Before cake life, I was a pharmacist. I qualified as a pharmacist in 2010. I was a legal drug dealer and it was pretty cool! But working full time became more and more difficult as my A-T progressed. So now I “work from home” and deal in cakes instead.
Everybody who knows me also knows of Jilly’s Cupcake House. I donate everything I earn from my cake orders, at Jilly’s Cupcake House, to the A-T Society. Not only do these donations help kids and adults with A-T, I’ve also found it’s a fantastic way to raise awareness about A-T to a massive (cake loving) audience. It’s also a chance for me to show everyone that despite having A-T, I can design, bake and create beautiful cakes. Having A-T does not stop me from doing what I love.
In March 2020, the UK entered a nationwide lockdown due to covid-19. As an “extremely vulnerable” person I was forced into a much more shielded isolation, compared to the rest of my friends and neighbours. This made things extremely difficult for me. Socially, mentally and emotionally. Not to mention I wasn’t able to venture out to buy basic ingredients I needed for cakes (if they were even available! #FlourShortage). So, I had to temporarily close Jilly’s Cupcake House and stop taking on cake orders. This only added to my emotional anxiety. However, instead of letting the anxiety of isolation get to me, I decided to use this time to try out new recipes and have a go at things I was always too busy for.
During the isolation period, the achievement I am most proud of is my 2.6 challenge, where I piped 26 cupcakes in 26 seconds for the A-T Society. I raised over £1000.
I also tried my hand at macarons for the first time after attending macaron class over 2 years ago. I’ve been too scared to attempt baking macarons without the supervision of someone who knew what they were doing! But I finally bit the bullet, and after a few attempts, I managed to bake a successful (ish) batch!
Aside from cake decorating for customers, I also miss my PT sessions. I started sessions with a trainer a few years ago to stay active and to try and slow down the progression of my ataxia. However, with the lockdown, I had to stop my sessions. I try and keep up with my exercises, on my own, to stay mobile, but it’s not the same. Once lockdown rules for people who are shielding have been relaxed, the first thing I’m doing, is booking a session with my PT!