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A “scrumptious” new beginning – here’s to growing, cooking and blogging (again)…

Land to be developed into vegetable plot
My plot for a veggie plot.

“And so you’re back, from outer space. I just walked in to find you here, with that same look upon your face…”. I think the words of Gloria Gaynor’s eponymous disco torch song are entirely appropriate for what many (formerly) regular readers of Scrumptious Scran must be thinking. After all, everything on the blog was chugging along quite nicely for nearly a year and half, with weekly updates on all things food-related. Then last July – puff! Posts came to an abrupt end, with not so much as a “I’m just popping down the petrol station for a pint of milk, back in five minutes”. And now, several months down the line, I just parachute myself back into your foodie lives, as if nothing had happened… I most certainly owe you an explanation.

Last July, JML and I decided that – after many happy years there – it was time to move on from Scrumptious Scran Towers. Our Edwardian tenement was a smashing home, and we had really worked hard to make it our own. But… Being that wee bit more “mature” these days, we realised we wanted somewhere with dedicated outside space, and located nearer – if not actually in the centre of – the “Riviera of Edinburgh” that is Portobello. Time to hoist the “for sale” sign and set course for pastures new. The flat looked great, so all that would be required was the odd lick of emulsion to freshen things up. A week’s work during our summer holidays, on the market by September, sat in front of the wood burner in the new place whilst the festive turkey was a-roasting, yes? Oh, the naivety!

As soon as the first drop of Farrow and Ball paint – well technically Leyland paint, but they match the former’s colours perfectly and it’s half the price – oozed off the roller, it was obvious that every wall and ceiling in the place was going to need to be refreshed. And that made some of the stripped floorboards look pretty tired, so in with the floor sander. Then the faff that is the photo-shoot for the marketing brochure; the alien concept of maintaining the place in a state of cryogenic spotlessness for viewings – a task that, to my horror, involved minimal cooking; the frantic running around trying to view places we wanted to buy, when people weren’t also round viewing our gaff. Oh, then completing all the legal gubbins that goes with the sale and subsequent purchase – a real “edge of the seat” experience under the Scottish system. The packing. The moving. The unpacking. You get the picture!

Basically, all of the above conspired to turn, what was, an anticipated month away from blogging into a more-than six month sabbatical. Something that was both unintentional and which I very much regret. However, clouds, silver linings, and the some such. I’m writing my first post of 2015 sat in Scrumptious Scran Villas – a smashing modern-ish town house a stone’s throw (albeit with the aid of a trebuchet) from Porty promenade. The place is going to need a fair bit of remodeling, to say the least – the kitchen currently resembles something that wouldn’t be out of place in Abigail’s Party. But JML and I have big plans, and redevelopment work is already in progress. But possibly the most exciting thing – as far as I am concerned – is that our new home has a garden big enough to accommodate an allotment-sized vegetable plot. This too will need a bit of work, and the house renovations mean that my plan for terraced raised beds will probably have to be put on hold until 2016.

Yet despite this, seeds are already germinating in trays festooning window sills, in anticipation of their ultimately adorning the stop-gap vegetable patch. And in my mind’s eye I can see myself skipping through the French doors of our new kitchen with a basket of organic, home grown produce in order to deliver a spontaneously concocted dish of unimageanable deliciousness. All of which will be scrupulously documented and imaginatively photographed, for subsequent publication. Nigel Slater had better watch out. You’ve got competition, mate!

But seriously, apologies for being away for so long and I hope you now understand why this was necessary. I’m currently working on a couple of new restaurant reviews and – when the new appliances arrive – some appealing recipes. And whilst updates on the blog might not be weekly whilst Scrumptious Scran Villas undergoes renovations, I promise not to “…walk out that door” for anywhere near as long again. From garden, to kitchen, to blog. I can’t wait to start sharing the next phase of Scrumptious Scran with you all.

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