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Brown Betty

whoa oh Brown BettyIt’s the love that dare not speak its name: woman and teapot. Behold the Brown Betty, a Christmas gift from the in-laws. Made in England, sensible and sturdy; its a vessel that would steer one through great Wars and Depressions. Or just perch regally on the crappy IKEA coffee table of some modern-day nitwit.

(Does anyone know where to find a good tea cozy these days?!)

So my book officially came out yesterday. I went stalking through Edinburgh’s bookshops, just to make sure it really existed. And it did!

That is, if you could spot it amongst the ten trillion Paul McKenna books. I Can Make You Thin is his current blockbuster. How can I compete with such a bold celebrity promise? Maybe I should have called my book I Can’t Make You Thin, But You Can Giggle At The Incompetent Adventures Of A Nobody.

It was an exciting day. I hid behind a stack of books at Waterstones for twenty minutes, staking out the New Year’s Resolutions display and summoning all my ESP powers. Pick it up! Somebody, pick it up pleeease! Nooo! Not the bloody McKenna!

So my ESP stinks, but I was happy just to be there. I went home, made some pasta and bawled while chopping the onions. I think I was a wee bit overwhelmed and emotional that all this writing and editing and insanity actually led to a finished product. The road is loooong… with many a wiiiiinding turn.

If anyone is still out there reading this steaming pile of neglect — thank you. It was a rather lonely and miserable day 7.5 years ago when I started WNP; it seemed like a new-fangled way for the inept to connect. I ended up finding so many good people and rediscovering how much fun it was to hammer away at a keyboard.

To celebrate publication day in hardcore style, the teapot made its debut and I made a batch of pikelets, those stumpy Australian pancake-y treats. Turns out they’re the same thing as Scotch Pancakes, but I prefer to call them pikelets because it’s one of the greatest words to say in an Aussie accent… POIKE-LETS!

Happy new year, groovy groovers!

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About Shauna Reid

Ahoy there! I’m an author, copywriter and old school blogger. I love telling stories about life and helping my clients to tell theirs. Find out more about me and how we can work together.


47 thoughts on “Brown Betty

  1. Bugger! I was in Edinburgh Waterstones too – would have been great to see you stalking your stand. Happy new year.

  2. Happy New Year, Shauna! I spied your book in Waterstone’s on Kensington High Street just after Christmas — it was part of the 3 for 2 offer, so I just *had* to buy it. Read it in just two sittings (stayed up until 2am because I couldn’t put it down) and thoroughly enjoyed it!

  3. I have a nice quilted tea cosy that’s too small for our teapot – how big is your Brown Betty? I’m impressed that you have a matching milk jug, too… and some Evesham Worcester china lurking in the background. How ladylike!

    Pikelets – that’s what they call crumpets in the Midlands (or at least the bit of the Midlands my OH comes from). I suppose crumpets are not a million miles from pancakes. And it is a good word.

    I am not allowed to read TAAoDG until I’ve finished the essay I’m writing, but I sneaked a read of the intro at Mum’s… looks good so far! (And speaking as a former Waterstone’s employee, I can confirm you are far from the only writer to sneak in to scope out their books. Even those with several books published do it.)

  4. cheers dan and lesley 🙂

    TAAoDG! Now there’s a catchy acronym!

    K, I have no idea about the china thing, that was from the in-laws too! Must be trying to make me more refined 🙂

    and thanks kim, you’re a legend 🙂

  5. Miss Shauna, I would love to knit you a teacosy as a token of gratitude for your fabulous writing, and also because you named your teapot after me. Just say the word.

  6. Of course we read your blog still…what else am I gonna do for daily inspiration and a good laugh 😉 I can’t seem to stop speaking in the royal we every now and again…lol

  7. Wow tea cosy – that is something that I haven’t seen in a long time. My grandma use to have one with a scary looking lady that sat on top of the cosy and the thing that went over the tea pot was her dress. Wow that brings back memories!!!

    Ordered my copy of your fabulous book yesterday – can’t wait til the 1st to get my hands on it – what a great weekend that will be !!!

  8. You just lurked in Waterstones? If I had a genuine honest-to-goodness book out I would be standing right beside it, grinning from ear to ear and pointing it out to each and every person who came within range! Very restrained of you. If you are serious about meeting up for coffee some time, please be warned that I will bring my copy with me for signing and I will expect a personalised dedication. Mostly so I can prove to my two boys that I do TOO know a superhero!

  9. I used to have one of those. Foolish poured boiling hot water in it and it cracked. I knew better. It was just a brain fade. I’ve seen tea cosys lots of time in the South. I’ll bet you can make them too. Or, next time a crafty friend or relative asks what you want for birthday, Christmas, etc.-tell them a handmade tea cosy! I always drink my tea so fast it can’t get cold. The pikelets look yummy. Why are they stumpy?

