I’m a bit of a last-minute person. I like to feel the pressure and the threat of the deadline, it gives me the adrenaline rush that I need to accomplish… anything. If I need to be productive and efficient, I need to be threatened by several deadlines to get it done.
At the weekend, I had nothing to do for the whole of Saturday. I could have done all of the things I needed to do with plenty of time to spare. Instead, I sat in my pyjamas and watched Heartland on Netflix while I knitted (and unravelled and knitted again). Heartland is a guilty pleasure of mine, but I’ll happily stand up and say “Hi, I’m Bee and I am addicted to trashy Canadian TV shows about horses and life in the country for a not-so-teenage-any-longer girl. I am a Heartland-aholic.”
Anyway. Sunday morning rolled around and I had an extra hour of sleep with the clocks going back, which has done me the power of good, because I don’t sleep well at the moment and I was getting a bit behind. Then I had to jump out of bed and achieve things. I needed to be out of the door and on my way to my niece’s first birthday party by 11.30am. I woke up at 8.30am. Lounged until about 9am. Ran to the shower to claim it before anybody else could (my days of sharing a house are numbered), and after a swift blowdry of my hair and some clothes thrown on, I sped to the kitchen.
I had to make a cake. It was for my brother, who can’t really eat grains, or sugar, so cake made with normal flour is right out. This makes me sad, because he and I share a voracious love of cake. I had searched Wholefoods in Kensington for the wherewithal to make him a friendly chocolate cake, and finally had coconut flour and coconut oil and enough eggs to produce something for him.
As soon as I had got that in the oven, I made myself some apple and sultana porridge (that’s oatmeal, Americans) and set about browsing Pinterest for some wrapping paper.
Being a bad aunty, I had not managed to get my niece a birthday card, nor wrapping paper for her presents. I was frankly a bit surprised I had managed to get her a present, but I’d had a burst of activity on Friday and picked up two lovely books – good thing I didn’t get the xylophone I saw first, because my mother gave her a xylophone and it would have been awkward. I needed paper to wrap the books in, and I needed it fast. I usually wrap gifts in pages from old magazines, but decided my one year old niece might not appreciate pages from either the Physiotherapy journal Frontline, nor Western Horseman.
I soon found some suitably cheerful and colourful patterns, and put my shiny new laser printer to work producing several pages of a triangles pattern. A Google search gave me a customised “Keep Calm…” image for the front of her card. The only actual card I had in my supplies was a packet of file dividers in lovely colours, so I chopped the holes and the tabs off a couple of those, and stuck it all together. Not bad.
Couldn’t find any sellotape, so resorted to the roll of glue dots that I had used for a scrapbook project for Cowboy over the summer, and glued my home made wrapping paper around the books. Lacking an envelope for the card, I found a roll of cooks’ string in the kitchen and looped that around the present, and could wedge the card underneath that.
It sounds awful, I know, to have scraped together this thing for my brother’s first born child, but I am a student with long distance flights to pay for, and wrapping gifts and buying cards is an expensive pastime these days.
Here’s the end result:
I thought it was a fairly respectable effort, given my distinct shortage of resources, and it blended in well with the other presents at the party.
I managed to get the cake out of the oven and cover it in melted chocolate, slap some make up on, brush my hair and get out of the door bang on the dot of 11.30am, which is fairly miraculous. It was a lovely party.
Other things I’ve done recently include: eating too much cake, cooking a big batch of risotto, and staying in bed because it’s cold outside.