(Photography courtesy of Bryony Brooks. All the Jubilee essentials – cheese and pineapple sticks, jam tarts, scones, strawberries…Blue Fairy Cakes, standard Sex Pistols take on ‘God Save The Queen’.)

The last two days have been absolutely manic. Completely hectic but great fun! And I really am pleased that I was able to watch the Queen’s trip in the carriage. As I’ve probably said a hundred times before, I’m no royalist but I think it was definitely worth it just to see her bright blue shoes! Weren’t they amazing?! With a white dress and everything – classy bird! But definitely could have done without the irritating commentary from the man who looked as if he was afraid he might catch something from the members of the Great British public…

To celebrate the smiling old lady waving her mauve gloved hand at an audience of red, white and blue, I went over to the Railway Cottage to bake with the 5 fabulously named sisters of a very good friend. I can honestly say I have never met such a range of sweet, funny and totally kooky kids in my life! Starting from aged 6 upwards, I was meant to be ‘supervising’, but there was really no need as they had it well and truly sorted! The small (with one person in it) kitchen was chock-a-block with lots of mischief-making. Flour (gluten-free) and egg shells covered the work surface; the wickedly blue food colouring was regularly mistaken for Scottish blue poster paint – the Union Jack was the inspiration of the day!

Although I feel like the alien-cakes that we made on Tuesday were an exception to what I’m about to say but… I HATE CUPCAKES. There. Yup. I said it. I know that when they are done well, they can be beautiful. See the Hummingbird Bakery for pieces of confectionery that actually taste as good as they look, but I am being rude about the overkill-cupcake. The cupcake that consists of a disc of beige rubber that’s less than subtle flavour is smothered under 2 inches of luminous green icing, decorated with an wonky-spotted ladybird, who is sadly suffocated by edible glitter, the density of which is reminiscent of Pompeii post-Vesuvius.

Everywhere I look there is a new take on cupcakes. Ladies who lunch are presented with Early Grey cupcakes, gangsta-friendly have cupcakes with ‘bling’… I tried a lavender flavoured cupcake the other day. I definitely should have known better than to think a smell that reminded me of my grandmother’s coat cupboard, would be a tasty experience, but even if I had got over that moth-repellent nostalgia, the actual cake was chewy and spongy – and not in a good way. More like the plastic sponges that grace the corner of student bathrooms everywhere.

What would be amazing is if we could take on the challenge to perfect the perfect sponge recipe, figuring out the perfect cake to icing ratio that doesn’t leave you frothing glittering green at the mouth. Or perhaps this isn’t what I mean, perhaps we should just stop cupcakes for a while. Just stop them. For a while, so that we can rediscover the novelty of baking with more enthusiastic, less artificial gusto?

Remember Fairy Cakes? Little sponges with the middle cut out of them, filled with a dollop of butter icing and the middle bit of cut-out cake cut in two and placed like fairy wings? I’ve just searched for them on the internet and nussink. A fun task for tomorrow perhaps?

TBC, Rosie x

Soundtrack of that lovely day, Abbey Road by the Beatles: Octopus Garden

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