Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Welcome Home... To jet lag!

We flew back to the UK on Saturday night arriving on Sunday morning and the kids flew really well... This despite the fact that the minute TJ got on the plane the stewardess informed him of yet mother Arsenal loss, one we had kept from him in order to prevent a meltdown, I don't think she realised the barrage of abuse that she was about to let herself in for... Poor woman! Still the rest of the flight was uneventful, lots of movies, sleep and, in TJ's case, toilet going....

We spent Sunday in a jet lagged state of dreamlike bliss... Everything kind of happened around us, or that's how it seemed. We went to Sainsbury's in order to stock up... Which we needed to do, we had arrived at 7am and a friend had kindly left milk and a loaf or bread at the back door... Thank goodness, as we had no heating and we spent the first couple of hours shivering whilst sipping hot chocolate and eating toast... So as soon as the shops opened at 10am (which felt like 5pm) we were off and shopping... Much to the boys delight!

We then collected the pets from the kennels... Good grief, it costs nearly as much to board pets as to house us, well, maybe not as much, but it was still ridiculously expensive. The dog then went straight to the groomers, which she was not too thrilled about, but the kennel smell was just too much to take!

By the time all this had been done we were exhausted. TJ looked at me and said, 'Daddy, why am I tired, can I go to bed now?' It was 4pm and I wanted to keep him awake, so I sat him in front if the tv with toothpicks practically propping up his eyelids... By 6pm both kids were crashed out... By 8pm so were we!

Monday, it was back to school... Which was lucky as both children were up at 5am... By 8.30 we had eaten a cooked breakfast, walked the dog, cleaned the rooms and done a load of washing... The kids went to school exhausted... When I collected them after the school day they were both ready for bed again!

Today we saw our article in Gay Times... About gay parenting obviously, it was quite a nice picture and the article was supposed to advertise the blog... But they forgot about that bit. Oh well, it was a nice article anyway... As I type Papa is writing to a tv researcher who has just asked if we would be prepared to do a tv interview... Here goes!!

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Laundry blues....

Yesterday TJ's godfather found the laundromat within our apartment block... I think it was the domestic side of him that sniffed it out. He strutted through the door and proudly announced, "Your building has clothes dryers!". As I quickly ascertained, where there are dryers there are washers... And sure enough there was a huge laundry room next to the car park. We can be forgiven for missing it as we had no reason to go down there and it was only because TJ's godpa was driving us for yet more seafood (yummy) and wine... Which is hideously expensive... That we had any need to venture into the basement. However, we can't really complain, for the past two weeks other people have done our laundry for us... And they did a great job!

I can't believe that we are nearing the end of the trip. It's been amazing. Brilliant to see so many friends and family and this year the kids seem to have taken it all in their stride. No complaints, no moaning, no strange silences, they just got on with being on holiday. The change in them is so noticeable, this year they just seem to belong... Both to us and to each other... There is a very different dynamic, which really works. Although Papa did comment that he kind of liked it last year when they sat quietly watching everyone and everything... This year, they are 'real' little kids... Tearing around, exploring, chatting to our friends about their lives, school, pets etc.

Yesterday, the children coped really well, they had a long swim after breakfast and then went to lunch to meet a lovely friend before moving on to meet TJ's godfather for a drink before moving on yet again to meet their 'special' aunt... She couldn't agree to be a Godparent as she is Buddhist, but she will always have a special place in the boys' lives, and at the moment that is as the green mutant ninja turtle... (Due to her constant carrying of a backpack)...  But they sat and chatted to everyone, Lea was in her element holding court and discussing her favourite animal. At one point she sang her new song for everyone, to the tune of 'twinkle twinkle', she had written a song about her favourite animals at the zoo... We loved it... I'm not sure the taxi driver was so enamoured after the fourth rendition on a ten minute journey... TJ ran around... A lot... He likes that.

It may sound a little cliched, but I think this year we have come to Singapore as a family....

