I set off at dawn this morning for Ebbw Vale, heading up the Heads of the Valleys Road with the sun rising over the horizon in front of me. It was the first frosty morning we've had since the cold weather back at the start of Winter, and it was just beautiful.
My lovely friend Claire had won a cupcake making class, and asked me to join her at B Cake Studio in Ebbw Vale, where Angela makes gorgeous cakes and has just started these 4-hour classes. In a bizarre twist of coincidence, I was perusing the reduced Christmas aisle in Tesco yesterday, spied some beautiful Christmas cupcake napkins, and lamented the fact that they weren't reduced, as I would have bought them to put them away for next year. When I got home after the class today, I read Angela's blog to find that she made those very same cupcakes.
In a beautifully appointed kitchen in the basement of her family home, we sat around a central square unit and chatted about setting up small businesses (I'm sure Angela didn't expect to be doling out tax advice at the same time as teaching us to make cupcakes!) while we cut and coloured icing, baked vanilla and chocolate cupcakes, and made vanilla and chocolate icing before attempting to assemble them into some sort of professional-looking array. (The small business in question refers to the important question of What I Am Going To Do when I finish my job in July. One option involves making things along the lines of bunting etc. [oooh, there's a good etsy shop name] for children's bedrooms and weddings and ting).
It was so much fun, and getting to the final moment and finding that actually, the cakes looked pretty damn awesome, was so cool.
Angela took a picture of us on her fancy camera for her blog, which I'll update to link to when it's posted. We finished slightly early so that Claire could catch an earlier train back to Cardiff, and I set off for home (the drive was surprisingly quick and fun, especially as Jamie made me a mix CD to scream along at the top of my voice too). Jacob was still napping, but my bouncing excitement when I got home woke him up, and his little face on seeing the box of cupcakes was a sight to behold. I told him I'd been out making cakes with Amelia's Mummy all morning, and when I told him that he could have a cake he nearly exploded with joy.
The icing on the cake (see what I did there?) came in the form of a letter from the inland revenue, which I was too scared to open and made Jamie do for me. I soon snatched it off him when he read the word 'overpayment', and after some careful analysis (WHY do they phrase it as "Amount you owe us OR amount due to you" on the same line?) I found out that they'll shortly be sending me a cheque for two and a half thousand pounds