Monday, 30 June 2014

Ground Control to Major Tom


Ground Control to Major Tom
30 June 2014

Check you protein pills and put your helmet on.

What was David Bowie smoking?  And exactly how hallucinatory was that stuff?

Some song lyrics are truly bizarre.  Most odd indeed.

When you look at them objectively, they can be very strange.  Sound rather peculiar.  And make no sense at all.

If you were to write them down, and repeat them out loud, without the benefit of instruments, melodies or harmonies, they’d be just downright weird!

Still we love them.  We get used to them.  We even sing along to them.

So, sometimes the words are garbled.  And completely wrong.  But does that distract from our enjoyment?  Our love of those songs?  The way we know each and every word off by heart?

And therein lies the magic.  The trick.

I wonder what Snoop Dogg would charge me, if I commissioned him to write songs, to my 16 year old son’s Physics work?  I mean how hard would it be?  I’d supply the lyrics after all.  He could just do the C, A, B, C chord changes.  Spit into the mike a bit.  Add a bit of jiggie.  And Bob would be your uncle.  Or more accurately Sir Isaac Newton’s 3rd Law of Motion would be.  Your uncle.  Your aunt.  Heck, even your mother.  I’m not fussy at all.

Easy as pie!

I’d even be prepared, to broaden my horizons.  To make the circle bigger. 

Perhaps the Red Hot Chili Peppers, would consider Grade 10 Biology?  Lil Wayne could do English.  Though considering his vocab, maybe better he rather not.  The Black Keys could tackle the mysteries of Pythagoras.  And History?  Well History, would simply have to be ASAP Rocky.

And in actual fact, taking into consideration, Snoop Dogg’s fondness for herbs, maybe he should be doing Biology instead?  The Peppers can do Physics.  Maybe Snoop can do Chemistry too?  Who knows, he might cook a bit on the side, meaning he’d bring a bit of chemistry know-how to the table already.

Anyway, just a thought.  Putting it out there. 

Think we’d make a pretty pop.  And the kids would excel.

Please click and LIKE on Facebook - Thanx!

Sunday, 29 June 2014

The dating scene - it's a jungle out there

The dating scene - it's a jungle out there
29 June 2014

I can’t even begin to imagine entering the dating scene again.  Few things could be more unpleasant.

My Grantie and I have been comfortably together forever.  No, really.  Forever.  Well, technically it’s twenty four and half years.  Forever, I’m sure you’ll agree.

And suffice it to say, that after this length of time, we’re most certainly comfortable with one another.  I’ve seen his bits.  And he’s seen mine.  Repeatedly.  Not letting anyone else see them ever again.  Just putting it out there.  Well, he can see them often, but I’m not crossing that line with a stranger.  Nor would I want to see a stranger’s bits either.  Don’t mind glimpsing them in a movie or on TV, but not in the flesh.  Thank you very much.

But I suppose entering the dating game, is about lots more than just body bits.  In fact, maybe that is one of the easiest barriers to cross in hindsight. 

It is but flesh value.  Can’t really hide it once revealed.  It is what it is.  What you see is what you get.  Blemishes there.  Physical shortcomings or strengths exposed.

However, intimately more scary, is sharing the inside bits.  The parts of your soul. 

Your dreams, wishes, aspirations.  Your past.  Your secrets.  Your family.

Finding out, if the things in life that you like, happen to coincide with the things in life that they like.

Some things are a deal breaker.  A point of no-return.  A line you wouldn’t cross.  A standard you wouldn’t drop.

I have some.  In that vein, I couldn’t partner up with someone that didn’t enjoy music.  Or had no appreciation for family.  A guy that wore two-tone shirts.  Or did a comb-over.

Does this make me a snob?  Or merely selective to my own personal taste?  True to myself?

Either which way, it’s not really important.  However what is, is the fact that I’m just so incredibly grateful to have found an awesome partner.  That I don’t need to go through the whole tentative-explorative-mating-ritual stage.

Comfort is great.  Especially if one is appreciative of the fact.  And you don’t become complacent in the process.

