Sunday, February 3, 2008

Cake cutting and life lessons

It's Sunday, early in the morning and the day is full of expectation. By early I mean it is before midday. I needed to sleep in and I did - until 8.30. Yay me. It is now after 9 and I feel as though I can almost deal with the world.

Last night I went to a friends 40th birthday. I had a good time but there were a few interesting moments. Unfortunately I needed to go home early (just after 11pm) as my head felt like it was about to pop.

I get the occasional migraine which is not a good thing.... Last night my head was sitting with a headache, which I took to be a consequence of lack of sleep and water through the week since work started back. I think I might be right about the reason why I had it in the first place BUT I forgot a fundamental rule with headaches and me..... I have to either take drugs to lessen the impact or stay quiet (preferably sleep) so that the headaches bids it's fond farewells and leaves. I did neither! The headache developed a stronger grip. I felt that I had a vice clamped to one side of my head and the screw was being tightened. I took two paracetamol but I had taken them too late and the impact was minimal.

Home I went, to go to bed but I hadnt put new sheets on the bed. I quickly made the bed up (well sheets and pillowcases, no doona - too hot) and fell into bed and slept. Woke up and the shadow of the headache is still there. Bring on the drugs.

That was one interesting issue - dealing with a headache while being sociable.

The other one I will write about is when the hostess asked me, as she went to put her 7month old gorgeous daughter to bed, "do you mind cutting the birthday cake?" "No" says I as she disappears up the top of the stairs.

I moved to the cake, after finding the cake serving spatula (the special silver one) and I looked at the cake. It was the most beautiful looking black forest chocolate cake, complete with rolled chocolate pieces on top.

I took the knife and made an incision. The cake was very soft (read unbelievably fresh sponge cake) with layers of cream through it. I might just also add that there were a number of people at this party that I didnt know. Probably in the realms of 75%. I was concerned that I might just look a little incompetent with the cake cutting abilities that I had. Also I was madly thinking how do I keep this cake intact as I cut it up for over 40 people. I did not want each person to have a small slice of mush.

I made my decsions on how to deal with the cake and how to best achieve this. I started cutting, getting positive feedback from those around me - I knew them! We then come to the part when all those that were sitting outside came in to get pieces for themselves and their partners, children etc. This was where the comments became biting.

I had made the decision that I would cut quarters, then subdivide those quarters into 12 pieces. (It was a HUGE cake!) One woman decided that the pieces were too small (they were pretty average sizes and any bigger and there wouldnt have been enough for everyone) and the other woman with her decided they were too big. AAARGH! They nattered in my ear, but mainly to each other, about the sizes of the cake. I am glad that I decided to keep my mouth shut and didnt down implements with the words "Fine! Do it yourself!" Reminding myself that these were some of the people I didnt know I smiled, served them a slice or two each and said as nicely as I could "There you go, enjoy those. It looks fantastic doesn't it?" They replied "Yes! Thanks so much. You've done a great job!"

What have I learnt about cake cutting? Make a decision, stick to it, be confident and procede through the minefield of negativity that comes your way (sometimes that minefield will be full of comeents from those that are jealous!). Sounds like a good life lesson here.......

On top of all of this I came away with two books to read. One from the father of the birthday boy and one from the mother of his wife. Fantastic! Despite leaving earlyish, I had a great time.

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