Monday, 1 March 2010

Happy Birthday

The mixture is soft. I whisked it for longer than was suggested in A Good Housekeeping Guide. I folded in the flour with neat twists of my wrists, so as not to knock out the air. I even added a pinch extra of baking soda, just to make sure. This cake will rise. It was some trouble finding a tin large enough, for this will be a large cake; a big cake, but also a big surprise. The house is quiet, now that the beating is done. There is a hum from the oven, though I also hum. A thin tune, just a hum-hum. After I have poured the mix into the large tin, I take off my shoes and socks. The kitchen tiles are cold and tickle the soles of my feet. I remove my dress, knickers and socks and lay them on the chair. I am not so stupid as to forget to make arrangements for breathing. I have a straw that is long enough. Carefully I lower myself into the cake batter. It is pleasant, as it moulds itself to my skin, oozing carefully between my toes and then around my knees like a good sock, it squelches as I move into its embrace. There is a smell of vanilla as it creeps up nostrils. I must do this right and so I firmly pinch them closed, and breath deeply through the straw. I kneel here, somewhat awkwardly, though the thick mixture holds some of my weight. It is warming, a reaction between egg, flour, sugar, fat, binding and rising. I have time to think about the surprise, and what a surprise it shall be; me, emerging naked and beautiful from the golden glow of sponge. What a feast. A sprinkling of icing sugar, and I expect we shall laugh. Hands will be clapped over mouths in surprise, eyes wide with delight. What a delicious cake! Look how high it was risen! How long it must have taken you! What a surprise!

And I will say ‘Happy Birthday my dear. I love you.’

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