Today is my Mum’s birthday.


She would have been 90 years old…


Sadly, as most of you know, she died almost four months ago, and we have been counting every day without her.

Tonight I will raise a glass along with my family to celebrate a life well-lived and

in her honour, I’ve made two cakes…

One is a coffee and walnut cake, because she adored coffee cakes, and walnuts too. (She has the best pickled walnut recipe and my brother has the best tree and we’ll keep up her annual December tradition of pickling green walnuts!)

The other cake is a bit of joke. My mum was a heavy smoker (had been all her life) and loved telling all the medicos that she was 89 and why should she give it up? I didn’t mind her smoking because it was her thing, not mine. I only insisted she didn’t smoke in my car, in my house, or if I was with her. She accepted that with a grinding of her teeth!



I made a cake that kind of looks like a cigarette. It’s a chocolate ripple cake and my hairdresser who is a cake decorator, told me how to make red sugar so that the end of the cake could glow and I just scraped back the cream at the top end to make it look like the end one puts in one’s mouth to puff away. The whole cake is soaked in sherry.

Mum would have laughed, and then dug in as she loved chocolate ripple cake.

But not as much as we love her.

Happy birthday, Mum!