Cake decorating is the other thing I do. By no means am I an expert but I've been at it for the past 27 years starting with my son's first birthday cake. Fondant cakes were my specialty - using either fruit cake or choc mud packet mix (I hear your screams of horror) - right up till last year when I decided I was sick of that and started experimenting with the new 'naked' cake style which requires a delicious cake baked from scratch and not an ounce of fondant in sight. I only make cakes for people I love, otherwise I wouldn't enjoy doing them, so it's only family and very close friends who get them and its only 1, 2 or maybe 3 a year. Last week it was my friend Annie's birthday. I thought I'd make her a zucchini and lime cake topped with zingy cream cheese and shards of chocolate and drop down to Gippsland to visit her new home. This is a long winded way of saying Annie is someone whose friendship I've treasured for a very long time. That she sews as well is a bonus!
Annie in her country kitchen shielded by birthday flowers (kale!).Bits and pieces of Annie's sewing life.
Our friendship started on the 16th floor of a government building in the CBD where we ensured that other public servants had a building in which to work and a chair on which to sit. We shared a strident feminist perspective on life and a penchant to sew - Annie having recently made her own wedding dress and me about to make mine. Since then we have shared child rearing woes and all the ups and downs of life. I moved interstate, Annie moved to the country and then back to the city, our friendship thinned out and became thick again. Annie has become a grandmother twice over and has moved to the country a second time. I moved back to Melbourne and started a sewing pattern business. We rendezvous for coffee in the Botanic Gardens. Except for today which was soup, chicken and birthday cake in Gippsland, country Victoria.
Annie and me, then and now. Back when we had matching hairdos we were about 10 years into our friendship. Now, the little ones no longer join us for lunch as they're 25 and 22!
Riding the lift down from the 16th floor to get some lunch time fresh air I'm not sure either of us expected things to turn out as they have. Life surprises you. At the time I was a freshly graduated architect who set off in an entirely different direction, got sick, turned about face again to end up, eventually, designing hat patterns! Annie's life has brought her to a similarly unexpected place with a new partner and a new lifestyle. On the other hand, neither of us was ever going to tread the well worn path and both of us were always going to put our kids first. Which is why we're both where we are now. I can't think of a better place to be.
Happy birthday Annie!
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