Wednesday, 28 September 2011

You must be quackers

The in-laws asked if we fancied going along to the village Duck Race.  There would be money on it to make it a more 'sporting' event, and then scones and jam after.  Well, who could resist such an invitation?

I don't know what I was expecting, I had never been to a Duck Race before, but this being the countryside, I had imagined there would be actual, live ducks, somehow persuaded or bribed to run from one end of a course to another, with the winner being the first duck across the line, with hilarious results.

Elements of this were right, there were ducks that had to make it across the line, and there was betting.  But one crucial difference leapt out when we arrived.  The ducks were of the bright yellow plastic variety and came tumbling out of black bin bags into the stream.  Each duck had a number on its bottom and locals were invited to back a duck in hope of successfully pairing with the winning quacker.   Proceeds- as ever- were going to the church hall roof.

We followed our rubber beauties down the stream, helping them along with a little boot when the stream was shallow.  Little brother insisted on being at the heart of the action and walking in the very cold and very wet stream for the length of the course.  At the end when the winner was declared, we finally persuaded Little brother out of the stream and had to pour most of it back from his wellies.

Darling boy and little brother did themselves proud at the tea afterwards and ate their own body weight in scones, jam and cream.  Pretty impressive since they both weigh around 2 stone each.  It was a lovely, and weird afternoon.  More please!

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Caterpillar birthday cake

 One of my lovely Devon friends asked me to make a joint birthday cake for her super lovely children.  Her eldest is a boy who is 4 years old today (and incidentally, one of Darling boy's most favourite of friends) and her little girl, who is a total cutey pie will be 2 years old in a few days.

The only request was 'with your yummy buttercream icing and glitter please' as both are so popular with the birthday boy and girl. I racked my brains thinking of something I could do for a joint cake.  Trawling google images didn't bring much joy.  I thought animals might be popular and was trying to think of two animals that go together, but are a bit boyish and girly in their own way.  Genius struck and the idea of a caterpillar and butterfly theme landed in my head. The body is made from two vanilla bundt cakes, cut and shaped.  The legs and feet are made from CakePops, shaped into feet and moulded onto chocolate fingers for legs.

I finished the cake late last night and was so pleased, I was very tempted to wake up Handsome husband so he could come and admire it too.  Luckily good sense prevailed (I don't think he would have appreciated being woken up, however pretty the butterfly cupcakes, or how jaunty the caterpillar's antennas)  He did however admire the cake in its glory this morning and was suitably impressed.

The party was today and the cake went down a storm.  It is such a joy to make things that are such fun to create, and that delight and please the people it is made for.

chick chick chick chick chicken hatch a little egg for me

For the past 3 weeks, a broody hen at the farm has been sitting on 6 eggs, keeping them warm as the miracle of life (I know, cheesy) works it's magic inside. Rather then becoming scrambled eggs, or playing a pivotal role in a cake, these 6 delicate beauties are going to hatch out as little chicks.

These 6 eggs came from our neighbour and are something of a test run, as our own cockerel arrives later today.  Once the new man in town is settled, it could be that we have lots more chicks.  Lots and lots.  All things being well, by this time next year we could be totally overrun by chickens.

But back to the here and now, these 6 little chicks are due to hatch out next weekend.  Which is perfect timing, as lots of family, including Sister in law and the Entrepreneur are due for a visit.  Arriving next weekend as part of the family is our new addition to the clan... Handsome husband's Uncle and his lovely wife have adopted a beautiful 3 year old girl.  Darling boy and Little Brothers new cousin.  We are delighted and can't wait to meet her.  The boys are really excited, so many new lives joining ours.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

And the good news is....

And the good news is that the council have f.i.n.a.l.l.y said YES.  We are so excited.  Our dream, forever-home is now the shinning light at the end of the tunnel.  And although we feel like the waiting game is over, really it has only just begun.

Now we wait for builders.  Quotes are yet to come back and the work is yet to start.  But, we are excited and hopeful.  Interiors are being planned, samples are building up and my scrap book of ideas is bulging at the seams.  I  don't just have a mood board, I have a mood file, with separate sections for each room with additional sections for things like 'style' and 'storage'.  Geek?  moi?

But, we aren't there yet.  There is still a lot more waiting to do and once the builders start there will be more things to wait for, but it will be exciting things, like plaster and paint to dry.  Who would have ever thought that waiting for paint to dry would be exciting?!