Monday, 18 February 2013

Pandas and Laundry

Apologies for being silent for longer than usual... It's been a busy few days.

After all the excitement of Chinese New Year and the family madness that goes along with it, we have now reached a stage of calm and can relax for the rest of our trip.... Although we have a string of friends that we need to spend time with. So much so that Papa has now organised a spreadsheet that lets us know where we are supposed to be at any point during the day... With gaps for 'recreational activities'. We have also organised a 'get together' on Friday night in honour of Papa's 40th birthday, so hopefully, a lot of our friends will be able to come to that. It will be great to see everyone!

The past few days have seen further deluges of rain, interspersed with blazing hot sun. So the kids get to run down to the pool in the morning and swim (well jump in and out) for about an hour before we head off into town or to the Botanic Gardens to meet whomever we have planned to meet. Poor TJ gets a bit confused with all the people we are seeing, so we are constantly reminding him and reassuring him that; a, he will like the food and, b, there will be a toilet. He is obsessed with toilets, as you know, but at least in Singapore they are pretty much clean enough to meet his high standards. With the exception of Marina Bay Sands, Singapore's casino and shopping destination... Their toilets were so filthy even TJ didn't want to use them, which surprised us.

Today we went our separate ways. KC and I went to the Singapore Zoo, which has been revamped and is a lovely destination. Last time we went the cages were all very small and the animals seemed really unhappy. But now it's much better. And there are pandas. You have to pay extra but it was really worth it, just to see KC's face when he saw a panda for the first time. TJ opted to go with Papa instead (he's not a big fan of zoos) I don't know how happy he was when he learned he was going shopping, but I think he was placated with a trip via the sweet shop. He was certainly buzzing when we met up later!

Tonight we realised that we had run out of clean clothes. Our serviced apartment doesn't have a washing machine (which is a bit silly) and we actually used up everything. I bought new clothes ( like I needed an excuse) but the kids were beginning to smell... It was Grandma to the rescue. She told us to come over and she old do our washing (well the maid would) and she would make us all dinner! So being the dutiful son, papa took us and his washing home to mother... It doesn't matter how old you get, mother will always help you out... I imagine one day that TJ will be bringing his washing to us! Hopefully!

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Rainy days and Thursdays...

Today it has rained all day. When we got up this morning the first thing the kids wanted to do was go swimming... But we told them that we would go shopping first and get them measured up for their wedding clothes etc ... We did that, in the torrential rain... Then came back and it was still raining... So no swimming today and tonight we have a babysitter!!! So we are going out with adults... For dinner... Great! Although getting a table for four on Valentines night is pretty difficult. Even our suggestion of pushing two table of two together was met with horror, 'But it's Valentines day sir, set menu, set price per couple... Couple...' It just wasn't worth the arguing, so we decided to go for seafood! Chilli crab! Yum!

Yesterday our good friend and TJ 's god father came over to see us. As he walked through the door TJ rushed up to him and shouted, "Gong Xi Fa Cai!' He paused and then added, 'where's my money? You have to give me money!' It turned out that TJ believed that by wishing someone happy new year he was invoking some kind of cosmic cash machine!!! He wasn't too pleased when it was explained to him that this Godfather didn't have to give him ang bao as he wasn't married yet.

The children are constantly confused by how many people already know them, either from the blog or Facebook, such is he power of social media. Every time they go anywhere someone is bound to spot papa or myself and chat to the children by name. They now think they are some kind of Singapore royalty even though only one of their Dads is a Singapore queen!

Monday, 11 February 2013

Coming Home...

That's how it feels coming back to Singapore... Especially when we see our lovely friends. We have a lot of people to catch up with and started today with a friend I made on my first day working in Singapore back in 1999. She is now married, to another great friend, and have two adorable children, one of whom is in love with our son.... We shall ensure their betrothal by the end of the trip. More friends to meet tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow... Great fun!

