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Rock Maze
  • Writer's pictureNeil

Mr Chad and the Ginger Cake.

This emotionally exhausting cycle of treatment has entered the next phase. The depression stage has almost passed. It’s a bit like a tsunami, I see it coming and it’s unstoppable. I know I’ll survive but it doesn’t stop it sweeping over me, but it has.....until the next time.

The next thing I have to contend with is, following so much time in bed, my inability to sleep. I’ll pop a pill to see if that’ll help.

Waking up after the trip to the pit is a bit like the WWII graffiti character Mr Chad. Mr Chad, like Kilroy, the similar but later American version, are both cartoon characters peering over a wall. That’s like me peering over the edge of my pit on the way back up. All day today I’ve been very aware of my increasingly improving mood. My cheery demeanour is returning. Self medicating on ginger cake has done me no end of good.

Here’s an interesting thing; making the cake required me to measure out some black treacle, golden syrup and butter into a pan to warm on the hob. When it was all melted I added some milk and when properly cool I mixed in two whisked eggs. Meantime I stirred up a bowl of flour, bicarbonate of soda, sugar, mixed spice and ground ginger. When all that was sorted I mixed the lot together into a slop, poured it into my lined baking tin and stuck it in the oven for 80 minutes.

After I popped the cake in the oven and cleaned up I realised I was completely wiped out so much so that I was trembling. Easy solution, make a cup of tea, grab some biscuits and sit down for 80 minutes which is exactly what I did. Yup, 80 minutes, easy.

Here's the recipe. Iced Ginger Cake. (I didn’t bother with the icing).

The cake was sufficiently successful to receive the first prize in the inaugural Cake Off (ginger section). I may have been the only entry but first prize was justified and deserved according to my unanimous decision.

Now I was on a roll. I continued using up my newly returned vitality by taking some of the Christmas decorations down, then I changed two pairs of door handles before lunch. Still not content I masterfully created an award winning light lunch for Tricia and me. Again I received first prize in the “light lunch” competition (scrambled egg on toast section) judged by yours truly. After eating the evidence I needed to get some overdue beauty sleep and I did.

Through my waking, misty, stupor I realised it was close to 3pm. I need to get up and organise a nice cup of tea and bit of cake, ginger of course, I was not disappointed.

Tea and cake consumed we decided to take our motorhome to Cornwall Services to top up on LPG. Yet another job ticked off the list. We did that to enable us to pop off for a few hours, park up, maybe make some lunch, go for a walk then return to a lovely warm base. Well that’s not happening now is it? Thanks Boris! Bad timing.

But what now? Is it a good thing or bad thing that with the new lockdown rules we can’t do as much? I’m looking at my diary. Today we have a zoom Coffee Club (no change), Thursday, telephone conversation with my consultant (no change), Friday, morning blood test at my surgery (no change), Saturday, walking with a big gang of friends (no change, we just have to walk wherever we want, close to home, separately). Monday, my trip to hotel Treliske, (no change thank goodness). The big loss to me is that I'm not able to see people. I’m hoping to be in Group 4 for the Covid jab (70+ and the extremely clinically vulnerable) so I get a fairly early jab. In the meantime I’ll get my shielding notification.

This is all deeply disappointing but no doubt necessary. Our garage door gathering may need to resume.

So maybe I'll see you on zoom, across the drive, on messenger, or talk on the phone, but wherever we meet it seems that in a couple of months things will be beginning to change.

Let’s hope so.

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