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  • Writer's pictureAli

What's in store for 2019?!

A lot happened in 2018. A LOT.

A euphoric moment at Freelance Mum!

Some of it was predictable. You know, that one year on Brexit would still have everyone's knickers in a twist (aarrghh, I mentioned Brexit!). Other things were less probable, like me actually discovering the secret to a totally allergen-free cake. You may recall my excitement last month in this blog post.

Entering the FreeFrom Food Awards

FreeFrom Food Awards 2019

I mean, how could I not be excited? I even changed my entry to the FreeFrom Food Awards. Last time I entered I was nominated. This time I'm determined to win.

By the way, this is no mean feat. I'll be taking on companies like Tesco's. I'm merely telling you now because I don't believe in jinxing things. Instead, I'm hoping the goodwill you'll feel towards my efforts will sing its way into the judges' hearts and persuade them to vote unanimously for my cakes. (I'm also aware how brazen this is!)

What else happened?

There were, of course, a few things that happened in between. I met a number of rather important people, most notably Mary Portas in Clifton village and Eddie The Eagle in The Passenger Shed.

Mary Portas and Ali Walsh in Clifton, Bristol

I consider both of them to be hugely inspirational for anyone who runs their own business, be it a solo effort or a bid to take on the world (eventually). Mary has done so many TV programmes it's hard not to be accustomed to her no-nonsense approach.

Eddie the Eagle with Ali Walsh

Eddie, on the other hand, has a major blockbuster of a film about his life to boast about, which isn't bad considering he was thought of as the underdog - the person everyone thinks is foolish to pursue their dreams, only for him to prove them all wrong. He's determination at its best.

Then there was my trip to see The Great British Bake Off - An Extra Slice live - yes, live!

Ali at the television centre for The Great British Bake Off - An Extra Slice

I managed to get tickets for the day before my birthday, and I consider them to be one of the best presents I could have hoped for. Jo Brand is an absolute treat, to say the least.

And speaking of treats, I couldn't have been happier when I discovered gluten-free Cornettos were sold pretty much everywhere when I went on holiday to Madeira. I was so excited, I had 3 within 24 hours, which probably explains why this was a head and shoulders shot and not a full length photo revealing a vast expanse of belly.

A gluten-free icecream in Madeira

I'm also really pleased to have been invited onto BBC Bristol as their allergen expert and to have had numerous articles in Gluten-Free Heaven magazine, which is an absolute saviour when you need decent recipes, advice and wisdom on living life as a coeliac.

My December article for Gluten-Free Heaven magazine

Lastly, I was incredibly proud and honoured to be chosen as the main speaker for the first Freelance Mum networking event in January. Yep, the same networking event that gets people like CBeebies' Katy Ashworth and radio presenters from the BBC. No pressure, then!

If you want to come and see what all the fuss is about, click here for tickets.

Ali Walsh as the main speaker at Freelance Mum networking

But that can't be it, can it? Surely, you're wondering if I managed to write a couple of novels or swam the channel (never going to happen). Well, maybe the novel will pen itself next year.

As for 2018, it had its ups and downs, and I've definitely edited out the downs for my blog posts. But I've been proud to tell you about the ups and will hope for many more this year.

Here's wishing you a fabulous New Year and plenty of gluten-free goodies to see you through into 2019. Happy times indeed!

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