Guest Blog post from Dani Tucker. Shally Tucker was first and foremost an extraordinary mother, daughter and sister but she was also blessed with an incredibly generous and creative spirit. She grabbed life with both hands, and used the same hands to find anything ordinary and make it beautiful. Shally revelled in any type of fabric, thread sequin or bead: a spare piece of lace became the skirt on a little doll, a tad of leftover ribbon would become a gorgeous bracelet. She spent hours delighting in VV Rouleaux Ribbon shop, Berwick Street fabric shops and the knitting and stitching show at Alexander Palace. Shally, was the master and jack of all trades. She qualified as a chef in her home country of South Africa, and developed her skills under the guidance of Prue Leith, in London. She also owned a stamping store, ‘’OutStamping’’ in Edgware, London that hosted delightful birthday parties for children and offered fun art and craft classes for everyone. Shally, sadly developed numerous immune diseases that progressed over time. She always fought valiantly against all odds and never lost the energy to make life magical for her family and friends. Shally’s life was short-lived and she passed away in 2013, leaving the world a little less enchanted. Dani, Shally’s daughter, collected all her memories and skills that her mother bestowed upon her and created a cookbook. This was something that Shally and Dani had always dreamed of doing together but never had the chance. This cookbook, The Social Kitchen, is not only filled with delicious recipes but also heart-warming, humorous stories and some of Shally’s crafty ideas. Each book has a hand cut ribbon that has been taken from Shally’s extensive collection of ribbons from around the world. The book is beautiful: it will inspire you to cook, to sew, to entertain and to recognise that life is fragile and must be celebrated. www.thesocialkitchen.org All proceeds from the book will go to charity. Dermatrust (the Dermatitis and Allied Diseases Research Trust) is a registered charity, which aims to improve the treatment of skin diseases, from many of which Shally suffered.