.
‘Well, not reviews as such,’ I said (though I can oblige with the occasional rant). ‘I tend to write about whatever happens to wander into my life.’
At which point I went into a daydream about the various things that have wandered into my life since I started blogging and, I must say, I haven’t done too badly.

Nobody really seems interested in me as a journalist any more. PRs no longer pitch ideas to me for features or columns. They’d all much rather I wrote about their products in my blogs, or that I tweeted about them or shouted about them on my Facebook page. It seems everyone has shifted over to social media.

‘Do you realise you’re ‘highly influential’ on Twitter?’ hissed my friend Charlie who runs a successful website.
‘I am?’
‘Absolutely,’ he said, trying not to sound bitter and twisted. ‘How did you do it?’
I have absolutely no idea. Maybe I just like talking. It’s huge fun – my virtual water cooler - where I shoot the breeze and have a laugh.

Then, somehow, this blog was runner-up in the Author Blog Awards and I’ve miraculously risen (like a loaf) up the parent blogging charts and the PRs have gone bonkers. Now, as a journalist, one is accustomed to the odd freebie though, in my case, it’s usually limited to herbal throat lozenges and ointment for piles. But as a blogger, it seems the sky’s the limit.

Of course it doesn’t always pan out. For every trip to Florida and every goodie bag of lovely sports gear (thank you Disney, thank you Reebok) I’ve been offered a slew of items which are less than exhilarating: panty liners, nipple guards, DVDs that only play in the US, pelvic floor exercisers, er – marital aids.

But anyhow, coming back from this reverie, I realised the PR was saying a magic word.
‘It’s cake.’
The blogging/tweeting world runs on cake. Come 11am everyone promptly stops talking about whether we have a government or how to market your e-book and mutters about muffins, brownies, biscuits and chocolate.
‘Really?  What kind of cake?’
‘Organic cake.'
Oh, well that's okay then. 
'Respect Organics,'she continued.  'They sell them in supermarkets. Shall I send you some samples?’
‘Well, a sample couldn’t hurt, could it?’

The next day the postman struggled up the steps (ASBO attached to his backside like a plug) with a vast box. I’d imagined a few slices – but, ye gods, she’d sent us eleven full-size cakes. ELEVEN.
‘Why eleven?’ asked James, lining them up on the table. ‘You reckon someone got hungry and ate one on the way?’
Frankly that hadn’t crossed my mind but it did seem a strange number.
‘Three into eleven doesn’t really go,’ he continued. ‘Though none of us like ginger so that leaves nine which is three each - bags me the chocolate ones. You like banana and Dad likes carrot so we’re sorted.’

I’ll have you know we conducted a very thorough clinical trial on these cakes. We tested them every which way and gave them marks out of 100 for variations in texture, flavour, density and colour. Oh, the hell we did. We scarfed the lot in a deeply unseemly fashion. Were they nice? Damn nice actually – and not remotely what you imagine when you think ‘organic’. These are the least ‘worthy’ cakes I’ve come across: very light, very moist, wildly sweet and revoltingly moreish. Surprising really, given they are all (bar the chocolate cake) dairy free.
If I’m being very picky I suppose I prefer a slightly more rustic, ‘home-made’ feel, maybe a bit more chew in the banana loaf.  But I was a minority (so very fashionable really).

With my ‘responsible reviewer’ hat on I should add that they’re available from supermarkets such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons and you can find out more by clicking here

I might just mention (apropos of nothing in particular) that I am very partial to the following...

Diptique candles (Baies is my total favourite); Jo Malone soap (wild fig, LBM, oh any really); Aromatherapy Associates bath oil; Green & Blacks chocolate; novels of pretty well any description; Moleskine notebooks.

And I would just add that I could really do with a ‘grown-up’ posh handbag (um, Mulberry or Westwood would do the trick), a washing machine, a 32" HD TV, a Landrover, a week on a fat farm and a family holiday somewhere without the Euro.
Just sayin'    ;)


ArtSparker said...

I'm holding out for a diamond tiara...

Nah, I'm covering up my envy. 11 cakes...

Exmoorjane said...

Darn it, you're right. I'm aiming WAY too low. Would love one of those Tiffany gold keys with diamonds... AND a nice chunky Rolex... :)

fairyhedgehog said...

I think that must be the best review I've ever read!

I love the note for PRs.

Laura - Are We Nearly There Yet Mummy? said...

Did you just say 'moist'?

Mary Poppins said...

"I WANT CAKE TOO" she says in wailing voice, stamping her foot!Snot fair, no one asks me to taste cake for them. Listen up PR gurus, I would be the bestest cake testerer ever ;0)

Hmmm I also like chocolate, shoes, bags, sweeties, and maybe a wonderbra or two ;0) Jeeez gawd knows I need the WB's....

Super review Jane


Reasons said...

Well I have to get involved in this too, I want a bite of the PR cake! Oh maybe I have to be talented...doh!

Sheena said...

I just really need some hair colour.
That's what I want!

Alison Cross said...

Eleven? Sounds to me like your postie might have scoffed one on his way up the path!

My own cake of choice is a fruit scone, piled high with clotted cream and strawberry jam.

Which explains why my arse is the size of Belgium and why my tummy can lie on the bed next to me.

I second the idea that you should get to road test some 'it' bags, Jane.

