Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Leaving On A Jet Plane (or: the flying doctor)


She's leeeeaaa-ving, on a jet plaaane

Don't know when she'll be back again,
Oh babe, she hates to go .....

So wrote John Denver back in 1966 - sort of, anyway, I have adapted it slightly - in a song most famously recorded by Peter, Paul and Mary (who, I hear the younger of you ask?).

I quote this song in honour of Katherine With A K, a dear friend who jetted off to England last week to take up an incredibly prestigious neurological position with a leading London hospital. She's clever. 

(To contrast that achievement, let me just remind everyone that my biggest goal right now is to a) get out of bed each day and b) maybe achieve a smoother consistency for my vienna cream. To wit, perhaps I should sift the icing sugar instead of just dumping it into the KitchenAid in a cloud of puff?) 

Katherine With A K, on the other hand, is out there Making It Happen and having exciting adventures. I can feel my feet starting to itch.

Katherine With A K flew out on Thursday, and as we haven't heard from her yet, I expect she is still stuck in the Olympic-sized queue at Heathrow, policed by poorly trained security guards (would that make them insecurity guards, or unsecure guards?). 

I shall miss Katherine With A K. She is one of those friends I don't see all the time, but I think of her often. And each time I do, my heart flutters a little. She is magic. And she is also one of those wonderful people who has the ability to make you feel like a far more captivating version of yourself. 

Like a concentrated perfume, in her presence I become Flickettysplits Intensif.   

So it seemed only appropriate that the Jet Plane should take on a dangerous lean to the left once it arrived at its afternoon tea destination. 

It was slumping in anticipation of her departure, just like my spirits. It happened in slow motion before our eyes, and eventually toppled to one side as the turboprop wafer collapsed. 

We toasted her departure with tea (the nursing mothers, and her, the responsible doctor) - and wine (me, the artistic soul sobbing on the inside).

Farewell for now, Katherine With A K, and long may you live, though not long in London please. xox.

(As a postscript, I'd just like to note HOW FREAKING HARD this cake was. Mainly because of my terrible construction skills. I cut the bottom platform too narrowly, which meant the entire plane body teetered precariously on a teeny-tiny-itty-bitty bit of cake instead of the solid footing it should have had. And the wafers! In The Book the icecream wafers are pink. Can you buy pink wafers in real life these days? No you cannot. Not unless you buy the Arnotts wafer biscuits, take them apart, scrape out the pink fondant, and then glue them into the shape you *actually* need. Sheesh. And you try - just TRY - getting that hundreds and thousands thing to stick onto the roof and not shed hundreds and thousands everywhere like little bits of sugary dandruff. I had to resort to jamming a wooden skewer into it and ignoring the dandruffy bits. I tell you, if this cake hadn't been for Katherine With A K... well, I just would have given up.)


  1. Wooden skewers are the saviour of shaped cakes. How you managed to cut a cake into such a curve is beyond my knowledge.

    1. I would be lost without wooden skewers! They are indeed the best kind of saviour - the SECRET kind. :-)

  2. I have a sneaking suspicion that I may also know Katherine with a K - if she did a PhD at a cancer hospital in the 90s then it's the same person. Small world. Then again, it is Melbourne, so not exactly large to begin with.

    I am so impressed that you managed to get the wings to work, and in agreement with Jennie that cutting on a curve is a miracle. I can barely cut in a straight line, let alone a curve.

    1. What a small world! I think we may well have a friend in common.

      I am also impressed with my own work here. Cutting a cake curve is damned difficult, and at one point I was reduced to shaving off infinitessimally smaller bits crumb by crumb in order to get the shape right. I felt like quite the sculptor, until it collapsed .....

  3. This is so cute! I love your tips about these cakes - really some of them seem almost impossible to pull off without special-secret-information-not-in-the-book!

  4. I admire what you have done here. I like the part where you say you are doing this to give back but I would assume by all the comments that this is working for you as well. alabama themed cakes


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