The weather has been disgusting today, so it was a positive pleasure to make the Christmas cake, filling the house with the smell of cinnamon, not so unusual, and brandy, less common.
I wasn’t that thrilled about having to leave the house at all this morning, although Chloe came along and was very encouraging, and we power-walked and jogged all over the village, mostly delivering invoices and receipts for the newsletter. There were a few puddles that we held back from as the white vans sped past, ignoring the 30 mph limit and at times, it seemed, targeting pedestrians. Anyway, the letters got delivered and it was a definite relief to get back into the house. Ronnie saw the two of us coming up the drive, looking like a pair of soggy icicles, and immediately put the kettle on. I wasn’t sure what Chloe would say, but the change in the weather has been so dramatic that she didn’t mind. She then drank her tea and chatted to Ronnie about post-operative mobility while I was doing squats against a large inflatable ball positioned strategically between me and a wall, ending up talking to both of us at the same time.
“No, you’re quite right,” Chloe would say, “you mustn’t – oh, no, you can go deeper than that, hold that squat, hold that squat, that’s it – no, don’t overdo it.” It was a very confusing set of instructions.
Once she’d gone and I’d warmed up, I started on the cake. Of course, I forgot it would take approximately five hours in the oven, so once it had started cooking, I was only able to heat things up on the stove. It mostly didn’t matter, because there’s something about the smell of Christmas cake cooking that reduces everything else to a mere inconvenience. Ronnie and I had beans on toast for lunch, but the OH was less impressed with salad and toast for dinner.
“You’ve been cooking all day,” he said, when it was put in front of him. “I can smell it. Why can’t I have something warmer than toast?”
He was hardly consoled by the thought of a well-fed Christmas cake in less than two months. For some reason, he wanted something warm to eat at that very moment....