Bake Off is Good for Wellbeing

September days crawled into October darkness and with it the deeper, sadder realisation that a holiday is a far away dream. The novelty of getting back to school (as a teacher) becomes more of a daily chore. Christmas, although becoming closer each year in preparation, is still on the 25th December and we really need to get a grip. November glowers at us like the sprouts we must eat before getting to the real food. My hair is suffering. My clothes are suffering. My diet is suffering. My poor blog is smothering under the weight of my stress. My wellbeing needs a major overhaul.


I get stressed. Lesson plans bully me. Homework piles. Inspectors threaten. Sudents find their voices. The grumpy ones get louder and our ribbon of patience thins.

So I thank the wizard in the great Sky box every day for the easy watching that is the Great British Bake Off. On Tuesdays, I don’t need to watch crime shows. Hospital dramas. Missing children and serial killers are definitely the number one plot line in ninety percent of today’s must watch T.V. which is not very soothing for a bruised soul. So I am thankful for loving the non-threatening anxiety induced by curdling crėme brulee or a burnt offering on the gingham altar.

We almost lost this beauty. Last year, I really thought we were breaking up. The big sale happened and off they went. Mel, Sue, Mary left us. The show itself moved house. Migrated with Paul, the tent and on the major back foot. Then an amazing thing happened. It didn’t matter! The new format worked! Moved to Channel 4? Just got a bit ruder in the Benny Hill way. Lost the fab Mel and Sue? I love Sandie and Noel just as much. No Mary? (I worship Mary. Her Baking Bible actually has made me bake real food that tasted good.) This was tough. I mean this woman admitted raddling her children back in the day (we have Piers Morgan to thank for that unhealthy revelation) and no one cares. Mary would survive a chasm of scandal with her Bath dwelling charm. I really thought GBBO was in trouble. I now wonder how we did so long without the enigma that is Prue. She even spoiled the win with a misguided tweet two years ago and we just moved on. She wasn’t burned in one of the slidy door ovens as a witch for committing the travesty. (I think BBC might have found a way to smoke her out but C4 just made a joke out if it). In fact I don’t think we really need permatan Paul anymore. If Mary is replaceable so is Handy with too many Handshakes Hollywood.


Bun Puns

I love a bad pun and every part of this show gives me that. Getting baps out, working it, soggy bottoms- they are endless. A new and rare baking challenge that lets you start afresh with the potential school boy rudeness is the best part of the show. Strain your spinach guys.


An Irish element

We have been gifted a standard one Irish person every now and then to get us feeling patriotic in this end of the world. Ian and his Bin Baked Alaska will never leave my mind and I was truly gutted to see 2018 Imelda leave over biscuits. Wagon Wheels for crying out loud. At least they were jammy ones. Keep applying Irish candidates!


Someone to Root For

An underdog. Someone quiet, vulnerable or shockingly modest will get all the flags waving. Last year the honour went to Rahul.


Someone to Eye Roll

I must admit Stacey got my goat and I uttered many the guffaw to her activities. Last year Dan won my eyerolls. Someone every year that you just have to shake your head at is vital to the process. Yet we still like them. Villains are not a bake off thing.



Never mind your showstoppers. Heart-stoppers are the big draw here. A cake falling from a platform! Someone leaving another candidate’s icecream cake out of the fridge to make space for their own creation and not even telling them. Custard debacles. I get tense even thinking about it. Bodyguard style. Ruby has 2018’s moment of crisis with a toppling cake. It was nail biting. Noel laughed.



In a world where everything is so accessible, I am always devastated that I cannot access the goodies themselves as they are being baked. Anything with a meringue or toffee kills me. That melting chocolate surprise business was murderous. You need to have chocolate on hand Bake Off night.



It is almost always possible to guess who will not go through each round which is unlike my other must see reality contest show The Apprentice. What I see as bad manners and general thuggery, business man Sugar may see potential sales in therefore I do not always predict the fired one. Bake Off has a predictability that is comfortable. The tears and hugs are real. It gets hot in the kitchen but with a safety blanket to hand at all times.

The After Show

Less handshakes and more oneliners. My only criticism was Jo Brand. At first, I felt she focused on fat jokes and was not sure where she was going with the show. In 2018 she had cracked it and the banter gives me belly laughs. It is like Channel 4 set her free! A segment with ruthlessly acidic tongued comedian Tom Allen is a touch of gold that has me rolling.

Thank you Bake Off for giving me Tuesday night to enjoy life and get over the midweek slump. We needed your jolly, feel good humour. It is good for our mental health. It was my hygge in a season of stress. Alas, it is over for 2018 but it got me through the challenges of Autumn in all of its créme patisserie and free formed pie glory. Roll on 2019!





34 thoughts on “Bake Off is Good for Wellbeing

  1. YES!! GBBO is one of the things I miss now I don’t live in the UK. It’s rare that we can find the whole episodes on youtube. Still, I’ll have loooads to watch when we come home! 😉

    I am sorry to hear the non- Bake off parts of your life are getting stressful though. Sending all the hugs and jammie dodgers.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You’re hysterical! I love this. So, one of my almost 9-year-old guys doesn’t like to help in the kitchen, rolls his eyes when I so much as ask him to set the table for dinner. But GBBO is his fave show. I don’t even know where he saw it–during a hotel stay, I guess, because we don’t have cable, so no real TV, and our Netflix is mostly Luther, and The Americans, and Silicon Valley these days. My boys just generally play video games. So, anyway, clearly I need to catch up on the GBBO drama and baked goodness!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The GBBO is one show that we started watching as soon as we started streaming our TV through the internet. Love it! Your review is SPOT ON! Enjoy your Tuesdays, Orla, and I hope life treats you well from here on out. Do what you have to do to make yourself happy. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I only briefly knew The Mighty Boosh but I loved IT Crowd which helped. I still love Mel and Sue- they will always be the first ones to me and they were super. Noel and Sandie are fab though, really!


  4. I admit I was sceptical about GBBO moving over to Channel 4 but I love it. I don’t watch it live as I can’t stand all of the ad breaks. We watch it about 30 mins after it’s started and happily fast forward through the adverts. I love Noel and Sandi and I thin k the whole thing works marvellously.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Love how you broke the stressors down into snippets…kind of makes them ‘easier’ to approach and possibly deal with! Here’s hoping that the stresses calm down a wee bit and you get to have a fabulous Christmas with your loved ones!


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