I’d certainly hate to face the dating scene jungle once more.

In addition, one thing I know for sure.  The older I’ve become, the more difficult I’ve become too.  The last time I faced the dating scene, I was seventeen.  I hadn’t really developed a taste or a type of person that I wanted to date. 

I’d be way more fussy, if ever thrust in that position again. 

Dating is not for sissies.  Especially older sissies.

Respect to those that enter the fray.

Please click and LIKE on Facebook - Thanx!

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Captain's Log - Day 5 974

Captain's Log - Day 5 974
26 June 2014

The natives are restless again.  When will I ever be free of this island?

Before the sun was up this morning, the short ones were stirring.  Well two of them, at least – the shortest ones at that.  I was very relieved when they finally left for a different part of the island, called “school”.

I enjoy these brief respites.  It allows me more time to forage.  And get my work done.  As well as affording me an opportunity to reflect in wonder.

I dream of one day reminiscing over idle times.  Lying in my hammock.  Admiring the sunsets, and sunrises.  Sipping on coconuts, while being fanned with palm tree leaves.

But for now there is no such relief.  The natives are extremely demanding.  A foreign species they are.  Not human.  Though not entirely alien either.

In their physical form, they resemble humans, or man.  But their growth rate is alarming.  Forcing me to consider their exact species type.  I have kept a careful and meticulous log of their growth.  And have never witnessed anything like it before in my travels.

Hunger forms a huge part of their daily existence.  As well as their constant need to satisfy that hunger.  It is clearly a driving force.  I am pleased by their delight in fresh fruits.  However keeping a constant supply ever at the ready, means that I have to go to the island called, “grocery store” on a daily basis.  It is a long and arduous journey.  With many potential pitfalls along the way.  I wish they had a more sophisticated bartering system in place on this mainland.  I would happily exchange smooth pebbles for goods.  Or even bright shards of sea glass.  Still the grocery store natives insist on pieces of paper with funny pictures on them.  Round shiny discs too.  I have offered to bring them unique paper, with pictures I’ll hand draw on my own.  I’m not all that artistic, but I’m fairly good at colouring in.  But they have declined my offer.  I have noted this in my log, and frown upon their lack of flexibility.  My paper would surely have a higher trade value for goods.  It would be unique after all.  I’ve even offered to copy their funny pictures on mine.  But alas, their chief would not accept it.  I have been slighted.  But prefer not to dwell on this insult.  Especially as I have to visit their island daily.  And a breakdown in friendly relations, and lack of trading, would mean that the hungry natives on my island, might become rebellious.  I have found from experience that it is best to keep them well fed.  I certainly can’t afford to incite them to mutiny.

With regards to the short natives on my island, I have witnessed a few things.  Depending on the particular phase of their growth cycle, I have noticed, that in between gorging themselves on the goods I have acquired, they have very different behavioural patterns.  The shorter they are, the more active they are.  The shortest one in particular shows immense enjoyment from interacting with the life form, they refer to as “dog”.  We have two of them on our part of the island.  This brings me great relief.  As it keeps the shortest and busiest native occupied.  On occasion for extensive periods of time.

The middle sized native, stares aimlessly at a box.  With moving life-like images.  I fail to understand how they get all of those creatures in the talking box.  How did they shrink?  Is it some sort of primitive ritual they performed on the talking-box-creatures to make them fit it?  Some resemble my natives exactly.  Others look even more strange.  At times the middle size native makes the box stop talking and moving.  What happens to the people inside the box then?  Do they sleep?  Where do they go?  When do they eat?  I’ve never seen them come out of there before.  It is truly baffling.  And I keep daily track of this oddity.  At certain times, all of the natives watch this box together.  The two tallest ones, like to watch it when there is lots of active movement on the box.  It looks as if there are whole groups of little people in the box, kicking a funny black and white coconut around on a stretch of green grass.  They wear the same attire.  Well to be accurate, two different types of attire, actually.  The ones wearing the same clothes, stay on one side together.  And the other’s on the other side.  It is possible that they form teams?  But of this I am not sure.  It looks as if they are trying to kick the coconut into a fishing net.  I don’t understand this at all.  There is no water.  Why the fishing net?  And is the coconut not already captive?  Why trap it in a net.  Unless they are trying to tire it out before consuming it.  Personally, I was taught not to play with my food.  Why do the little people in the box not rather eat the unique black and white coconut?  Or perhaps the process of kicking it around, is a preparation ritual, to soften the fruit.  Ah, yes.  That makes more sense.  It is a pity that we never get to witness the black and white coconut eating feast after the kicking.  But perhaps they don’t eat in public.  And only do so once the box stops talking and moving.  In their private time.

