So, Christmas has already come and gone, and given the meaning of the occasion for me this year, I must admit that I am both grateful for this as well as emotionally exhausted.
If you have been following our adventures over the last few posts, you will be aware that Team Pretty Bake was embarking on a Christmas baking extravaganza of epic proportions. We had relished, and we had jammed; so all that was left, really, was to bake. And so it was that in the blur that was the week before Christmas, Team Pretty Bake, well, baked. A combination of work and baking meant we were extraordinarily busy, and on reflection, perhaps just a tad insane. Slaves to the kitchen we certainly were, so much so that if any moments of anecdotal notoriety occurred they were immediately forgotten, if indeed there was time for them to occur at all. So I do not have any exciting tales to tell. We made many delicious goodies that – if I may take some arrogant liberty – were exquisitely presented and well received by those fortunate enough to be sufficiently acquainted with the Team (although apologies must go to those too geographically distant to receive our bundled treats – it is most unfortunate that perishables live up to their name and do not travel well). Our impressive pantry made for a great variety of gifts, and as such, I have listed our full catalogue below…
Jams- Raspberry, Apricot, Boysenberry, Sweet cherry, Blackberry
Relishes -Onion, Apple Sage and Date chutney, Red onion Lemon and Thyme, Tomato
Brown Butter Brown Sugar Shorties
Orange Sugar Cookies
Fennel Seed and Black Pepper Crackers
Turkish Delight Rocky Road
All packaged up in nice little parcels...
Miss Emily did find some time to make mince pies for the Blood family Christmas…
…And continue the tradition of the Rogerson family gingerbread house with GBH mark II…
But this editions creative honour goes to Miss Rose and her spectacular gingerbread train.
A sight to behold and meticulously constructed - there was track; an engine complete with chimney and festive headlights; a coal car transporting soccer balls and aeroplanes (typical freight, I assure you); a lumber car; and a caboose complete with a controller rabbit by the name of Roger.
(not a kangaroo)
An astounding feat to be sure, and one worthy of great acclaim. Miss Rose, even though three-to-four year olds can't quite appreciate the time and effort taken to create such a detailed masterpiece, we acknowledge how spectacularly clever you are!
So I hope all those who received do enjoy, and thank you all for your thoughts, encouragement and support. I wish you all a safe and as-happy-as-you-can holiday, and look forward to sharing the future adventures of Team Pretty Bake with you in 2009.
With the end of the year rapidly approaching, it seems time to reflect on things that have passed and look towards what lies ahead on the path that is life. For many it has been an utterly horrendous year, suffering pain and loss so severe it is indescribable, and enduring a detestable new life that we would rather not bear. But despite all the lows - and these have indeed been the lowest of lows - and against our expectation of what was possible, we have endured. At this time we may not feel a sense of achievement, or think on this as a positive. We may still find ourselves wandering aimlessly downwards on an increasingly difficult path, and lack any conviction to search for hope in the future. We expected things to get easier, only to find our burdens becoming harder to bear. And as life starts to move on around us we remain stationary in our grief, unable to tag along and sensing our isolation becoming more absolute. But in spite of all this - our exhaustion from fighting emotional battles we should not have to fight, and the sense that we have travelled nowhere - we are still here, and we are still fighting, together. Collectively we have found enough strength to approach each day as it comes, and while it may be a bad day or a worse day, we somehow still manage to get through them.
What the New Year holds does not bear thinking about. There will be many 'firsts' that we will not look forward to, as each special occasion reminds us that our treasured past and a beautiful life has become more distant. But we know we cannot change this mess we're in. We must remind ourselves how gifted our time was, and remember the lust for life that was so inspiring and infectious. There will be times to dread, but there will also be occasions to look forward to as we draw on the strength of each other to do something special and begin to rebuild our lives. It is not going to be easy, and it may not feel possible, but we promised to try, so that is what we'll do. To all those who know what I mean - good luck.