Monday, 21 January 2013

The Icing on the Cake

They’re in a funny mood, the twins. Carenza has finished her only January exam and is slightly hyped, while Perran still has three maths/further maths papers and doesn’t appreciate her levity. Perhaps that’s why it all went wrong when I asked them about their eighteenth birthday cakes.

I’m no Jane Asher, but each year I gamely cudgel sponge and icing into some sort of recognisable shape. My favourite was the Georgia O’ Keeffe cake that Carenza requested for her sixteenth. I sculpted the icing into a flower-shaped metaphor. People told me it was moist.
“What do you want this year, then?”
Indifference. Head-scratching.
“Just plain,” says Perran.
Last year I did him David Bowie. The year before that Alice Cooper.
“What about an Amy Winehouse cake?”
Then the tide turns and they begin to have ideas. Too many ideas.
Carenza wants a One Direction Cake. “Oh yes, I can easily do their logo.”
“Not their logo, Mum. I want Julian Opie-style portraits of all five of them.”
Pointedly I turn to Perran. He fails to rescue me:
“Actually I’d like my cake to be a portrait of OJ Simpson…or Charles Manson. No. Wait. I have it…Jimmy Savile.”
I get up and walk out. If only I could ring Mary Berry and find out whether she ever has to put up with such nonsense.