In addition to being the only civilised person on this island, I find myself being reduced to cooking for these natives.  Daily.  I hardly see the point.  Surely we could live off fruits alone?  They have a certain fondness for meat.  And I am surprised that the two “dogs” have survived this long.  I have never before seen such a manner of kinship with a different food form.  Perhaps they are but merely fattening these dogs for an approaching feast.  I suspect that in time, all shall be revealed.

I first came to this strange and foreign land on the 16th of February 1998.  Exactly 5 974 days ago.  My arrival on foreign soil, coincided with the appearance of a small creature from my belly, through a rather interesting portal.  He was the first of the short ones.  I was deeply disappointed, because sadly he was not fully developed yet.  No noticeable language skills.  Nor motor movement abilities either.  And I am grateful for the daily record I’ve kept of my observations and experiences here.  It has done much to increase my grasp and understanding of this island and her people.

My time has been made bearable by the friendship and camaraderie I have developed with one of the local inhabitants.  He has no hair.  But alas, it does not distract from his kind face.  I have a sense that he is romantically interested in me.  And I have noticed that he gets excitable when I disrobe.  For now I am keeping a watchful eye on his behaviour.  And will report back if anything untoward happens in my dealings with him.  I am grateful for his partnership.  He helps me with the short ones.  And occasionally brings me pre-prepared food offerings.  This really pushes him up higher in my estimation.

And to be perfectly honest, he does make my mortal heart flutter.  Most especially when he disrobes too.

Please click and LIKE on Facebook - Thanx!

Personally I think my hand drawn paper is very attractive and a rather accurate likeness to the paper that traders prefer to use at the grocery store island. It is a real pity that my great artistic talents will lay wasted on this island.



Tuesday, 24 June 2014

The tweenie school dance experience

The tweenie school dance experience
24 June 2014

When you are a twelve year old little girl, few things in life are more important and thrilling, than the termly school dance.  Fondly called a “Sokkie”.

It’s not a formal dance on the scale of a Matric Farewell, Ball or Prom.  It’s more a fundraising opportunity, that just so happens to include eleven, twelve and thirteen year olds, loud music, flashing lights, excessive use of cheap deodorant (both boys and girls), loads of mascara and hair straightener (girls) and hair gel (boys).  Probably pretty much the same experience, for boys and girls, minus the mascara.

Or is it?

I’m now busy with my second kid, doing the tween-school-dance-thing.  The first one was a boy.  And the second one, an entirely different species altogether.  Never mind the fact that they are so dissimilar they can’t be related, or siblings.  They’re clearly not the same life form at all.  Still not entirely sure which one is the alien.  The jury is still out.

My eldest simply got on with the whole Sokkie thing.  Minimum effort given to what he was going to wear.  Kind of decided once he was out of the shower, and dressing to go.  No concept of asking a girl before the time to be his date.  Expressing no great excitement or thrill, at the upcoming adult-ish occasion.  A party no less.  For him it was more about seeing his mates, and simply hanging out together.  No real mention of dancing.  Or girls.  Unless, I perhaps only got the edited fit-for-my-mother-version from him.  Which is most likely the case.   I swear that kid could work for the CIA and I’d be none the wiser.

And then there’s my daughter. 

She’s been dreaming about being able to go to the school sokkie since about the age of nine.  Maybe even since she was eight.  The sokkie is only for the Grade 6 and 7 children.  Other grades are excluded.  And thus, it is held up high.  Especially in the estimation of little girls.