  10. Tea cosy – you might have to knit one. I could prolly crochet one, I’m sure I remember how (I can sense my grandma tsk-ing and rolling her eyes from the great beyond).

    I love me a good poike-let too. Call them what you like (my Dad used to call them drop-scones), they’re the perfect arvo tea.

    My book might come today. (She says hopefully…..)

  11. YAYAYAY! As someone who has been lurking around living through you and your adventures….for a long long time…(new years resolution: “get my OWN life” perhaps?) am absolutely thrilled for you.. you important type inspiringly published person!Congrats and best wishes for a fab 2008…you deserve it!

  12. 3 things.

    One. The Brown Betty was named in tradition of the 17th century British army musket called Brown Bess.

    Two. Pikelets are the same as Scottish Drop Cakes, but I, like you,prefer POIK-LET.

    Three. To quote Scotland’s national pride and joy Mr.William “Billy” Connolly on the subject of the tea cosy.

    “Never trust the man, who when in a room alone with a tea cosy, fails to try it on.”

    Happy New Year to you Shauna, and I shall indeed buy your book.

  13. Worry not, we call them Pikelets in England too (even those of us wot are half Scotch ourselves and occasionally feel a bit like a pancake).

  14. Hey, so are you doing book signings?!! You should get a life-size cut out of your before, that’ll attract people to it! That’d be pretty cool 😀 (Well, scary for you but – cool for people who want to lose weight and have an inspirational person to look to!)

  15. HOLY TEAPOT LUST, BATMAN! Thanks for your ideas folks 🙂 And for the good book wishes…

    Betty, are you serious? Maybe we can do a book/tea cosy exchange.

    Anji – I don’t think you get to do book signings unless you’re mega famous. Apparently it’s not a very cost effective way of promoting a book; especially in my case when not even The Mothership is in the country to be in the audience 🙂 I’ve just been doing a lot of print stuff instead.

  16. Oh, I have a very cute crochet owl tea cozy somewhere around the place that would suit Brown Betty wonderfully! If I manage to find it in my hell hovel, I will send it to you. Be warned that I purchased it from an opp shop to … yes … wear on my head. Only I decided (more by looking in Tim’s eyes than my own realization) that being over 30 and wearing a tea cozy on my head was just plain RETARDED rather than disarmingly cute (like I imagined).

  17. I’m now a city girl, so I actually understand the tea cozy thing, thanks to the little Britain section over on Greenwich, but back home in Texas, we still use hot pads that my sister made on her little loomy thing that connected stretchy bands of fabric together on a plastic loom…what were those things called? Infact I have one here with me (the hot pad not the plastic loom) and it brings back so many memories, not to mention it’s a bit crusty.

  18. I found your book on amazon.ca and have it on my wishlist. =) It’s not currently in stock, however, so I have to wait on it. Boo!

  19. Darned right we’re still reading!

    I don’t think I’ve ever read anyone who does an Australian accent so well and I remember when you came across from little old Canberra – and your written Scottish accent is cool too.

    Glad to see your book is out and being that revealing must be difficult.

    Here’s to the longer daytime – even if it’s got to get a bit colder first 🙁

    Scott F 🙂 🙂 🙂
    PS: I hope you get a bit of money from the book so you can get a newer Mac!

  20. You were lurking behind your display?? Nooooooo! You should have revealed yourself and you could have signed my copy! Because I braved the snow in Edinburgh yesterday to visit the big Waterstones on Princes street to buy it and then couldn’t wait til I got home to start reading, so I headed for the inhouse Starbucks and didnt move til I had read the first 50 pages! And its such an inspiring read, so thank you for all the time, effort and sheer scary honesty that went into the making of it. Fantastic. And Ive got a second copy on order for my sis, but I couldn’t wait. To think you may have been lurking somewhere in the vicinity…..

  21. i can’t wait till the copy of your book arrives in my mail box!! 🙂 i couldn’t wait so i ordered it off amazon.co.uk 🙂 i also bought a couple of kate atkinson books off ebay, you suggested behind the scenes at the museum on a blog once (someone was looking for book recommendations), and i read it myself and now i am a kate atkinson nut!!!

    i love tea and nice teapots. i buy yorkshire gold tea in melbourne at the david jones foodhall. i might be foolish in buying it (maybe it is just like tetley’s over there), but i read that it is stuart murdoch from b&s’s favourite tea, so it is good enough for me!!!! 😉