Ali xxx

Word Verification: gratio - the correct proportion of thanks one should proffer for a gift (very apt!)

Exmoorjane said...

Okay you lot, the comments are WAY better than the post!

Fairy - let's hope the PRs are reading eh??

Laura - um, yes, I think I just did. Aaaghh.

MP - everyone can have cake! There's still tons left....(well, um, half a ginger loaf)

Reasons - you are DARN talented, you silly sausage!

Sheena - LOVE your post -hey everyone, you should read Sheena - the woman is haranguing people on Twitter asking for hair colour.

Alison - yeah, we'll frisk the postman next time. Your arse, my stomach and tits - it's world domination!

Anonymous said...

Grumpy now - I've not been offered anything!

(Anyone fancy sending over George Clooney for me to 'review'??)

Elizabeth Musgrave said...

The cake sounds fabulous, but eleven cakes! Christmas and birthday. I wonder if there is any chance of a holiday in Umbria? I just get gardening books, not that I am complaining, but I could branch out.

Littlemummy said...

I like 'moist' cake :)

Naomi Devlin said...

Wow - you've made it! I only ever get asked to review worthy things like goats milk baby formula, gluten free oats and nutrition books!

I'm thinking I may need to start talking about how much I love Prada...

x x x

Lorraine said...

How do you get so many freebies? I hope people start following our blog and offering all sorts of things, like publishing contract! Now that would be good.
You are always interesting, Jane and that's why your blogs are so popular.

I'd like a Mercedes and a yellow diamond - square cut minimum 3 carats if anyone is interested. xxx

Milla said...

oh, and I was just thinking you were light on the wine mentioning. Would never have contemplated asking for a tiara. Not much call for them round here.
Do hope you didn't mean moist. Makes one think of gussets. Not good.
well done on the cakes, old love. You're a star.

Fred said...

Well I may be able to help you out on the holiday......:):):)

English Mum said...

Shameless. Shameless! I got those cakes too - I thought the chocky one was the best by far.

PS: You know you nudged Reebok in my direction, well if Mulberry come calling, just remember who your friends are, mkay? xx

Exmoorjane said...

We're down to our last cake now.

Mud - LOVE it, we could review our own celebrities. Hmm, I could test run Sawyer from Lost for a weekend, no problem.

EM - Umbria would work for me!

LM - you would. *rolls eyes*

Naomi - oooh, Prada...LOVE Prada.

Lorraine - yeah, I'd like a juicy publishing contract too.. :)

Milla - sorry about the gussets...won't happen again.

EB: oooooooohhhhhh.... *grin*

Englishmum: yeah, but you never GOT the sodding Reeboks, did you? Harumph. Sure Mulberry PR would be WAY more organised, don't you?

Helen@JohnCrane said...

Loved the post - and the comments at the end really made me laugh! But have any PRs for those items sent them is what we need to know! x

Tattieweasle said...

Sitting here virtuously thinking 11 cakes well that's nice no point getting envious or anything as I can't eat cake no more and then you said dairy free...I am off dairy in an attempt to beat the black dog into submission and have been losing weight and feeling almost fabulous and then the cakes....arrggghhhh I NEED cake off to do a midnight raid on the 24 hour Tesco's in Ipswich...

Penny Pincher said...

It seems wherever I vist today everyone is talking about food. I'm hungry and have eaten 'virtual' fish and chips with Around My Kitchen Table and now chocolate cake - organic at that too . .

A sign of the times - I would have expected a Bakers Dozen (13) - maybe they are slowly introducing metric and working their way down to 10 cakes per delivery.

Fennie said...

Cake looks gorgeous and I think I deserve a slice for clicking on the link though I think I'm trying to give up carbohydrates. I'm also just trying to picture the Gielgud butler with a plate of these wandering around the pannelled vastness of Knightshayes "Your rooms are ready now" (chord) but do watch for the tiger skins.

patsy said...

You've done very well on reviewing cakes Jane but how come there were no reviews on the other items received...?

We wait with baited breath... ;)

March 17th said...

my husband is after an Aston Martin - do you reckon that's over the top ? Oddly I don't like cake but cheese, yes please...xx

Leah Marie Brown said...

Although she never said it, I am certain Marie Antoinette would have read your blog and declared, "Let them eat cake!"

(Sorry, I am a Marie Antoinette and cake fanatic...don't believe me? Read my blog)

Loving your blog and so glad I found it. Best wishes.

Zoë said...

Hmmmm - I dont need cakes - but a Pashley Trike would do nicely, or even a Pashley or Dawes Ladies Bike.

Wouldn't mind a (large) sample selection of jam, cordial and preserving jars, and other housewifey things.

Bio Oil is used a great deal here too, and I can wax lyrical on its magical properties.

Only one impediment to all this wistful thinking, I am currently sans bloggywoggy! Ho hum!

Bluestocking Mum said...

What I wouldn't give to eat cakes at moment!

Good to see you are busy - popped onto Authonomy last week to see progress with Walker. Well done you! And I spotted the new Samael.Clever lady. Best wishes for everything.

CAMILLA said...

Well done Jane, well deserved indeed, would love the cake too.!

Oh just seen the new Samuel, brilliant news Jane, you are such a talented gal Jane, now thinking of stocking filler for granddaughter's pressie later this year.