And knowing that this year, would finally see Amber being allowed to go to her first Sokkie, she started speaking more and more about it, by the middle of last year already.  Sigh.  I’m not even joking. 

You cannot even begin to imagine the level of excitement, once the 1st of January arrived.  As she could finally say, “I’m going to the Sokkie this year!!!”.  Sigh.  I’m not even joking.  Seriously!

And therefore, in anticipation of the first dance in honour of Valentine’s Day, hysteria levels were seriously elevated once the new school year began.  From the very first day.  “The Sokkie”, was hot on the lips of all of the girls.  Predictably, the boys had kinda forgotten that there was going to be a Sokkie in the first place.  Nor did they really give it any thought.  I know this to be true.  As my friends with boys have confirmed this.  Which just cements my belief, having experienced Luke’s Sokkie, that boys experience a boy/girl dance on a complete, fundamentally different level.

Outfit planning started weeks in advance.  Nay months.  Scouring magazines and the internet for inspiration.  Lots of talking amidst the girls.  Plotting and planning.  I agreed that I would take Amber and her best friend shopping.  The budget was rather modest.  In fact very modest.  Which seemed fair.  We’re not talking prom.  One has to have perspective.  In addition, I suggested a casual dress or outfit she could wear again.  So in essence, the dress would be a mere extension of her existing wardrobe.  There would be no heels (sorry – I’m dull and boring and feel there’s time for that later.).  She’s only twelve for goodness sake!  Simple little pumps would do.  Nude-ish make-up perfect too.  A bit of mascara, touch of blush and lip gloss.  We could leave the sultry dark eyes, and red lipstick for the later years.  The nails were painted.  And jewellery from her stash, selected to match.

And I must be honest – my Berry looked gorgeous!  A little stunner!  Her best friend came and got dressed at our house, and I got them sparkling grape juice, which I served in flutes, to make them feel like little ladies.  And quite predictably, they loved it!  Their excitement was palpable.  They were literally buzzing.  Possibly even from the bubbles.  Bursting at their seams. 

And once I fetched them from the Sokkie, they told me all of the tales.  Who danced with who.  What they ate.  If there was slow dancing.  How many girls were being dramatic and crying in the bathrooms.  The boys that could dance the best.  The awesome music.  The awkward-teachers-who-thought-they-could-dance.  The vibe.  The hype.  The very tweenie excitedness of it all.  What an amazing experience!  They were bubbling!

They went to bed very late that night.  And long after lights out, I could still hear them giggling and chatting.  Reliving every moment.  So sweet!

It seemed as if all of the hoopla of the first dance had just died down, when it started all over again.  Seriously!!!  Again?

This time, two friends came over to Casa Cloete to dress to impress.  And they slept over too.

But by now, I was well prepared.  I expected the giggling.  I anticipated the chatter.  I relished the rehashing.  I enjoyed the hair straightening.  I basked in the cheap deodorant.  I choked on the nail polish fumes.  I appropriately oohed and aahed over outfits.  I willingly played professional photographer.  I was ready for the get-us-in-the-mood-party-music booming before the time.  I expected the intense texting between every eleven, twelve and thirteen year old going to the Sokkie.  I accepted the urging to “please-don’t-walk-in-with-us”. 

But even better.  When I fetched the three of them, and we got back in the car, the first thing I asked them was,

“Which girls cried in the bathroom this time?”

It really got the conversational ball rolling…

Please click and LIKE on Facebook - Thanx!

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Dads and dating daughters - Exhibit B - Grant and Amber

Dads and dating daughters - Exhibit B - Grant and Amber
22 June 2014

Having been the dating daughter of a doting dad, it is now very peculiar, enlightening and intriguing to have crossed over.  And to witness the whole ritual.  From the other side of the fence.  I am now but a bit player.  And though we are just on the cusp of having a dating daughter, it is interesting to watch my Grantie being thrust into the role of the heavy-menacing-father. 

I’ve been on the receiving end of this game, having been the daughter.  But now the tables have turned. 

