Friday, 20 November 2009

Some Important Things - two weddings, a properly sad event, a twenty-first birthday & the real size of a Shire Horse.

Since the last post a some Important Things have happened. I'm setting these events down in order of chronology not magnitude.

My son married. If I'd been set to design the Just Right wife for him I wouldn't have known where to start. Luckily, he found her, and she found him. Congratulations! I could not be gladder.

My middle child and I visited a dressmaker in Blackburn to talk about bridesmaids dresses for her wedding and to purchase ladybird wings and antenna from Blackburn Market (for Halloween, not bridal wear). The next day we visited my other middle child in Newcastle. On our amble, between tea and buns at Fenwicks and tea and buns at the Baltic Arts Centre across the Tyne, we saw steeplejacks abseiling along the roof of the Sage. We’ve no idea why.
A dare?
Window cleaning?
For the view?
Whatever they were up to, they were especially intrepid.

My old friend and neighbour, Peter, died. He's been ill and in pain for a long time and I'm glad he isn't suffering anymore, but it is almost incomprehensible to me that I will never see him, speak to him or listen to him talk, ever again. I miss him just not being there. He was as complex and as interesting as any of us (well, more remarkable than most - but that's his story, not mine). I think he is best summed up by what he said when a Bad Thing happened at our house.

‘We have no arrangement that can’t be changed if you need us.’

And he was true to his word.

Finally, my youngest child turned twenty-one at five minutes past midnight on Sunday 15 November. I put fairy lights in the window, assembled a bare-bottomed baby photo montage and decorated a cake with a heart filled with dolly-mixtures.

Her boyfriend lovingly made her the blue cake below; the one with hand painted Shire Horses and a Collie Dog. My youngest child isn’t particularly partial to Shire Horses or Collie Dogs, but he explained.
'Shire Horses are my favourite - the Collie Dog is for scale. Most people don't appreciate just how massive Shire Horses are.'

Well, there you have it; Shire Horses are considerably bigger than a Collie Dog but a little bit smaller than a birthday candle.


kim mcgowan said...

Just set a comment filter so I'm testing it.

kim mcgowan said...

...but, I suppose it won't bother to filter my comments...?

Sandy Calico said...

Congratulations on the good Important Things and I'm so sorry to hear about the bad.
I absolutely LOVE adding a collie for scale. Genius.

Caroline said...

Love the cakes! I used to always go to Fenwicks in Newcastle for my birthday in December. They'd have a decorated Christmas window and then I'd go inside for cake and milk.
Enjoy your babies x

Benjamin Judge said...

Now that, is good cakes, and although I appreciate the scientific accuracy of the second I have to say the dolly mixture cake is the masterpiece.

There is very little in life worse than losing a good friend. Hope you are all as ok as you can be.

Susan said...

Sorry to hear about your friend. Good that you have some nice news to help you through the bad.

The scale issue is often forgotten. Near Christmas so many people will be putting snowmen and robins on their cakes too. A cake animal minefield. Perhaps all cakes should incorporate the collie dog in some form. We must fight for it. I will write to M&S today.

kim mcgowan said...

Hi Sandy - i know! I wish I'd thought of it.

Caroline, my Newcastle-middlest (yes i've stolen your term, sorry) daughter and I had to queue to shuffle along Fenwick's Christmas window last year - well worth it though.

Susan, you're so right. Did you get on to them? Were they grateful? You can never be sure. Each year our Christmas cake has a conga of polar bears, a selection of Father Christmases (a variety of styles - short jacket, long jacket), a tiny church and a Killer-Robin that looms over the tiny church. No scaling at all. AND I've no idea where any of those things came from.

Thanks, Ben. Oh no... hang on... I feel a cake blog coming on. You're not? Are you?

Thanks for the comments and the thoughts. Peter was a good mate and he was given the send-off he deserved yesterday.

liz mailer said...

Got me chuckling again, Kim! Wish I had a daughter in Newcastle instead of a son. Fenwick's would be lost on him. He's loving Newcastle though.

kim mcgowan said...

Hey Liz, Newcastle's brilliant isn't it? I'm glad he's enjoying it. It is good having the middlest daughter there but what i really want to go and see is the Column of Liberty at Gibside (do a google image search - it's really tall and completely weird)

Dave Hartley said...

Wow, haven't you been a busy bee?

That is some top quality cake making. I always envy people who can make great looking cakes. Last night I was decorating biscuits for an RSPCA fair and mine looked rubbish. Hannah's, of course, looked like Michaelangelos compared to mine. Ho hum.

Sad to hear about your friend but if that quote is his epitaph then he surely leaves behind a wonderful legacy. Sounds like a fine fellow.


kim mcgowan said...

Fine and beautifully flawed, like us all, Dave.
Don't be sad about your biscuits; if I could be half as good a writer as you I'd never ice another farinaceous snack (and Hannah just needs to stop being so good at everything - it makes the rest of us feel unequal)

The Coffee Lady said...

Wow. Do they never grow out of fairy cakes and dolly mixtures?

Good job I've laid in a few years' supply.

kim mcgowan said...

No (I'm going to have to write this reply in two parts, otherwise there will be thirteen comments and whilst I know superstition is bologna...)

kim mcgowan said... would be silly to tempt providence.
No, Mrs Lady, if anything they grow MORE into them.
Thanks for your comment!