After a lovely afternoon, in which we persuaded our friends to take our washing home with them (they have a maid!) we decided to do some shopping. KC needed summer pyjamas, as the onesie he brought with him is just too hot in evenings where the temperature does not fall below 25c. Papa also decided he needed a new T-shirt, so we went to a few stores and he finally found one he liked... And today he learned the lesson that all Caucasians learn very early on... Singapore does not cater for British 'physiques'! ( unless you are small and skinny, of course).

When we lived here Papa used to laugh when I came home after a days shopping in a state of depression. Here I was a large size ( even when I was skinny)... It was even more depressing when you walk into a shop and the assistants would scream 'no large sizes!' And usher you out of the door.... Being Caucasian in Asia stops being fun when clothes shopping... I'm sure it's even worse for the ladies!

To be honest, one thing I have noticed is that Singaporeans do seem to be getting bigger, obviously affluence does affect size as people eat out more and fast food outlets are now everywhere. But today, Papa understood my depression when shopping. He went into a local store (that also has branches in the UK). In the UK he is sized as a medium... Which is fine. But today he went into the same store to fine he was an XL! He was so shocked that he simply threw the clothes back and stormed out of the shop. I ran after him and reminded him that this was Singapore and therefore they were Asian sizes... He looked at me disparagingly, "Asian sizes... Asian sizes!" He repeated himself for dramatic effect before a drawn out pause... "I am bloody Asian!" Words failed me.... But inside I was smiling!

Later that evening we decided to go out for a quick dinner and as it was getting late we popped into a local zchinese restaurant chain. God and  cheap as Papa puts it. All was going well until the waitress decided she needed to know more about our family. As I took TJ to the toilet I came back to find Paoa and the waitress having a 'heated' discussion in Chinese, with KC sitting there. The gist of it was that she wanted to know where the boys' mother was. When Pap told her they didn't have one she seemed confused and then asked if they were his children and if he had married an 'Ang moh' calmly, Papa had told her that the boys were adopted, by us... she didn't seem able to accept this and started to argue with Papa about same sex adoption and her belief that it was wrong. It was at this point that I came back. This seemed to make her angrier. As did my trying to calm everything down.

The waitress then threw the cutlery down and said she couldn't serve us. Her senior turn came over and Papa started to tell her what had happened. She then served us herself whilst the other waitress sat in the corner glaring at us. It didn't make for a comfortable evening out but at least the boys were unaware. We left quietly and I ensured we had a late night drink to calm everyone down... the boys had an ice cream... ice cream at 10pm in the heat of the tropical night is great fun!

Maybe Singapore isn't quite ready for a gay family just yet.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Chinese New Years Day

You know when you are in Asia when instead of commercials on Cartoon Network they have info mercials teaching youngsters about the differences between investing and saving, diversifying in your stock portfolio and gauging risk... All sung by a jaunty cartoon character... I'm not kidding!! CJ is glued to it and now wants to invest his ang bao in a Skylander... I don't think he understood the main gist of this investment lark.

Yesterday, just before the shops closed we rushed over to one of the many malls that populate Orchard Road and were in a store looking for new kids clothes for reunion dinner that night. I suddenly realised that CJ was nowhere to be seen. We scoured the store then noticed a small crowd gathering outside the main shop window. I went over and sure enough, there was CJ standing in the shop window alongside the other child size mannequins, pretending to be a shop dummy for a few seconds and then turning and waving at the crowd... Who were becoming his audience. I pulled him out of the window reminding him that if anyone was going to draw attention to themselves then it should be me!!! We quickly left.

Today is the first day of Chinese year of the snake.... We had to go to Papa's Mum and Dad to greet them with oranges and then the children receive their red packets with money in them. As we hadn't made it to reunion dinner the night before, due to the complete lack of cabs, there was a glut of Aunties and Uncles who had missed us, and they'll needed greeting and had money to give. We didn't have enough oranges, so borrowed some off Papa's sister and at one point people were just passing oranges around and recycling them, it looked like a juggling scene from a del Monte commercial.