Thus it is very funny for me to witness and play spectator to Grant’s acceptance of the fact that Amber is growing up.  That not only do certain boys like her, but she likes them back.  Each potential candidate is blessed with a horrendous nickname.  And teasing ensues.  Much to her horror.  Though I think it’s actually a gentle jousting game that Amber and Grant are playing.  Entering into verbal sparring.  And one I think that both of them begrudgingly enjoys.  It’s a rite of passage.  Expected behaviour from both parties.  And they’re playing their parts.  It’s as if it’s been scripted.

Last Sunday, Amber was invited out to the movies, with a whole bunch of school friends.  About fifteen of them, or so.  But she clearly was the special friend, and guest, of one boy in particular.  I was firmly instructed by Amber, that her “friend” would buy her snacks.  She’d buy her own movie ticket.  But he had said that he would take her for an ice-cream afterwards, get her popcorn and a cold drink (she bought them both some tokens for the games arcade).  So sweet.  At twelve and a half, I feel that this is fairly safe.  And lots of fun.  It’s not a one on one.  It’s a group outing so to speak.  Nothing really untoward about it.  Also, I’d rather her enjoy the friendship of boys.  While it’s still very much friendship based.  Sometimes, saying “no” to little things like this, just ends up pushing them towards it.  Making it more exciting because it’s not allowed. 

Anyway, lots of faffing about what to wear.  And clear directives given to me, days in advance, to simply drop her off at the entrance of the Mall.  As I was sure to embarrass her.  As if!  Firstly, I’d never just slow down to sixty and let my daughter out of the car at the entrance with no supervision.  In addition, I’d do my level best to contain all embarrassing tendencies.  Like swearing, flatulence, whistling, singing, whipping out her baby album, telling silly jokes, recalling humiliating anecdotes from when she was little, like the time when she was three and she….. etc.  And I told her this.  But I was willing to concede that I would take her.  As she was convinced that Grant would be even more embarrassing – doing his whole heavy-menacing-father-thing. 

Until I had an unanticipated disaster, needing me to cart both of my boys around somewhere urgently.  At exactly the same time Amber would have to be dropped off.  Which meant that the heavy-menacing-father, would have to drop her off.

Amber’s nerves were shattered.  But dressed for her “date”, hair all straightened, and butterflies packed firmly in her tummy, she left with her dad.  The very same heavy-menacing-father, I had pulled aside, and asked to please go gentle.  She wasn’t going to marry this boy.  There were just twelve.  Going to watch a movie.  With a whole bunch of friends.  He could ease up a bit.  And give the boy some slack.

I was so disappointed that I couldn’t take her.  And dearly wanted to be a fly on the wall.  But I packed my boys off in the car and we dashed away too.  And then, a few minutes later, I got a call from Grant.  And all he said in Afrikaans (which is really strange, because my Grantie is English and usually only converses in English) was, “Hy is sooo oulik!”.  Which means, “He is sooo cute!”.  Apparently “the boy” (who’s a full head shorter than Amber), walked over to Grant, looked him straight in the eye, shook his hand, spoke in a loud clear voice, and introduced himself.  I believe Grant was putty.  Amber later said, that “the boy” told her he’d practiced the whole handshake-eye-contact-introduction-thing in the mirror at home.  So sweet.

There will be lots more of this I suspect, as my beautiful daughter is growing more beautiful by the day.  She has an inner warmth, gentle kindness and glow that is magnificent.  It’s still going to be a long road for my Grantie.  I reckon I’ll be having lots of calming talks with him along the way.

Perhaps he should take a page from my uncle’s book.  When my cousin brings a new boy home, he simply gives him a number.  Says there’s no point learning their names – they won’t last long in any rate.  Not that she’s dated all that many boys in the past.  There’s only been two really serious ones.  Maybe the odd casual date along the way.  And to be fair, she and “Thirteen” lasted about two years.  We all just called him, “Dertien”.  Never by his real name.  But alas, their love never lasted.  And now she’s back together with “Twelve” again.

True story.

Please click and LIKE on Facebook - Thanx!


