Hey look! That’s me! Looking very grumpy and awkward and trying to pose in my blue leather suit which might just be my favourite outfit I’ve ever worn.
Let me start by telling you the story of the blue suit. Then I will tell you the story of the pumpkin cake. And I shall finish with the tragic tale of the huge disappointment.
I bought the blue leather suit about 2 months before leaving New York and coming back to London for the summer. Browsing the aisles of & Other Stories, once my hands touched the creamy pastel leather I knew, no matter what, I would be leaving the store with significantly less money and significantly more blue leather than when I entered. Eight weeks, one long haul flight and many trips out of the closet to be paraded around my bedroom in front of the mirror and the blue suit finally had its moment to shine at the wedding of a family friend.
The day of the wedding (which was amore beautiful event than I could ever possibly put into words leaving me disinclined to try) also happened to fall on the day of the village horticultural competition. Baking is my happy place – the activity I turn to in times of stress to reduce my anxiety and send my swirling, stormy brain into a place of calm and icing sugar. But this wasn’t your average bake – pitted against my mother and a group of family friends who were also entering the competition I was in it to win it and the night before the competition was spent feverishly decorating and icing until the early hours of the morning.
The next morning, we dropped our cakes off at the village hall at 9am and rushed off to enjoy the wedding (which I cried almost the entire way through). The results weren’t to be released until the afternoon and I tried my best to put the competition out of my mind. But as 4pm rolled around I was itching, and me and my mother broke away from the wedding to meet the judges decision. At this point – I’m going to admit – I was quietly confident. My pumpkin patch cake not only included a vegetable (the requirement of the baking category this year) – it was also the result of hours of labour and was adorned with cake pop pumpkins as well as a Kit-Kat fence – how could I lose?
It turns out – pretty easily. Not only did I not even place in the competition, the prize was robbed from my hands by my very own mother, the women who gave me life, one of the people in this world whom I love the most.
It was a huge disappointment, a painful blow, an undisputed tragedy. My only consolation – the Great British Bake Off’s very own Mel and Sue told me my cake was secretly their favourite, and I can only hope, that one day in the future, like Van Gogh or F.Scott Fitzgerald, my work will finally be appreciated in the way it deserves.