On birthday cake


Boarding school birthdays were always the very worst, if I remember correctly – I think the six birthdays I spent there have all gathered together in my mind and made me rather dislike birthdays in general now.

One year though my mother baked me two chocolate birthday cakes and had them couriered over from the island to the boarding house door in time for supper. There were two because every girl had to have a slice each, and the fact that one of the cakes had sunk in the middle made no difference whatsoever.

This year, I asked for and received baking supplies: spatulas, a pudding bowl, and a russian doll of cake tins of various sizes – so I baked a birthday cake of my own. 

There's likely some kind of peculiar rule about baking a cake for your own birthday... but I went ahead anyway. The result is that I'm nearly certain that pulling an over-the-top three-tiered chocolate birthday cake out of the oven almost makes being an extra year older worthwhile.