The most surreal part of the day came as the heavens opened. It seems to be a recurring theme for the beginning of the Year of the Water Snake, ongoing rain. As the rain fell I noticed my sister-in-law's two maids racing around the garden with umbrellas. I asked what they were doing to be told that they were putting umbrellas over the flowers to protect the blooms... So there were two young ladies racing around the garden putting umbrellas over flowers whilst getting drenched themselves. It reminded me of Alice in Wonderland where the guards are painting the white roses red...

We came home and the two exhausted boys have just crashed asleep after opening their ang baos... They have made a fortune... I not hope they invest it wisely!!!

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Holiday ... 1... Tripping....

The first day of jet lag is always weird... One minute you are up and raring to go, then you suddenly find yourself falling asleep in odd places. I fell asleep while teaching a class once after flying back to Singapore from the UK the night before. Not too weird I hear you say, until you learn it was a dance class (those were the days!)

The children were up and awake at 5am... They came rushing into our room to tell us about the witch flying around outside their bedroom... 'But Granny is at home!' I thought... (Hehe).. It turned out to be a bird sitting on the balcony and whooping... I think that is the term... It definitely whoops!

By 8am Papa took them to the pool, not to drown them, but to give me an extra hour in bed, bless him.

By lunchtime poor TJ was exhausted, he practically fell asleep in his sauerkraut, yes we travelled to Asia to eat at a German restaurant... It was one he remembered from last year's trip and when TJ wants a sausage then a sausage he shall have! So we decided to come back to the flat for a nap. The great thing about having a serviced apartment is that you can come back and just chill... TJ has a nap while Lea watches tv and I have a cup of tea or g and t on the balcony.

On the way back we met a young boy in the lift, a young boy in an Arsenal top. A young boy who is a member of the arsenal soccer school out here... Where everyone in Singapore used to support Man U, the tide has turned and there is a huge number of Arsenal supporters now. Anyhow, TJ and this boy got talking and now TJ wants to live here. Lea does too, but only because she doesn't like the long flight.

This evening we were supposed to see Grandma and Grandpa for Chinese New Years Eve reunion dinner, however, TJ simply wasn't up to it. He was just standing in the bedroom crying, but he didn't know why... That's jet lag for you. He wasn't ready to sleep, didn't want to eat but didn't know what he wanted to do... Bless him. So we decided that he and I would stay at home and Papa and Lea could go to the reunion dinner... Off they went, leaving TJ and I alone watching tv. An hour later they were back. They couldn't get a taxi. Even the hotel couldn't get one... Apparently it's Chinese New Year's Eve... There were people fighting for cabs outside the hotel, literally! So Papa and Lea came home. TJ perked up and we went out to the Hyatt for our own family dinner... Now the kids are back in bed... Both wide awake!!!

But we have already pre booked our taxi so the kids can do the New Year's greeting to their Grandparents, who will be giving them their ang paos stuffed with money and, more importantly, their Chinese names to welcome them to the family... The Singapore government may not yet accept gay people and their families yet, but the Singaporeans we know and love have been nothing but amazingly supportive and our children will grow up being proud Anglo-Singaporeans....

Friday, 8 February 2013

Singapore here we come!

Well, we finally got here after nearly a full day of travel.
We decided to take the night flight so both kids could sleep for most of the 12 hour journey. And to be fair, they were brilliant... Most of the time.

We were sitting upstairs on the new airbus, which was exciting in itself, and TJ decided he needed the toilet - no change there then. Whilst we were up I decided I would use the facility as well. So sent TJ back to his seat, which was only two rows away as we were in a very small cabin section. I then nipped to the loo. In the two minutes or so that I was in there all pandemonium had broken loose. TJ had taken a wrong turn ( how he did that on a plane I don't know) and had been found crying in first class. No one knew who he was or where he was supposed to be and he couldn't tell them. I came out of the loo and went back to the seat. 'Where's TJ?' I asked Papa and Lea to be met with shrugged shoulders as they were both watching a movie. And then I heard the wail from up front. The blue curtain was pulled back to reveal three stewardesses fussing over a small crying boy. We comforted him and took him back to our seats. Five minutes later and the stewardesses turned up with blankets and little bags from first class so the kids could be comfortable, they then plied them with chocolates and sweets for the rest of the trip... I needed a whiskey and dry to calm my nerves, so had three....

