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Described By A Cake
Forty years ago we were living on a new estate in the northwest of England with our two small daughters. Next door were another couple, also with two daughters, though three or four years older than ours. The four children became firm friends and that friendship has continued down the years even though three of them have moved south. The fourth, and eldest, girl remained in the North, but through our own daughters we have kept a contact.
One of the highlights of our recent stay in the UK was the opportunity for my wife to celebrate her seventieth birthday at a lunch for family and close friends. Which brings me back to Deb, the eldest of the four girls. One of her passions is making and decorating cakes, to which she brings a very high degree of skill and artistry. As two of our friends were travelling down from Lancashire, a thought occurred to me. I would ask Deb to produce a 70th birthday cake. But what should it be like? Here I drew on long unused market research skills, when I used to conduct what are now called focus groups, and in which you would ask people strange questions like, “If Gordon Brown were a car, what car would he be?” I emailed everyone on the invitation list and invited them to email Deb with their answers to the question, “If Mary were a came, what kind of cake would she be?”. Once Deb had had time to digest all the suggestions, a final brief was agreed, the cake was duly made, handed over to our friends to transport to Surrey - they tell me that at every service area stop on the journey down, they gingerly opened the boot of the car to make sure everything was OK - and smuggle into the restaurant where it was put on display ahead of everyone arriving. It came as a complete surprise to Mary and she was delighted with it. From the photo above, I guess you can see why.