Saturday, 12 January 2013

Five candles

Darcy was just two when he first requested I make this cake for his birthday. It is incredibly rich and decadent (three entire blocks of dark chocolate!), stuffed with fresh cherries and smothered with chocolate ganache. And because he is a summer baby, every year he decorates it with summer berries from nearby farms. Raspberries, blueberries, strawberries and cherries. He has done so each year since he turned three not long after we moved down here. Lewis came running to find me in the garden, gasping "Mum, Darcy is putting the berries on the cake by himself!" I leapt up the stairs, expecting a glorious mess, only to find the most daintily decorated cake.

This year I prepared for the party solo while Grant was away at summer school. What was I thinking? Never again! Keeping small sticky fingers away from the party food proved difficult, but I knew the cake was in good hands - so long as we kept Quinn occupied elsewhere. Five little friends (we invite the same number of children as the age of the child) joined us for afternoon tea, a treasure hunt in the garden and some energetic jumping on Darcy's new trampoline.

Five is such an exciting age. And while I will be very sad to wave him off at the school gate once he starts pre-primary in a few weeks' time, I am happy to see this confident little boy emerging. Such a gentle little soul, Darcy has always seemed to know his place in the world. And he will be taking big steps out into it this year. Happy birthday beautiful boy.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

summer road trip

We loaded the car as high as the roof on Christmas Eve's eve and headed east. Breaking the journey in a tiny seaside town, we slept beneath billowing lace curtains for one night before ten nights under canvas in seaside campgrounds. Christmas was a windblown affair beneath the gum trees, with a trip across the peninsula to dip our toes in the bluest of waters, at the whitest of white sand beaches I have ever seen. The festivities have continued since we returned home last week; with a housewarming and a blessing to prepare for and guests arriving from across the land. There was a birthday in there somewhere as well (mine), New Years Eve with old friends beneath the craggy peaks of the Barrens  and a little boy who is turning five tomorrow. The cake is baked and the presents wrapped. And when the last party bag has been handed out, then I shall take a deep breath and embrace this new year in all its shining glory.