This reminded me of a time, before children, when Papa and I always flew business. We are not ludicrously wealthy, I am just very lucky to be married to someone in the travel industry. However, one time I was downgraded as they had oversold the business seats, so Papa and I agreed to share the flat bed in business.... Not like that! I would sit in economy and watch a couple of movies on the 12 hour flight while Papa slept and then halfway through we would swap seats and he could watch a movie while I got some sleep. Pretty good idea. So I sat in my seat and watched a couple of movies.... And waited.... And waited... And the blue curtain (which acts as a barrier into the world that is business) never moved... I waited some more and then decided that I would venture forward to find my partner. I had never seen cabin crew move as fast as when my hand touched that curtain. I'm afraid you can't go through there.' I was told and despite my protestations that I wasn't actually going to contaminate the business class passengers with nasty economy germs, I was unceremoniously sent back to my seat. I sat there fuming and longing for the blue curtain to go back, even if only to show the afore mentioned cabin crew that I was not in fact some mad stalker or making the whole thing up so I could steal a business class washbag.... It never happened.

We got off the plane and Papa was waiting for me, he had been fast tracked off, naturally... He was suitably apologetic... Apparently he was just so comfortable that he overslept and when he did wake up there was only four hours left to fly so he didn't think it would be worth the swap. I was obviously enjoying my movies as I never came for him.... Or that was his reasoning... Needless to say it's a story I will not let him forget....

As we got off the plane yesterday we walked through first class, (I always love that they make you walk through the entire plane as if to say, 'see this is what you could've won!') TJ turned to Lea and proudly said, 'See that's my seat there, I got to sit and watch that big tv!' It may only have been for a few minutes but already my youngest is beginning to realise why one can only turn left when boarding a plane.... He really is Little Lord Fauntleroy.

We checked into out beautiful apartment just off Orchard Road, Singapore's shopping district, and then ran to get shopping and dinner. Chicken rice, lovely... And both children had loads of chilli with it they definitely have Singapore blood in them! We then went to get ice cream, it was just turning 10pm and the stores were closing. We queued up at the ice cream stall and the boys selected their flavours just to be told by the rather grumpy female assistant, "Sorry, ah! Last order done already!' Yes, Singapore customer service is alive and well... The shop assistant then closed the counter despite the protestations of the kids and even the man in front who asked the girl to 'just give the children a small ice cream. 'Cannot,' she said, 'Stall closed at 10.' Oh well... We popped over to 7-11 for an ice lolly instead. There's always somewhere open in singapore... What made me smile was as we walked away TJ said, quite loudly, 'I thought you said they speak English in the shops here, Papa. But I didn't understand her." Ah, the joys of Singlish....

It is now 5 am and we are all awake. Today is Chinese New Years Eve, so tonight it is reunion dinner with Papa's family. They love the kids so I know they will be horribly spoiled... As long as they stay awake!!!

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Facebook gets me into trouble again...

oops! So now my sister is mad at me.

Oh dear, apparently a 'witty' comment I put onto Facebook about the gay marriage bill being passed in parliament last night didn't go down too well when I mentioned the 'joke' cost of a straight wedding (as my sister is getting married soon)... Anyway, maybe she had a bit of a point - so I deleted it to keep the peace.

I daren't put the joke here in case they see it again - I think she and he fiancee are having  a sense of humour bypass at the moment, they definately didn't see the funny side - but weddings can do that - they stress you out.

