Thankyou, B and A.


I am still spectacularly overwhelmed by the kindnesses of strangers – and I wanted to share this with you all.

I am no longer at the Southend Echo office (postal address details to be added to my contact page shortly) – but popped in a few evenings ago to pick up any remaining bits and pieces from the office.

And there, wrapped in pink paper, was a beautiful trio of hand-carved spoons, including a small one for SB.

I can’t wait to use them – although there is a part of me that is reluctant to stain them with tomato sauce and red wine and all sorts!

Thankyou, B and A – especially after the torrents of abuse I’ve had these past two weeks – for your beautiful gift, which has been very happily received and is now pride of place in my kitchen.

Best wishes –

Jack. X

Categories: Blog


    • I couldn’t be a full time local newspaper reporter on top of freelancing for national newspapers, not to mention writing a book, and being free for TV and radio. Going self employed as a freelancer (with a good contract or two under my belt that will be announced shortly) means my childcare fees are over £700 cheaper too! Hard decision but the right one.

      • Best wishes for the changes, and very well done for achieving them 🙂

        Almost everywhere I notice, it does look as though the super-helpful idea of childcare is not actually continued in to its implementation, both on cost and on location. This is (obviously) not good for normal people unfortunately.

      • Oh, wow, what a decision – funny how after so many efforts to get a job you end up self employed! Good for you – I hope it all works out for the best and I look forward to hearing what freelance writing you get up to. All the best!

  1. How kind, there are good people around and you deserve everything that comes your way. Love and all Gods blessings to you and your beautiful small boy.

    Deirdre x (I O M)

  2. Jack whatever the abuse is although it’s hurtful take it as a compliment it wouldn’t be coming your way if you hadn’t got under the skin of most of them and the rest live in ignorance of the real world so many people face now, you speak for yourself but your words resonate with many of us, counting down the weeks till I get your book 🙂


  3. What a lovely surprise and it’s my experience that the majority of people are kind. As for your torrents of abuse just remember Ghandi

    “First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win.”

    Looks to me that you must be on the winning straight. 😉

    • I’ve been trying to find that exact quote for yonks and indeed who it was by. The man who single handedly castrated the BE with a loincloth and a toothless smile!

  4. I think the ridge on the middle spoon is so it can be rested on the rim of a bowl or saucepan without falling in!

  5. That is so sweet. Seriously, its when people who don’t know you go out of their way to help you or make you feel better that you truly know that you are on the right path. 🙂

  6. I think that you are brilliant! How anyone can be abusive to you is beyond belief so ignore the jealous idiots. You have loads of fans so ignore the scumbags.

  7. Oh but you MUST use the spoons, the stains and colours will make the memories even better. I “borrowed” a wooden spoon from my great aunt who lived just down the road from my first house, and 20 years later it is one of the few things I have to remember her by – and I no longer let the kids use it – but it is so precious. Just a cheap wooden spoon, so how much more wonderful are the memories you can make from this marvellous gift.

  8. I am always amazed at how some people manage to work full time ( or even part time) and have children in child care. I spent my time worrying that my children would get sick and then I wouldn’t be able to go to work and let everyone down and work would be cross with me. I was lucky I had a partner but he just always went to work and left me to it and although money was tight we did have enough so that I didn’t have to work at all until the youngest went to playschool but even so it was hard. I used to love Thursdays, my day off! I still do love Thursdays!!

    Hope the freelancing goes well. Don’t give up the fight. We need realistic, honest and brave people. I used to have a mantra,, ‘Doing nothing is not an option’, taught to me by a dear friend but I am no longer brave . 🙂

  9. Don’t let the bastards grind you down!
    Your food is incredible and your grit and spirit inspirational. You are a consummate survivor and a classy chica.

    You’ve inspired me to try and follow your example. I live on the clippings of tin currently, and have ongoing health issues so need to eat well. On no money this is tough, plus the exhausting aspect of poverty is much overlooked. It literally wears you out.

    I’m mostly veggie, occasionally eat fish and should really be gluten and dairy free. Tricky, but not impossible on a very limited budget.

    Looking forward to your book. Your vege burger Guardian video blew me away. Très impressive! Plus, the kitchen herb garden is a fantastic idea.

    I’ll be trying some of your recipes in the next week, will let you know how I get on.

    Love and respect from Ireland X

  10. Good luck with being self employed. Love the idea of a spoon for every member of your family ! There are some really lovely people out there, even though it can be hard to remember that at times x

  11. Oh they are beautiful Jack. What a lovely surprise to get. : ). They remind me of Goldilocks in a way, eating porridge from bowls of different sizes (random tangent!!).
    Good luck in your freelancing, ever since I’ve been reading your blog I’ve been thinking you’re more of a free spirit who can’t be pinned down to a job, not that your job wasn’t awesome. You have come so far and it is awesome to come back to your blog and watch each step forward.
    I feel like shouting some cheesy “Go girl” line! : )
    BB x

  12. Jack, I agree with Rosa, above. Don’t let the b*stards grind you down! In their desire to be praised for their self-righteous and judgmental scorn and derision, they are forgetting the Golden Rule, and drawing their own hostility back on themselves.

    Also, Freethinker UK, above, wisely quoted Ghandi: “First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win.” In your case, you have not ignored the haters, but you have ridiculed them, fought them, and are, indeed, winning. Ha!

    Mazel tov on your engagement, and in your wonderfully sensible and frugal choice to move to self-employment!

  13. How lovely. And I think you deserve lovely things, for everything that you have done and been through. Good luck with this next phase of your life, your success is well deserved Jack.

  14. We are so happy that you like the spoons Jack. Use them, that is what they are made for! Congratulations on your engagement, hugs and love to you all. x

  15. There is only one rule with kitchen equipment – use it! There is no point in a piece of kitchen equipment existing unless it is used. I am a gadget freak – I have a bazillion over-priced pieces of equipment in my kitchen – but whenever I get the chance to use one of them I do. I don’t keep them as ornaments – they were bought to be useful and when I have a use for them, they get used.

  16. Keep on and you have many people who believe in what you are doing and you are amazing and inspire a lot of people so thank you Jack

  17. Best of luck but make sure you are not hijacked by any of these political phonies who will use you to give them some street credibility. Remain independent and continue your good work.

  18. Hi Jack, what a lovely gift! I’m also in Southend and enjoy making wooden spoons (I have about 60 lying around the house!). It would be great to chat with an experienced cook like yourself about what you think makes a great spoon. One to add to your burgeoning collection!

  19. Congrats Jack!
    Your spoon gifts are lovely. I have a favorite that I got in Spain in the ’70’s. It is made of olive wood and it’s a treasure that I use often. To keep it like new I coat it with mineral oil periodically and put it in the sun for a bit so it absorbs the oil and also to disinfect. Mine gets used to pence’ (sp? lightly caramelize) tomato paste and it has no stains.
    Best of luck, and you seem to be making your own good luck! Also, your son is very fortunate to have you.

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