The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Causing A Stir …
September 14, 2011, 6:06 am
Filed under: Comment

My wife is a wonderful woman.

She is kind, caring, beautiful and smart … however a word that few would use to describe her is brave, and yet that is exactly what she is.

I don’t mean it because she married me – though that would be a fair point – I mean it because she has had a life of turmoil and challenge and yet she has come out the other side while maintaining her warm, positive and infectious personality.

While I readily admit I don’t know how she does it, I admire it … almost as much as I admire her attitude to happily step into the unknown.

I met Jill a few weeks before I was moving to Singapore.

I really liked her and hated the idea of leaving her, but I didn’t think she would ever want to move countries for a man she hardly knew.

It was thanks to my lovely friend Kristina that I asked her – because she pointed out to me that I couldn’t make a decision for her, I could only give her the option.

And I did. And she said yes.

I’d love to think I’d be that brave but I don’t know if I would be … not because I didn’t care enough, but because I’m a fucking wimp.

Obviously it worked out and since that fateful Saturday on Sept 4th 2004 where I met her for the first time in Balmain, I have dragged her to multiple countries to basically start all over again, over and over again.

Each time she has to start from scratch.

No home.
No job.
No friends.
No community.

And yet each time it happens, she gets on with making our life and home as happy and secure as quickly as possible and doesn’t ask for anything in return.


Whereas so many other wives rush to embrace an expat lifestyle – full of helpers, lunches and shopping – my wife shuns it all.

All she wants is to experience the adventure of her new ‘home’ with her husband and cat. To her, nothing else matters.

In all honesty, she’s a bloody inspiration, not to mention – as Andy likes to point out – way too good for me.

I do try and do my bit.

I try and ensure she feels loved, happy, safe and secure – but compared to how she makes me feel, I definitely get the better end of the deal.

Even moving to China – a place that challenges every aspect of your lifestyle, beliefs and values from the very second you land – didn’t phase her.

OK, so there were a few weird moments as we tried to organise phones, homes and food – not to mention get over some of China’s more ‘unique’ aspects … but in what seems the blink of an eye, she has done a load of projects for a bunch of companies – including China’s biggest milk company [who make Coca-Cola look like a local corner shop] who literally ‘adore her’ – learnt Mandarin [the most fucking fucked language in the entire universe], developed a group of friends, helped out charities, done some courses and now set up a high-end cake design company called Stir.

Me? I have just about remembered the W+K security door code.

This is what I mean about my wife being brave.

Despite being a successful designer and living in a country that has a knack at making every little thing an adventure [read: difficult] she decided to go off and train as a cake designer and set up her own company.

In just a short period of time, she has made a 7 tier wedding cake for the uber-poncy Peninsula Hotel in Shanghai … a bunch of corporate cakes for brands like Converse … a whole host of birthday cakes for Shanghai’s local and expat communities … got PR coverage in a number of local media and is now about to start her own ‘cake design’ training courses.

Just like that.

Whereas some people take 3 years to decide about their ‘brand pyramid’, my wife has gone off and made stuff happen.

And she’s happy.

Happier than happy … which is genuinely the happiest thing to see.

So thank you Jill for being so brill and brave and inspirational and may as many people ‘like’ Stir’s facebook page as possible because then you’ll get even more orders and I can give up work, spend my days in front of the telly playing Xbox and – possibly an even greater motivation for people who read this blog to sign up, beyond wanting to support the greatest cake creator in the entire Universe – stop writing this bloody blog.

50 Comments so far
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Another post to humiliate the married men who read this blog.
Thank you Robert. That’s another evening wasted trying to explain why I don’t do things like this for the women in my family.
Congratulations to Jill for the new venture (the cakes look spectacular) and for keeping Robert on such a tight leash. I’m a fan.

Comment by George

That’s why I haven’t got married. I’m not going to be a slave to the estrogen power.

Comment by Billy Whizz

how fucking handy your personality makes sure that will never happen. what a fucking good first line of defence.

Comment by andy@cynic

Just lucky I guess.

Comment by Billy Whizz

hes a wanker george. but youre a fucking idiot if you let wifey read this shit. and a sick and depraved bastard.

Comment by andy@cynic

Are the cakes as tasty as your mrs?

Comment by Billy Whizz

That explains why you like ring donuts.

Comment by DH

I eat them, I don’t fuck them. But they wish I did.

Comment by Billy Whizz

Well done Billy. You never fail to impress me with how low you can go.

Comment by Pete

people dont get banned from donut king because they buy too many death dough billy. admit the truth you dirty fucking cake copulating pervert.

Comment by andy@cynic

Jill has created more brands and products than most agencies. There’s a message there, I just don’t know what it is.

Love the name and the product. Congratulations on the business and putting up with Robert.

Comment by DH

the message is jill keeps herself busy to avoid spending much time with her fucked up fucking husband. she should have thought about that before she married the prick but i still have $100 on it all being se experiment for the cia and shes just a scientist. a fucking brave scientist.

Comment by andy@cynic

Even though I will be doing the same thing as George, this is a brilliant post about a brilliant lady and her talent.

Congratulations Jill. I’m a fan.

Comment by Pete


Comment by Lee Hill

jill. youre hot and talented. what the fuck are you doing with that prick?

Comment by andy@cynic

marrying him is bad enough. following the fucker wherever he goes because he has to eacape the local police for planning crimes against the public (even if the wanker claims he has country a.d.d.) is taking things way to fucking far.

theres easier ways to become a saint.

