Way back in the mists of time, with my partner Patricia Harbottle, I ran an outside catering business…..
..and, among other things, we made ‘themed’ cakes. I actually blogged about them a few years ago when we unearthed a cache of antique photographs. I think they were sparked off by a Guildhall School of Music celebration of their new building for which we made a cake into which, Prince Charles, their patron plunged the knife – under my watchful eye.
Maxing out on our new royal connection, who was just about to walk down the aisle with Princess Diana, we then made a scale model of St Paul’s Cathedral (yes, genuinely to scale – the whole thing was about a metre long!) which we auctioned for charity.
It was pretty impressive – and I do remember that it took me a whole Saturday afternoon just making the royal icing pillars round the dome!
By now, being on a cake roll, nothing would stop us so, we powered ahead and made another scale model, this time of Charles and Diana’s new house, High Grove.
This was duly delivered, acknowledged – thanked for – and returned to us to do with as we wished….
Fast forward 40+ years to 2020 and the great clear out of Lawn Road.
As I said, we had a massive loft in Lawn Road filled with rolls fabric, Swedish lamp shade frames, antique mirrors, about 300 incandescent light bulbs which dated from my electrosensitive period when they were being phased out in favour of those dreadful low energy light bulbs, five mosquito nets, a 1940s Hornby train set, a state of the art Kodak Carousel with around 1,000 slides from my historic English food lecturing days, boxes of my sons football medals, endless sets of Christmas decorations, 20 years’ worth of FoodsMatter/Berrydales Publishers accounts, four spare mattresses, two bread makers, several sets of china, four iMac boxes, 3 picnic sets and – tucked right at the very back under the eaves – Highgrove House…..
We had obviously by that time fallen out of love with cake making, so had wrapped it in clingfilm and stuck it in the back of the loft!
The wonderful thing about it was that it had decayed exactly as an abandoned house would have decayed. A parapet had fallen off, some windows had fallen out, the front porch was on a lean….
..and round the back a wing had collapsed. You expected to see sofas and curtains falling out but in fact it was just the fruit cake filling. We were tempted to try to see if it was still edible – but finally decided that might be a bit unwise.
Anyhow, it has now, finally, been laid to rest while Lawn Road undergoes a major refurbishment under its new owners.