The first is nerdy, the second was yummy.
Awesome Thing No. 1 – Me being allowed near historical objects, viz:
The object is a slater’s knife, used surprisingly enough for cutting and applying slate for roofs (I’m convinced the plural of roof should be rooves but hey.). Its forged from iron and has a wooden handle core. It was corroded, the wood was dry and brittle and had previously suffered from wood-boring insect infestation. There was also something that had been spilt on it.
3-in-1 oil, some wire wool, white spirit, Synperonic A7 (a detergent) and Renaissance Wax later and I had this in my grubby gloved paws:
Even if you know zilch about conservation or couldn’t quite frankly give a crap, you have to admit that for a first try, thats pretty neato. The aim was to make the object stable but also aesthetically pleasing, without making it look un-natural. I could have used the airbrasive machine and blasted the corrosion off, and I would have ended up with a shiny grey knife. But you don’t expect a century-odd old piece of building equipment to be nice and shiny do you?
Awesome Thing No. 2 – The last time I ever drunkenly agree to bake a complex cake
Okay, this wasn’t a solo effort. I managed to snaffle my pallypals Jules and Beth to help and make a bit of a nice day of it. It was for our friend Phil, Chap-reading, winkle-picker-wearing, vinyl aficionado Noughties Mod and his Modtastic 19th birthday party. The drunken agreement was made after a few free karafes of wine on the last night in Athens.
The recipe was from the newly boycotted Delia ‘I can’t get into the politics of food’ Smith, from a tatty old book of hers my parents bought when they moved in together in the early 80’s. My fresh distate for Delia happened last week when it became apparent that her new book ‘How To Cheat At Cooking’ was essentially about creating ready meals (i.e. tinned beef mince with frozen mashed potato in the oven apparently makes a ‘cottage pie’. AS IF)
Don’t even get me started on the varying comments she has made about organic food and animal welfare recently.
Luckily, I can remember the cake recipe off by heart so HAH. Its a chocolate cake, covered in chocolate buttercream, black icing record, liquorice stylus (we had to go tot local shops in order to get a sherbet fountain for this!), Jelly Tot knobs (Jelly Tots are now veggie, before you ask) and icing speakers/dials. Yum.
The cake was fantastico. So much so I found myself scraping the leftover buttercream out of the lid of a biscuit tin I brought it in at 2am whilst drinking a can of cider. Good times.