On our own Civil partnership I forgot to order the cars - and we had to load everybody into black cabs and then got stuck in a traffic jam - so we were about half an hour late for the ceremony - the registrar was beginning to worry that we had backed out - but no, it was just poor planning... planning has never been my strongest attribute! But we had a lovely ceremony.We then proceeded to take the entire family with us on our honeymoon to Paris. so we loaded the cab with mother, sister and her boyfriend and my brother and his wife and we all jumped on the eurostar to gay Paris for a few days! We even had the usual family falling out at the dinner table - I had a huge row with my brother, stormed out, (to a round of applause from the locals) and went home to bed... the rest of the family in the meantime stayed up, drank the bar dry and rowed until the morning! Apparently, when Papa was asked if he was going to follow me, his reply was, " he knows the way back." and he carried on drinking....

The next morning there was only Papa and I around so we went for a delicious breakfast and then had a lovely stroll to the eiffel tower and back. We returned to the hotel to find Mother sitting there by herself. She had her handbag on her lap and was sat on a chair eyeing the shifty French receptionist and making sure he didnt pilfer her mint imperials... she reminded me of Shirley Valentine... She was now hungry so we popped out for a second breakfast - you can never have too many breakfasts! We then returned to the hotel again and finally met everyone else, who by now had woken up and all had the munchies - so Papa and I went out again for breakfast number three - my sister in law threw most of it up, so it was obviously a good night the night before! But despite that it was great - I think sometimes the unplanned parts of a wedding are the best bit!

I think we should now make it a family tradition that everyone goes on the honeymoon with the happy couple - although with my sister we probably wouldn't get further than Skegness!!!!!! (that's a joke by the way!!!!!!).

Tuesday, 5 February 2013


Today is therapy day for KC and we have quite a journey I make to get there. This means that Tuesday mornings can be quite hectic. Getting TJ sorted out and off to school before we rush off.

This morning was no exception and as we were getting ready I noticed that TJ's jumper was missing. I found it pushed behind his toy box.... I pulled it out to find it covered in a strange white substance. TJ was in the bathroom cleaning his teeth. I took the offending item into the bathroom and showed it to him. 'What's this?" I asked pointing at the jumper. TJ looked at it and then looked up at the ceiling, "um.... Erm... Umm... Ah.... Erm.... " he went on in this vein for about 5 minutes. I just stood there looking at him. "I shall wait," I said, " I shall wait until you tell me the truth."

"Um... Er.... Well.... It's snot"

I looked at him in disbelief... "It's what?" I said, keeping my temper under control.

By now he was feeling braver. "Snot." He replied, "I was having a sniff in school and teacher told me to blow my nose. I couldn't find a tissue, so I used my jumper... Twice."

I didn't know what else to say so put him in a lean jumper and sent him off to school.... Great... I wouldn't mind but he has packs of tissues in his school bag for just this occasion... Lovely!

Monday, 4 February 2013

Three Days and Counting...

TJ has just returned from Football club... apparently he had to play football in his school shoes and school coat as his tracksuit top and trainers were not in his football bag. Last night, whilst I was in the midst of my cooking frenzy, Papa had one job - to sort the kids out for school. When I went to say goodnight, they were still in their old pyjamas, their hair hadn't been washed and now I find that the football bags were not packed properly. Somehow, according to TJ, all of this is my fault! He is now in a huffy mood with me because of this... I told him that Papa packed his bag and not me, but that is not the point... the point is that I should have known about this before TJ was so excrutiatingly embarrassed at school. Of course, Papa can do no wrong... ever!!!!!!!!!!!

Its three sleeps until we fly to Singapore for Chinese New Year. We are all getting a bit excited...

Well, excitement mixed with a little bit of fear. The children are obviously anxious about the journey - it's a long way and TJ always gets anxious about any form of journey. I suppose that comes from being moved around by social workers etc in his early life. We just have to keep re-assuring him.

