I’m Alyson and I’m 29. A couple of years ago, I bought my own small slice of home and moved out to live on my own. Most people probably think that would be pretty awful but it’s fantastic!
I’ve cooked since before I moved out the first time to go to uni, but when I moved back in with my parents, I fell into a routine of cooking the same few dishes which suited everyone’s fussy tastes.
Living on my own was a revelation in that respect. Not only could I cook what I wanted, when I wanted it, but experimenting became much less risky when I had no one else relying on me for their evening meals!
Sewing is something I’ve done on and off over the years, ever since Mrs Robertson taught me how to make tinker pyjamas. With a flat to decorate, I dived back in to making cushions and other soft furnishings. I’m pretty much self-taught in that respect. It’s great though. You can pick your own colours and patterns, make to measure and save money, and the process is pretty fun too.
I’m generally self-taught in both senses but I’m pretty passionate about it in the most relaxed way possible…
During the earning part of the day, to trade, as it were, I’m a Paraplanner. Although I have never been good with numbers, the bulk of the job is actually writing wordy reports which attempt to make techy rules and regulations make sense to the uninitiated. As such, I’ve spent much of my free time preparing for exams. At the end of last year, I found out that I passed my final two advanced Diploma in Financial Planning exams and that I’ve been awarded Chartered status by the Chartered Insurance Institute. I’m having a very well-deserved rest from those exams, primarily to plan the wedding, but once we’re settled into the house I might knuckle down and tackle some more.
At the end of February last year, the love of my life proposed to me and I became someone’s fiancée. Pictured with me in the photo above is said someone, Mr Charles E Brooker, who came up with the idea of combining our own respective blogs and really committing to one big beautiful food blog, as cooking is something we absolutely love to do, separately or together. On 18th May this year, we eventually got married, and so we are officially the “Brookers of Blunty’s”. I’ve moved down to be with Charles, and we’re still finding our feet in terms of building each other into our own lives, especially as our house is still being built so I’m temporarily staying with him in the two rooms he has in the B&B he runs. We’ll look back on it someday soon and remember this little adventure as newlyweds, but for now, we just want to get into our lovely new kitchen, and I can’t wait to tackle the rest of the furniture shopping and run up some curtains.
Check back here, as well as our latest posts, for updates about us, our home, and our Scottish Borders food discoveries.
Lets start with the basics. My name is Charles, I am in my late twenties and live in the Scottish Borders. One of the most beautiful and unspoiled parts of the UK, we get very few tourists which is nice. However, there is a lack of employment options around here which means most people my age have moved away to find work. Luckily for me I have a family building business to keep me in this wonderful place.
To fill my days I have a Bed and Breakfast in which I am busy during the Spring and Autumn – I often moan about it but generally speaking the people who come to stay are all lovely and I really enjoy it, the only trouble is it keeps me tied to home in the evenings. I also have a picture framing business which is still in the getting off the ground. I really enjoy doing it, the satisfaction of getting enhancing a piece of art is fantastic, it does seem to be a bit of a money pit at the moment and whenever I find a bit of money it seems to vanish into my equipment fund! I think I am through the worst of the costs and it is a case of building up some stock and a reputation.
As if those weren’t enough to keep me out of trouble I am also working almost non-stop on building a house for my (now) wife Alyson and I to move into now that we are married – How traditional of us… This is great because I can see everything changing and with every day knowing I am closer to our life together. I just hope I don’t wind her up too much. As things stand, I think as a couple we are going to give the blogging/vlogging thing a big go, particularly on the theme of local Scottish Borders food producers.
In terms of hobbies, I love sport am an avid Gooner (Arsenal supporter) and get to as many games as I can but it is tricky logistically and financially, I also love golf, cricket and rugby union. I have a fascination with technology and music. I hadn’t been to a gig for years but went to a couple this week and forgot how much I loved it.
Obviously I love cooking too. With cooking, I have become a bit stagnant, looking for something easy to cook each night as I cook for my father most nights and we are both so exhausted from working on the houses and it tends to be a bit more formulaic, hopefully trying new recipes will be a good excuse to get out of the rut!
The thing about living in a rural area like I do is that there is a bit of a lack of social life! As quite a solitary person anyway it isn’t the biggest problem but I think I am slightly more reliant on an online community than most so I will try my best to reply to any Facebook comment, Tweet or comment on the blog so please say hello.
It would be fairly churlish not to state what I want to get out of doing this blog/website. Thinking about it I would say that the ideal situation might lead to the site being where people come to find a sauce recipe. I understand that will take a lot of hard work and careful testing. But in reality, I will do it as long as I enjoy it. Hopefully it will boost my writing and photography skills. I have no real intention to make any money for doing it or any sort of fame!
So like I say, please stop and say hello!
For sponsorship opportunities or collaborations, please email firstname.lastname@example.org