Monday, 1 April 2013

Burning The Cakes

Right from the off, cooking was a strain.

In those early years, I didn't think to complain. Soup was her speciality. Quick and easy.

Green puddle soup that looked like something ladled out of a pond. It never, no matter how many slices of bread you had with it, hit the spot.

Mine was a physical job. Loading and unloading trucks, humping crates, shrink-wrapping pallets. I could never believe that after a bowl of green puddle soup that I'd be able to get up and do it all over again.

But I never thought to complain. You just get used to things.

Summer came around and the call for cakes that raised money for our daughter's school at the Glastonbury Festival.

To help alleviate the panic, my girlfriend's mum agreed to come down and bake the cakes.

It was a long affair. There was no room for me in the tiny kitchen in our trailer. Which, in a way, was fortunate. I think that I may have even gone to bed, left them to get on with it. On a diet of green puddle soup it was a good idea to conserve as much energy as possible.

Now, in those halcyon days that now feel as if they belonged to someone else and not us, we shared the trailer with a very smart, loyal dog.

Although he was fed with something more substantial than green puddle soup, he was as lean as I was with a xylophone rib-cage and certainly couldn't be trusted to spend the night in close proximity with freshly baked Glastonbury cakes.

The highest point of the kitchen was on top of the cooker – the tall part that housed the grill.

Everything would be fine so long as no-one turned on the grill without first removing the basket of cakes.

Of course, as is the way of things, the grill was fired up the next morning. Delightfully, for once, it was nothing to do with me. My girlfriend's mum, the one who'd laboured long into the night, set about torching her own creations.

My girlfriend came rushing in when she smelt burning willow.

A quarter of a century on we still have that basket with the blackened bottom.

Things moved on. We moved on.

But I've been burning the cakes ever since. 




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