Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Do you want to see my cakes?

This is not a euphemism! I cannot remember if I have shown you my past efforts.

When my children were small and tiny and young and cuddlesome and not the great big teenagers they are today I didn't work much. I worked, however I didn't work until they were each  at least two years old,but only on supply.  My first long term supply job was part time , my son was at the nursery  which was attached to  the Primary school where was working at the time - even covering in the Nursery some days!  I was lucky to have such a lovely situation.  Once he started school full time  I gradually built up my permanent hours till now I work fulltime. But on supply - I could choose.  Now I choose to win the lottery please and therefore not work at all! I'd go in, voluntarily and listen to all the nice children read. You know the nice kids, the ones with appreciative parents!

 My choice not to go back to work straight after birth. We managed on the money we had.  It is  something I still feel very strongly about: Mums should be at home with their babies. I know some people disagree, some people will say they have no choice. I am glad that I chose to have time with my babies .

One of my first jobs was working in a private nursery. It would cost upwards of £50 a day back then ( you know, int black and white days, fifteen years ago ) where I worked in the baby room, for a while.
 The Nursery took babies in from six weeks. SIX WEEKS OLD. 

In the baby room we had two babies each. Yes they were properly looked after. We were all trained professionals but we were paid a pittance. But I loved my job.

But I would shake with rage sometimes when the parents would drop off their babies - their SIX WEEK OLD babies at eight o clock in the morning and not return for them till six o clock at night when we closed. Why have a baby? WHY?  These parents nine times out of ten were Uni lecturers and Doctors. They'd have to be well paid to afford the fees. I could not have afforded it, but had I been a multi squillionairess I would not have done it, ever.

The worst kind of parent were the ones who would pick up their child and complain if the child had fallen asleep after four , because they wouldn't be able to get them to bed. GOD FORBID THEY SPEND ANY TIME WITH THEIR OFFSPRING. Grrrrr.

We loved those little babies, they were nurtured, cossetted and cuddled ; fed well (  firstly on expressed soya milk  then weaned on organic beans n lentils ); entertained appropriately and loved.

But if it's not from your parents it actually kinda means jack shit.

You know where I said before some parents will say they don't have a choice? Well actually they do. Choose to not have children.

WOW! I massively digressed there!   Anyway cakes.

The point of that rambly rant was to explain I had TIME to bake properly and made some cakes for my children's birthdays that I am deadly proud of and actually looking at the photographs I am not sure I could recreate them. Birthday cakes are on my mind because my eldest is eighteen in less than six weeks. I have been wondering about her cake. I will make it - but I'm not sure WHAT to create.
*** I need to recheck this blog because I am sure I have posted the photos before *** ( This early onset self diagnosed dementia is a pain!)

Also apologies for the quality of these shots, this is due to age for one thing! These are old photographs that were actually taken with a FILM camera.

Film was this magic black plasticky stuff that came in spools.  ( small cottonreelesque affairs ) .We loaded it in to the back of  the camera and wound it on BY HAND. ( We couldn't afford an automatic windy on camera then ) Next you took your photos ( 24 or 36 )  { remember that thrill of actually getting 27 photos off the roll?? } One then neatly stored the film on the mantelpiece, on the bookshelf or in a drawer for approx 3 - 6 months till you could afford to either take them into Boots or send them off to Truprint.  ( O my who remembers the dog in the ad?! )

Oh you lot so know I have just been to find it for you on the Tube of You!!

Hehehehehehe I will be inwardly barking TRUPRINT at myself all day today

Once the photos were in your hand, you would RIP open the packet  ( often on a bench outside Greggs had you got your photos done in town - always about £3.99 to eagerly see what you'd taken. It was a really good thing to do! There was always that one with the 'Quality Control' sticker on it alerting you to the fact that your light exposure needed adjusting! With our first, we took photos by the GADZILLION. We used to use a postal service called TriplePrint where you got one large print and two wallet sized ones of the same photo. Genius! I have albums and whole huge boxes full of my firstborn.

Poor second child; the novelty had somewhat worn off and we have less than a third of him than she!

 So these photos I'm posting I have not scanned them in. I took a photo of the photo with my PHONE! Not a camera. Who uses cameras anymore?! ( Actually we do ! )

 Anyway what sparked this wee post is a comment I made on a blog last night about my daughter's first birthday cake!
I hired the tin from the local market. It's all butter madiera cake in there. The cake ended up being about a good 15cm high. ( Ok maybe 10cm ) This was because I'd carefully sliced the cake in half, lovingly smothered each half in jam and buttercream. Then came to sandwich them back together and discovered that I'd not flipped one half over. EPIC CAKE FAIL in the days before epic fails were invented! DUUUUUURRRRRR!!!
I had to scrape off the mess - turn it over and LIBERALLY cover the whole thing in buttercream so no one could tell! Man that cake was sickly!!

I will show you some more when I next post as it's time for me to go to work! For those of you who were wanting a Lynford update. It's coming next. I promise! It'll be a good one.  For now I will leave you with the photo of the cake I made for my ex bro in law's 30th. I wish I'd laced it with arsenic! It's pictured with the book I used to make it.

What do you think so far? Please comment - I so love it when you do!


  1. Rofl and lmao at the clown comment and a double durrrrr for the first birthday cake, I too remember it being very butterycreamy and aw liccle Chloe with her no hair on her first birthday x

  2. Love the clown cake especially xx

  3. "You know where I said before some parents will say they don't have a choice? Well actually they do. Choose to not have children. "

    Spot on, Rachel. Well said!

  4. Your a clever lady love the cakes , and totally agree rach why have bloody kids to dump them all day arghhh and only 6 weeks old terrible

  5. Thanks for your comments! I know Anonymous 1 is Lisa - but Anonymous 2 _ thank you for yur comment but I'd like to see your name! :)

  6. I am eternally grateful that I have been able to spend all the years of childhood with my babies. A bit of scrimping and saving and living in a little regional city, and of course, buying the Renovator's Delight has meant that we have managed on one income. Rachel, I am tickled pink to discover I am living your dream life...I LOVE doing parent help and listening to the lovely children doing their reading. Love your cakes. I still hyperventilate a bit before birthday parties, as I'm no Domestic Goddess..

  7. Loving the clown cake..

    agree 6 weeks is too young to leave them

    I think you can give Nigella a run for her money x

  8. You made that clown cake? Amazing.

    I agree with you. I know a lot of places, in the States especially, where paid mat leave is only like 3 weeks, and then mothers save up their vacation to maybe get 6 weeks. That's insane. Poor babies.

  9. want a clown I'll stomp my feet and dribble n cry n bawlll...

  10. Rachel I completely agree with you regarding parents staying with there babies. I worked at a nursery school once and I have also encountered those parents that don't seem to want to spend a minute with their children. I separated from my ex shortly after my middle daughter was born. I had to work, I had to baby's to take care of. Given the choice I would definitely have stayed home. Your cakes are amazing. Mine always end up looking deformed.

  11. Thanks lovelies, I adore all your comments :) xx

  12. Awesome cakes, though clowns somewhat scare me! I miss the days of taking inevitably terrible photos on film though.

    Your comments about the tiny babies at the nursery reminded me of a time when I worked at an activity camp over a summer holiday- I was looking after what were essentially the grown up versions of those babies and they were not nice teenagers to deal with...!


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