Most beautiful girl in the world

All dolled up for the school sokkie this past weekend - gorgeous!

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Dads and dating daughters - Exhibit A - Frank and Grant

Dads and dating daughters - Exhibit A - Frank and Grant
21 June 2014

I remember the first time I had to bring a boy home.  Talk about embarrassing.  I thought I would die.  My family was sure to embarrass me.  They’d most likely swear.  My annoying little brother and sister would do their magic – be annoying.  Flatulence was a strong possibility.  My mom would whip out my baby album.  My dad might tell an awkward joke.  Our home would look so very, very homely (not très chic at all).  My folks would listen to their cringing music.  My mom would definitely whistle.  Or sing.  My adorably cute little sister, would annex him (she did too).  My brother would do something goofy (he did too).  My dad might do the whole heavy-menacing-father thing (he did a bit – or perhaps I only imagined it in my anxious teenage mind).  Our dog might try to hump him.  I mean the list of possible catastrophes was pages long.  Nay, volumes full.

And to cap it all off, I was the eldest.  I’d have to pop the dating cork, so to speak.  There had been no sibling paving the way for me.  In fact, I think my folks thought I’d stay ten forever.  I was convinced they hadn’t realised I’d been quietly growing up on the side lines.  Maturing in to a young lady.  They were kind of growing up at the same time I suppose.  They were still so young themselves.

I put the whole subject of boys off as long as possible.  Doing a rather admirable job of playing along with the whole, “I’ll-just-stay-ten-forever-thing”.  Until I quite simply couldn’t last.

I first gently broached boys towards the end of primary school.  Gently throwing in the odd name or two.  Then, I eventually gained a measure of comfort and became more practiced in the verbal art of discussing boys.  I clearly remember droning on to my mom about a boy called, Geoffrey Garrett, while we were doing the dishes after supper every night.  Night after night.  I think I simply picked up every night, where I left off the previous night.  And to her justice, my mom did a really fair impression of paying attention.  Don’t know how she managed it.  I remember that in particular his hair fascinated me.  It was cut really straight at the top, and it kind of spiked up.  Like a newly cut lawn.  Strange analogy, but there you have it.  I also recall freckles and the fact that he was tall.  Still I went on and on and on.  Extremely repetitive.  Until, I eventually changed topics.  To Darren Sturgess.  It was pretty much an exact replay of the Geoffrey Garrett scenario.  Minus a few changes.  Change spiky hair, for blonde hair.  And he was really short.  And so it went on.  My mom deserved a medal.  I don’t even think alcohol would’ve deadened her senses.  Not that she indulged, but in a similar situation, I would’ve been tempted.

But these were little girl crushes.  Very typical of that age.  I liked the idea of having a boyfriend, and of being in love.  But I wouldn’t know what to do with a boyfriend.  Or what being in love really felt like.

High school also saw a few crushes and young loves.  Until I met Grant.

And right from the start, I knew he was the real deal.

My dad was not overly impressed.  In fact he was far less friendly with Grant, than any of the previous and very few guys that had come to our home.  I clearly sensed some hostility.  And I think my dad only pulled himself together on my mom’s urging.  And “gentle” prodding.  Putting on a polite face.  Humouring me.  Alas, he was not a very good actor.  He wasn’t really rude.  He was just not charmed, and seemed to hang on to his fatherly reservations.

But I think that for a father, this is a very difficult thing.  Would any guy really get the nod?  Meet the requirements.  Get paternal approval?

But as day of day, week after week, month after month, and eventually year after year passed, he warmed up.  Just a bit.  For me.

There was nothing wrong with Grant.  He was a perfectly nice man.  A good person.  I know for a fact that my dad knew this.  But ultimately, I think my dad realised that this would be the man that took me from him.  And making Grant sweat a little bit, would perhaps take the sting out of it.  Make it hurt a little less.  At least for him.

My dad and Grant had a good relationship.  They had an understanding.  And mutual respect.  Perhaps not so much fondness, but a certain liking.