Mind you, last year, he spent most of the 14 hour flight playing with the handset by his seat - he loved the fact that it controlled the TV and he could play computer games with it. He loved the light that went on and off whenever he pressed a switch and most of all, he loved that when you pressed the picture of a little man that a lady turned up (that confused him) and, because he was so small and so cute, he would get food or sweets brought to his very own seat, he didnt even need to move! The stewardess obviously did not know of TJ's Little Lord Fauntleroy complex and eventually she soon tired of his constant demands - and believe me there were many. Apparently, she is not hired to take care of  every whim of a small boy. Much to TJ's indignation, so he had to settle with visiting the toilet every 10 minutes and grading it on levels of cleanliness - as you know this is his favourite hobby... sigh.

We always take the night flight - so luckily he soon tired (well, after about 2 hours he tired) and he slept most of the way after that. KC on the other hand discovered movies on demand - movies Daddy and Papa don't let him watch. So we ended up in a battle of wills - both trying to see who would go to sleep first. He was desparate for us to sleep so he could tune into the latest gory action thriller, whilst we were desparate for him to go to sleep so that we could tune in to the same show without a small pair of eyes drifting to our TV screen - I can only watch so much Disney Club or Big Time Rush! In the end we settled on letting him watch Johnny English - the Rowan Atkinson spy spoof. He thought that was very grown up and watched it on loop throughout the entire flight. Personally, I think he was asleep, despite his eyes being glued to the screen.

Heaven knows how this flight will go!

Sunday, 3 February 2013


I have spent most of today working on my sisters wedding cake. In a moment of madness I suggested that I would make the cake for her forth coming big day. I think I must have been in a state of shock that her long term boyfriend had actually popped the question. Their's is an on off relationship that is reliant on my sisters frame of mind at the time. I have already seen her throw her engagement ring at her poor fiancée... Although her love of red wine often has much to do with it.

My sister selected the cake from a range I suggested online and once she had picked we bought the necessary equipment and the ingredients... I didn't think the baking itself would be such an issue. I was using the same recipe as my Christmas cake, which proves to be quite popular. This year I took a large piece into school for the teachers to share.. However, it never went further than the teacher I gave it to, which I should take as a compliment... I think.

Well, the cake took a lot longer than I expected and halfway through I realised I hadn't made enough of the cake mix to fill the four tiers she required.... Four tiers! I was crying many more tears when I had to go back to the supermarket yet again to get more ingredients... And papa wept as he handed over his credit card again. I have finally managed to get the final two tiers in the oven and an extra cake for us to test the icing on... Eight hours and counting!!!

It reminded me of the time I lost my wedding ring at Christmas. We had gone to my sister and her boyfriend's house for Christmas and mine and Papa's present was to cook the full Christmas dinner. I followed Nigella's Christmas Day menu to the letter, although I still stuff the turkey in the traditional way, pushing sausage meat under the skin. I happily did this on the morning of the big day. I take a perverse pleasure in it... Well, we all ate a fabulous meal - it really was a success, much to everyone's surprise!

That evening as we were cleaning up I noticed that my wedding ring was missing. The ring made and designed by Dinny Hall in rose gold that Papa had made for me. We turned the kitchen upside down, had I left it on the side, did I take if off? Had my sisters boyfriend put in on eBay? (We hadn't known him for very long and she had made some dodgy choices in boys previously).
We eventually realised that the only place it could have gone was in the turkey itself, so at 2am with everyone full of Christmas cheer, we routed through the rubbish bins looking for the band of gold... We never found it....

We filled in the necessary insurance papers and we had to get a costing for the replacement from Dinny's shop. I explained what had happened and luckily they still had the design on record so could give me a quote for a replacement, which we then passed onto the insurance company.

The day came to collect the ring and when I entered the shop a lovely, very well dressed lady, came up to me and asked me if I was in fact, the turkey man! The lady was Dinny herself and once she had heard my story she simply had to come and meet me to find out if it was true. She asked if she could use me story in her newsletter and offered me a discount at her store, since at day I have always been the 'turkey man' at Dinny Hall Jewellery.... And she had better appreciate the plug I just gave her!!!!