I recently went on a creative writing workshop weekend where we did various individual and team sessions. During one of the sessions we were each given a picture from a magazine.  We were then told we had 10 minutes to come up with a short article/story.  My picture was a piece of fruit cake, I remember laughing out loud and thinking how on earth am I going to write anything about that!  However, as I sat staring at the picture, with everyone else busy writing, a story began to unfold.

This takes me back to one of my Mum’s most joyous successes at achieving something edible and loved by all she made it for.  Fruit cake – no icing or marzipan and measurements in cups rather than ounces or grams!  I remember the joy and delight on her face as she took it out of the oven. Firstly, it had risen; secondly, the aroma of fruit and spice wafted into air and thirdly, we all offered to try a piece.  Her overwhelming joy when we didn’t drop dead, run to the loo or spit it out in the sink was amazing.  Bless her, my Mum was not a natural baker, or for that matter big on desserts.  However, that one day when my sister gave her that old fashioned recipe – changed her life forever!

We were the guinea pigs but soon to follow were the local GP practice, her local church, friends, neighbours and countrymen.  She thrived on finally being able to bake something and was proud of her success in such a simple childlike way.  She had missed out on a lot of her schooling education through ill health and felt like she wasn’t really good at anything.  Which of course, was not true! 

Sadly, Mum passed away in 2015 – but oh how we still talk about her wonderful fruit cake.  The memory of the the joy it gave her in giving the cakes to others, will stay with me forever.  It was like she was giving them a slice of herself, because the blended ingredients were the tapestry of her life.  I will cherish those memories of my Mum and the smile it brought to her face and mine.

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