Until we got married.  I do believe that my dad only really warmed up fully to Grant, once it was inevitable.  Once he was a part of my family.  My dad could see that I was happy, so that counted hugely in Grant’s favour.  And thus he treated him with love.  Said to me, that Grant was one of his kids.  Which was kind of odd, as the age gap between them wasn’t very big.  About sixteen years only.  And when Grant and I started dating, my dad was only 37.  So ridiculously young.  Can’t imagine having to contend with a daughter’s serious boyfriend at the age of 37.  But when my dad spoiled me, he made a point of spoiling Grant too.  On one occasion, he put R200 in an envelope for each of his kids as a random spoil.  He wrote a personal note on the envelope and handed it to us.  And rather than give Grant and I one envelope, we each got one.  It was very sweet.  R200 was a lot of money then, and my dad wasn’t flush.  In addition, Grant gave him Luke – the only grandchild he got to meet.  I also remember being married for a short while, and me making some or other comment about Grant.  And my dad saying to me, “Don’t speak about your husband like that”.  I was completely and utterly shocked.  Floored.  It was true.  My dad had finally bought into Grant. 

I was “the women”.  And they had bonded as “the men”.

Tomorrow, Dads and dating daughters – Exhibit B.  Me-thinks Amber’s in for a bumpy ride…

Please click and LIKE on Facebook - Thanx!

Handshake between Grant and my Dad, as my dad hands over the bride to the groom

And he's one of the family
Dad and daughter dance at our wedding - very special

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Crimes against confectionery

Crimes against confectionery
19 June 2014

Man, oh man!  I’ve seen some horrendous crimes against confectionary.  Though to be truthful, mostly by my own hand.

However, am I alone?  There’s a family story, of my mom, aged about fifteen, dying to impress her boyfriend, my dad.  He was invited for a meal, and my mom wanted to make a sweet treat for dessert.  I imagine in the hopes of showing off her culinary skills, and winning him over.  And in her teenage wisdom, she elected to make a Roly Poly pudding.  Now I have heard this story from various sources.  My mom, my Dad, my gran as well as some of the other survivors.  By all accounts it had a similar density and weight loading strength capacity as hardened, steel reinforced concrete.  My dad used to fondly liken it to a brick.  Similar weight, shape and colour.  Aaahhh, fond memories, I believe it was.

In great optimism, I once decided to attempt baking Luke a birthday cake.  Yes, it was rather foolish.  Because I did not only attempt a normal square or round cake.  I tried to make a Ninja Turtle cake.  A friend’s mom had a mould, Luke was having a karate type party, and it seemed perfect.  But as his party was a few days after his actual birthday, I thought I’d bake it twice.  Once for his birthday, and once for the party.  And what a good call that was.

Reason being, that on the birthday, I baked the cake, and all actually went well.  However, when it came to icing the cake, I simply make a dark chocolate icing and liberally dolloped and smeared it all over the cake.  The term, “unpalatable” rather accurately describes it.  If brave enough to overcome, the terrible visual picture it made, the actual cake tasted fine.  One just had to cross the visually unpleasing bridge.  I quickly realised, that I would have to find proper coloured icing instead, and do it the correct way, for the party.  And in the end, it didn’t look half bad.

Cake is a wonderful, marvellous, joyful, happy thing.  It brings delight and pleasure.  But every so often, things go a bit pear shaped.  And you’re left with something ever so slightly undesirable.  Most likely not the end product you were shooting for.  Lots of times, the main mistake is the writing on the cake.  Things often get lost in translation.  Probably when verbal instructions are given over the phone.  For Luke’s 5th birthday, having learnt from my foolish ways, I decided to outsource.  He needed a cake, shaped like the number five.  Pretty simply really.  Just a plain chocolate cake, with little army men and soldier stuff dotted around.  It was an army party after all.  I spoke to the baker.  Made eye contact.  Explained my requirements.  In simple, concise, easy to understand words.  Yet about two hours before the party, when my husband went to fetch the cake, it said, “Luck”.  As opposed to “Luke”.  Interesting indeed.  We just went with it of course.  Soldiers need luck all the time…

And then, quite unexpectedly, just the other day, I spotted a truly awful cake, and it gave me the idea.  Are there any other awful cakes out there?  What am I missing out on?

