Amanda's one of my oldest dearest friends and she married her soul mate Varuna this past weekend in one of the most idyllic Norfolk countryside venues with her marquee reception in her family's farm house.
The weather was gorgeous and the marquee was decorated with perky paper lanterns and a thousand, yes a thousand, colourful origami cranes Amanda made herself. I thought she was crazy when she told me she was doing this, and when they were finally strung up it looked beautiful. There was something so special about all their personal touches coming together and it just being home-grown beautiful and perfect for them. So when Amanda trusted me with their wedding cake, even though we do this for a living day in and day out, the pressure was ON.
I thought she was crazy about embarking on the paper crane project, but I also thought she's crazy to trust me with ANYTHING ever, let alone her wedding cake, especially having lived with me at uni and travelling together.
We were in Goa, summer of 2005, for one of our various stops travelling around India together. It was off-season, rainy and miserable. Most of the restaurants and local attractions were closed or had very restricted hours. The beaches were murky and the weather was so muggy we didn't want to spend any time outdoors anyway so we thought, oh goody, an excuse to get those famed ayurvedic massages at a spa. Except, none of the nice spas were open of course, but we thought we struck gold when we found a spa-shack that was advertising a full body ayurvedic oil massage for Rs250 (which back in the day was, and still is, a rock-bottom bargain). We convinced ourselves this was going to be the most relaxing authentic massage experiences as it was in a thread-bare tiny hut with one lady masseuse. I offered to go first; Amanda thought she'd like to wait for my feedback before her turn. Alright, chicken.
It was the worst massage ever - the "bed" was a cold, hard and solid slab of slate, slicked with oil in a really dark mud hut, on which I was instructed to lie on face down, starkers. The masseuse then pounded and pummelled every inch of me while I slid all over the slate bed and after what seemed like forever she got me to flip over and the same was repeated with me belly up, starkers still, not missing a single part of my body and still sliding about on the slippery slate bed of torture. I left feeling the most unrelaxed, un-OM, un-zen, and discombobulated - quite the opposite of what I was hoping for as I hobbled back to give my feedback to Amanda.
Amanda: "So how was it?" as she gets ready to pop into the shack after me.
Me: "OMGOSH it was awesome! Don't be put off by the surly Indian masseuse lady or the black, cold slate bed - it's all part of the experience and you'll get used to it really quick! You'll come out feeling like a new you"
Think what you may of me, but I wasn't going to suffer this on my own! What's that saying, a pain shared is a pain halved, or summin' of that sort?? As the hour went by I was eagerly waiting for Amanda to be done and she finally came out looking visibly uncomfortable.
Amanda: "Err Shmii, I think we had very different massages...not sure mine was meant to be the one I just had. It was umm quite brutal and uh invasive of sorts..."
And that's why I think she's crazy to trust me ever again. Especially with her wedding cake as I had whipped up an extremely obscene willy-tastic cake for her hen do and well, I'd be lying again if I said there was no temptation to sneak a willy on to the wedding cake too ;)
But fret not dear reader, the cake we made was a stunning bright chocolate drip cake with tiers of vanilla, chocolate and red velvet sponge. The tones matched the marquee's decor perfectly with coral, pink and orange watercolour Swiss meringue buttercream, macarons to match the lanterns, and meringues and piped buttercream flowers to match her floral decor. And not a willy in sight!
Thanks so much for trusting me with your wedding cake dear buddy ol' pal. I'm loving the massive sword to cut the cake too!
I had the best time catching up with our uni friends at what I'd call my "last hurrah" before le bebe makes an arrival. I wonder if an ayurvedic massage will help its arrival along??
Lots of love,