    2008 is going to be such an exciting year for you!!! 🙂 xo

  22. Congratulations! I too am waiting until your book is availbale through amazon so I can use my christmas vouchers.

    For a tea cosy, thye best advice I can give is – ask The Mothership to do a church fête. I asked my Mum to do that, and she found 2 lovely tea cosies, different sizes, and they now impresse any number of French friends

  23. hey shauna, my friend does book signings in places he goes to visit. He’s certainly not mega famous but he enjoys just hanging around in bookshops and sometimes reads a bit from his book. (And what do you mean you’re not megafamous? hehe…) He doesn’t go out of his way but if he’s in a city for a visit, he’ll go to some of the smaller bookshops and do things like that. He’s not a fan of chapters/big box stores as we call them here so he goes somewhere quaint and intimate 🙂

  24. Nope, going to have to disagree with you here, DG, pikelets (or indeed crumpets) are NOT the same as the Scottish pancake. The Scottish pancake ™ is sweeter and the texture is different in the mouth. But the defining difference is that here in England you could well get a pikelet/crumpet served with a poached egg atop it – unthinkable with the Scottish pancake which is only ever sweet. I think I might be taking this too seriously. Looked at book figures – it was definitely ticking along.

  25. tis almost 2AM so not very articulate but cheers for the comments groovers 🙂

    just for the record, aussie pikelets are sweet and they are not the same thing at all as aussie crumpets! who knew there were so many wacky things with the same bloody name 😛

  26. I thought Scottish pikelets were called bannocks or something like that? That’s what my Scottish friends call them, but they’re not from Edinburgh.
    Congrats on the book, I’ll have to get it as soon as it comes out in Oz.

  27. how amusing, my own mothership bought the Mr Fifi a brown betty (?) and guess what.
    ITS BROWN.

    have ordered my book on Amazon, can’t wait to read you in material form… The thought of discovering the lurking shauna in a bookshop is truly too fabulous to contemplate.

    hey, guess what else, a friend in the uk sent me an autographed copy of Kate Atkinson’s Human Croquet. I like her stuff too, though not the crime stuff so much.

    have fun. Oh and happy noo year .

  28. Adding to the fry fray:

    In Australia, pikelets (always sweet, never ever savory) are sometimes known as ‘drop scones’.

  29. AHA! With you on that, Momo, Scottish pancakes are, in fact, also known as ‘drop scones’! I do remember seeing a Yorkshire recipe book where it was claiming that Yorkshire Pikelets (i.e. crumpets) were something in Australia – but it seems it is a lying book. Unless it was in the way of ‘what we call pikelets are also called crumpets, yea, even in Australia’. Bannocks are, I think, a variation on the scone.
    Dammit! How can we ever have world peace when we cannot get an internationally ratified definition of the sodding pikelet? We are all doomed!

  30. Hi there.
    Brown Betty looks like a beauty. Are you getting a colorful woollen pot to keep her warm?
    Mmm…pikelets.
    Probably the first thing I ever learnt to cook.
    Here in Japan we have something similar to pikelets. They are called ‘dorayaki’ and have a seetbean filling.
    There’s a picture as well as recipe here:
    http://japanesefood.about.com/od/japanesecake/r/dorayaki.htm
    Happy tea drinking.

  31. Happy New Year, Shauna. I bought your book yesterday from WH Smith in the Oxford Street Plaza, London. They had a big stack of them on an eye-catching end-of-row display, it was impossible to miss 🙂 I hope you sell millions of copies.

  32. aw, bless! Congratulations, hon! It’s January and I’m a starving student, but if I can hack it (and if they sell it in Bangor, North Wales) I will certainly purchase a copy.

  33. aw, bless! Congratulations, hon! It’s January and I’m now a starving student, but if I can hack it (and if they sell it in Bangor, North Wales) I will certainly purchase a copy.

  34. I’ve read it! And it is fantastificent! (a powerful combination of fantastic and magnificent) The crew here are as proud as ever. Did the Grand Tour of Cowra with the new boy last week and I’ve gotta say, KFC just aint what it used to be 🙂
    Congrats,
    Love Em
    xxx

  35. Hello love, happy new year and all of that malarkey.

    Thanks for the link to the teapot, I am thinking I have found Grandma’s next birthday present. She can pour a decent cuppa whilst sitting under the photo of the Queen and Prince Philip that hangs on her lounge wall. I kid you not.

    On another note, can you please remind me when your book is released for sale in Aus so I can go hunt it down? x

  36. Also, cannot be bothered reading all the comments, did you find a tea-cosy? Can probably sweet-talk Grandma into making one for you.

  37. Shauny! Your photo looks like it’s straight out of a 1970s Womens Weekly cookbook. Very awesome. It’s great you’re still internet-erly writing. Me not so much since my Hello Stranger days.

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