I did a quick search.  And found out, that there was nothing “quick” about it at all.  There were pages, and pages, and pages dedicated to catastrophic cakes.  Entire blogs in honour of bad cakes.  Virtual visual encyclopaedias immortalising the horrors.

It was a most enlightening experience.  And in hindsight, my cake was bloody marvellous.  I wouldn’t have made this list at all.  The problem being, that once I started looking at the pics, I quite simply couldn’t stop.  There were just too many of them.  And most of them truly good.  In a really bad way.

It also made me realise something else, when I was looking at some of the best terrible cake photos on the internet - clearly I’m not alone.  There are many similarly afflicted individuals out there.  And what they’ve done is a heinous and mostly unforgiveable sin.  They’ve committed crimes against confectionary.

I wouldn’t put a mouth, to most of these “wonders”.  And just look at them!  Is it really any wonder???  I don’t think you would either.

Please click and LIKE on Facebook - Thanx!

Few things, say, "I love you son", like an 18th Birthday cake, endorsing weed. What swell parents!

Now is it just me, or does Tink need to lay off the carbs and protein a bit? There's a hell of a lot of thigh action happening. And looking at the size of her wings, I don't think she's still flying. The wing-to-weight ratio seems a bit off.

I find this disturbing, on so many levels. It's creepy and smacks of cannibalism. Eeeuuu!

This little piggy went to the oven... I don't think anyone will buy him at the market

Messed up, is what this is!!!

Nice one! That's telling Ryan exactly how you feel. Sure he's strived all of his life to win your approval. NOT!

There simply are no words. Those princesses seem happy. Sorry - I just had to.


Bambi looks like she got hit by a car

Interesting take on a bee cake. Lots of effort? Not so much!

This is the stuff of nightmares - the dog is melting. Fancy a slice?

Stoppit! This is creepy, nasty and just plain wrong.

What kind of sick and twisted mind wants a cat litter box cake? I would not want to be stuck on a deserted island with this individual.

This is in terribly poo(r) taste - wouldn't want a bite

This is wrong. Very, very wrong.

Okay, all of the baby cakes are really freaking me out. Big time!

I am quite simply speechless. Not sure if this is a wedding cake or a divorce cake. Either which way it is nasty!

This is what is known as an epic fail. A funny one. But a fail none the less.

Alrighty then! Do dictation often?

Why would anyone want a spaghetti and meatballs cake? People are strange.

And then they get more strange. Yummy...

Apparently a divorce cake. Charming!

What can I say? I'm a huge fan of irony.

My only thought here is Halloween?

Shoot me now!!! So gross!

"Never gonna make you cry. Never gonna say goodbye."

Aaahhh! Precious! Momma's giving birth to Casper. And by the looks of things, she's going to breastfeed.

Why??? Why??? Who does this???

I just don't get it

I'm guessing this took about 5 minutes to put together. No wait - maybe only three and a half.

Very Lion King. And odd.

Yay! It's about the small things in life.

Gotta admit - this did give me a laugh. Creepily accurate "entry" point.

Uncalled for. There were even more accurate depictions, but I couldn't bring myself to share them.

Okay, these baby ones, are making me lose the plot. In addition, this baby is not looking healthy. Far too blue. She needs oxygen dammit! Not a cake knife.

I'm assuming this is in honour of Thanksgiving?
I do apologise. It hurts my eyes to look at it. I merely share to show you how incredibly strange people are. This is pretty twisted.
My son, "Luck". Sadly at five he could spell his name, so he picked up on the error. Dutifully explained to him that soldiers need luck (and weapons, and good training, and bullet proof vests, and 3 square meals a day, and really short haircuts), to get them through combat.
Luke and Amber with the brown Ninja Turtle Blob. Can't even recognise the shape. Quickly realised that proper coloured icing it would have to be.
In hindsight, the end result was not too shabby. More than a decade later, I still have the violent icing colouring powder. Best I turf it.