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Saturday, 7 July 2012

The medicinal powers of cake

It was my birthday the other day.

Love is... coming home after a 12 hour day and making your wife a birthday cake.
Up until that point, the week had been pretty rubbish - my first experience of back pain. OUCH!

I have a new found sympathy for anyone who suffers with it on a regular basis - I have spent the week unable to bend, sleep properly, put on my knickers without shooting pains causing me to yelp out loud, and a whole manner of other annoying things. And the baby elephant in the family has missed out on all those pick ups she loves so much, poor thing (but possibly a contributory factor in the bad back, so on second thoughts, maybe ease up on the sympathy for her?). You get the idea.

Running has been completely out of the question, and I haven't even done any sewing, either, as sitting down hurts. Boo.

So, being thoroughly spoilt by my family and friends on my birthday was all the sweeter this year. Just the thing to cheer me up, and and forget the general `blah' feeling. (That, and the super duper painkillers the GP provided me with, meaning last night I slept like a baby for the first time in a week.)

The first birthday treat was this cake. In my humble opinion, the best chocolate cake in the world. And not just because it was made for me by my favourite man in the world. Honest.

Looking at the ingredients, I reckon on running a good five miles per mouthful eaten. But who cares about that. Those of you who know me well know that one reason I love running so much is that it allows me to have a healthy relationship with cake. And I do love a good chocolate cake.

If you squint, you might be able to read the recipe. It's from Nigella's Feast.
My oldest friend Sang and I set each other a challenge a while back. During one of my stays in Nottingham, it came up in conversation that neither of us can really knit that well, but both quite fancied learning how to. So, this year, we're going to knit each other a scarf for Christmas - this arrived yesterday, as something to get me started. I haven't really tried knitting since childhood, when, being the only left hander in the family, each of the women tried and failed to teach me because everything seemed back to front from how I wanted to do it. So, watch this space!

More lovely things arrived during the day. Including this. Two brown paper packages tied up with string. Yes! I know. They could have contained a pair of socks and I'd have been happy. But just look what was inside. Heaven in a jar. Okay, this is perhaps a subjective thing, but I LOVE the contents.

And flowers. From my lovely mum, and then earlier (like crack of dawn) enthusiastically thrust in my face by my gorgeous girls.

A bunch of my mummy friends came round for lunch yesterday. Somehow, a house crammed full of mums and children was relaxing! I guess that would be because my own children were thrilled at having all their friends over (the mess, oh the mess, as they dived into the dressing up box) and played happily (why is it they find that so much harder when just their siblings?!).

Along came birthday cake #2, thanks to my friend Emily - and we ate the entire thing between us. Funny how children can be absorbed in play and chaos and then instinctively know to turn up at the table again when cake is about to be had.

Hooray for friends - and especially for friends who make sure the house is left tidy and the washing up done so you can flop when they leave.

Life is good, and it is nice to be reminded of this whilst I am feeling grumpy with a poorly back.

Big love to my family and friends.

Home made arrows and `X' marks the spot...
closely followed with hand wrapped treasure of pen lids and other treats.
And finally... the middle girl's favourite activity of the week. Making treasure hunts. Endlessly. Another gorgeously creative and quirky thing about her to remember the next time she tantrums all the way to school (as those living on our street will have observed she did with full foot stamping, screaming and flapping yesterday morning). 


  1. Running = cake for me too! As a fellow left hander my advice is just to persevere with the knitting. I was mainly taught by my right handed sister and I found out relatively recently that I have somehow twisted each stitch for years. The end result however is pretty much the same! I think I may be doing a version of continental knitting if that is any help to you. :)

  2. Thanks for that! I am planning on good old Google to get me started, so will try your tip and see what it says. X

  3. One of my left-handed friends used a mirror to help her. Another elected to knit Continental style because she found it easier. As long as you get a useful result, there's no truly wrong way to knit. Have fun. And I do hope your back sorts itself out.