So…… it’s been a long time, possibly the biggest break in the whole of this blog’s (admittedly short) history, but now the stress is finally off and it’s back to service as usual complete with rants and useless facts you never wanted to know about chocolate. Doing the Balls was the most amazing chocolate experience I’ve ever had, just seeing the amount of chocolate move through the kitchen was inspiring and terrifying in equal quantities and the whole ordeal/process/jaunt was unbelievable and just confirms that this is what I’d love to do. You’ll be hearing lots and lots more about that here soon.

For tonight though I really want to say thankyou to everbody who helped out with the chocolate making last weekend/this week. Without everbody pitching in I would probably still be rolling chocolates right now in some sort of slowed down time nightmare sleepless crisis of doooom. It was a bit like a forced labour camp, but there was lots of chocolate around so that took the edge off it a little…. now if only it were legal too.

The star workers of the weekend were undoubtedly Seb and Ilana, I think that the two of them each put in about as much work as most people do in an entire week except that they did it in like 3 days and in intense and illegally sized shifts. No amount of chocolate, thanks and drinks could repay them for all the time and effort they put in and really I mean it when I say that we just couldn’t have done it without you. If either of you hadn’t been there and been so dedicated everything would have been a million times more stressful and probably would have involved me not sleeping and still not get anything done. You guys are chocolate superstars!

Big thanks to my family next for putting up with the horrific stress of having the house turned upside down and into a chocolate factory, being a long distance haulage service, chocolate workforce, cleanup team and chocolate chopping dynamo (Darren, you’re in there too). Most important was just how amazingly supportive they’ve all been, I can’t imagine most families would have put up with me as stressed as I was for that amount of time and barely bat an eyelid.

I was really amazed at the amount of people and amount of time they had to spend with me last weekend despite my moodyness and lack of sleep. Matt coming down in the car all the way from Cheshire despite having problems with his wrists was amazing. Gary turning up before anyone else on Friday to help with the very first lot of chocolate shaping was lovely and really comforting and helping with the very last lot as well on Tuesday evening whilst we got pissed on the most excellent wine and movies as provided by Dawn. Reen’s amazing skill at grating chocolate got us all the way through the mushroom chocolates for Jesus and Andy isn’t just a pretty face with a knack for coating things in chocolate flakes, but also a first class deliverydude despite working at like a million Balls. It was great to have Patrick turn up on Saturday night too so that we actually reached the completely unreasonable daily target I’d set.

Thankyou everybody for the massive amounts of help, it feels great to know that I can really count on people to come through. I was expecting the whole thing to be a terrible and remorseless load of work, but it actually ended up fairly – well I wouldn’t call it relaxing – bearable and thoroughly rewarding by the finish. Expect to see me again at the Balls next year, it’s going to be a super-pressured chocolate partaay again!

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