Comment by andy@cynic

kristina has a lot to answer for even if she did it to get you as far from her as physically fucking possible which always makes a fuckload of sense.

Comment by andy@cynic

I want one of those yummy cakes.

Jemma x

Comment by Jemma King

dont say that jem, billy will take it as you wanting a wedding cake. amazing how the soft fuck will let go of his single man principals where youre concerned. call the police, stay indoors and dont answer the fucking phone.

Comment by andy@cynic

That’s just how Canadians roll.

Congrats Jill!

Comment by Rafik

based on my experience that means they charge a fucking fortune and take three times as long as they said it would.

and like maple syrup and neutral fucking tones.

Comment by andy@cynic

“Neutral fucking tones” is the best insult I’ve read from you in ages. Nice to see you back on top. Ha.

Comment by Rob

this post gives me the munchies

Comment by niko

back on the drugs?

Comment by andy@cynic

well I am reading Robs posts again

Comment by niko

You can all say what you like … I don’t care … I’m charging Jill’s business for this publicity and throwing in a fee for ‘social media management’ because that’s all a lot of the so-called gurus seem to be doing for a shitload of cash.

Seriously, the only difference between how banner ads were placed/planned in the mid-90’s and the community management, seeding and planning that goes on today, is that they now get a hell of a lot more salary today and their egos have grown out of even their pay inflation – and that’s saying something.

Not all people obviously, but a lot. Especially those in media agencies funnily enough.

Comment by Rob

you write the sort of bollocks even freddie fucking mercury would find gay and then you try and man yourself up by writing some shit “blokey” comment about how you only did this to get some money from the wifes business. youre lower than daniel fucking day and he makes calum fucking best look like a gentleman.

cock. hope jill smashes your fucking head in with a cake tin.

Comment by andy@cynic

but i am a bit fucking impressed how youve made your wife actually want to stay in the kitchen. its always going to be fucking easier when the alternative is being in the bedroom with you, but well done. if you get her to like laundry you might have cracked the ultimate fucking code.

Comment by andy@cynic

That’s pretty much what Jill said.

But don’t get the mistaken impression she’s the perfect wife … ironing some clothes on our wooden floor and stripping all the varnish off it kind of shows I still have a long way to go.

Comment by Rob

she irons? fucking irons. wife #2 wouldnt even fold a fucking letter. you dont know youre fucking born campbell.

Comment by andy@cynic

All this incredible love story to say at the end of the post that you are becoming a lazy men?

where is the fucking phone of your wife?

Comment by Takuya Kimura

dont know who the fuck you are, but i like your anger. keep it up and you can come back.

Comment by andy@cynic

Hello Takuya – I’m not saying I am a lazy man [though some would say I am] I am saying that I’m glad my wife is so happy and doing so well because it might allow me to become one.

At least in theory – I don’t think she’d let me get away with it. Besides, even if I did get to sit on my ass at home and do nothing, my mental cat would ensure I was suitably annoyed to go back to work.

Comment by Rob

youre not a lazy man? i fucking hope youre saying that because youre finally admitting youre not a man otherwise youre talking even more planning bollocks than usual.

Comment by andy@cynic

yes rob, I know.
It was a lovely post.

Comment by Takuya Kimura

thanks for the lovely post babes… I wish I could write as beautifully as you do so I could explain how truly vital you are to me, in everything… I hope you already know…

…and don’t worry Andy, Rob won’t get a chance to be lazy… my master plan is to ‘hire’ him as my cake bitch (unpaid intern of course)… fetch this, sift that, wash those…


Comment by Jill

write beautifully? fuck me hes done a good job on you hasnt he. manipulative bastard.

Comment by andy@cynic

Unpaid intern with the biggest expense claim known to man more like – and that’s before you factor in the lawsuits and hospital bills that will inevitably follow his involvement in hygieine. Far better to hire him out to anyone who dares to set up against you.

Comment by john

For once, I agree with John … and given what happened last time I used the ‘big knife’ in the kitchen, Jill should be in full agreement.

Comment by Rob

Love the headline of this post. Please open your first shop in San Francisco.

Comment by Carol L. Weinfeld

Brilliant. Well done.

Comment by Marcus

Hats off to Jill
She has even more patience than Mrs Northern

Comment by Northern

Wow! Go Jill!

As someone that is very seriously considering (actually, more like planning) to up sticks and move her life to China so that she can be with her other half, I can’t tell you how inspiring & reassuring this post (i.e. Jill) is.

I’m nervous/worried/scared of what awaits me if/when I start actively job hunting… but fuck it; what will be will be and if I have even an ounce of Jill’s outlook & enthusiasm, I’m sure what will be, will only be great!

So, thanks 🙂

Comment by curlydena

That post was as sickly sweet at eating 20 Stir cakes in one sitting. Lovely though.

Jill’s cakes look amazing, I regularly pass them on to our cake loving colleagues!

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Jill’s cakes are works of art. I’m so happy you’re settled and happy but I miss you very much. Visit soon and bring cupcakes.

Comment by Katerina

If Jill’s cakes can inspire K to comment then success is guaranteed. Congratulations to Jill for stir and getting Robert to prove he’s not all anger and cynicism.

Comment by Bazza


Comment by Ricky Lambert.

[…] talented, creative and compassionate – and while I know she doesn’t want to start her amazing cake company again – we have discussed some things that she is excited by and I’ll be backing her […]

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[…] while she did brilliantly with all of it – especially with her cake design business in Shanghai – I am perfectly aware she could well have gone on to even more amazing things if […]

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