With Eldest Mudlet due to be collected from the bus stop early afternoon, Sunday morning was spent with me alternating between cleaning and tidying the downstairs whilst baking the sponge for her birthday cake. The sponge turned out really well, very light and fluffy and yet moist which I assume is due to the ounce of flour I added to the creamed butter and sugar BEFORE adding the eggs, as per the suggestion in this post by makingbakingandraking. I haven’t had problems making sponge cake for years but this extra little step really made a difference to the finished bake and I will incorporate it into future cakes and buns from there on in.
I topped the cake with a chocolate icing and filled it with beaten double cream (ensuring that enough was left over to go in a coffee later on ;)) Eldest Mudlet was a little disappointed to find that I only put 16 candles on top which was a few short of her age because, apparently, you can never have too many candles on your cake. Let’s see if she still feels the same way, in just under two decades time, as she approaches her 40th birthday shall we!
A few months ago Mud bought a ‘Swingball’ game for the younger Mudlets. Both girls have become quite good at it, often challenge daddy to a game and have even beaten him in recent games. Mud is very competitive and doesn’t agree with letting children win but with Swingball, he does temper his ball returns when he plays a game with the younger Mudlets.
Eldest Mudlet is also very competitive and happily accepted a Swingball challenge from her younger sisters. A short while later she had won the game with Middle Mudlet but as she had belted the ball back towards her much smaller opponent, Mud decided that the contest had been a tad unfair and promptly challenged her to a game. Buoyed by her victory and probably feeling she had a good chance against the 40 something Mud, she willingly accepted and I was able to take this shot of her NOT returning one of Muds powerful returns.
She was game enough to play two games against Mud, both of which she lost, most of which she spent ducking out of the way of the tennis ball as it flew round at great speed, at the fullest extension of the string which attaches it to the pole and a lot of which was spent in fits of giggles …. or was that hysteria …… well the younger Mudlets and I were in fits of giggles 😀
Lesson learned: a Swingball victory against ones much younger and smaller sisters, only counts if they can actually see the ball as it swings around!
With the younger girls tucked up for the night, we spent a pleasant evening chatting before Mud took himself off to bed, leaving Eldest Mudlet and I to watch ‘Erin Brockovich‘ which is one of our favourite films. I dropped our eldest daughter back at the bus stop the following afternoon, with the usual mum instruction to call me when she got home ….. which she promised to do but which she forgot ….. again!
Mud was already making preparations for dinner (he was cooking) when I got back and so I popped around to our elderly neighbour for a quick coffee, after which I returned home and decided to take the opportunity to catch up on my emails and to do a few more rows of my knitting.
“Someones coming to the door,” Mud said and so I went to open it and found that the visitor was a dear friend whom we hadn’t seen for probably 15 months or so. A retired fireman, this particular friend is a favourite of the Mudlets, I mean, come on, a real life fireman! Can’t get better than that in their eyes, especially as he also does cool stuff like race quad bikes and sea kayaking as well.
Suffice to say that he ended up staying for dinner and it was 9pm before I actually had time to pick up my needles again, not that I minded in the least as it will probably be a couple of years at the earliest before we see him again ,as he is about to move out to Jakarta. The girls have wrangled a promise of a postcard from him and we hope to get the occasional photo through from his adventures.
All in all, a lovely end to a most successful couple of days and one that Middle Mudlet declared the best ever!