Seriously Cold Bake Off

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It was covid lock down time. My daughter and her family live opposite so we bubbled up together. Despite insisting on masks, leaving open windows and doors, keeping our distance the day finally arrived when there were just too many workmen for comfort so we moved out and into their calm clean house for a while.

I was seeing plenty of my youngest grandson and nothing of the others. Remote film nights were our only connection and that morphed into remote joint watching of Junior Bake Off.

So for two weeks I planned my day around GBBO at 5 pm. Having cooked the tea for us all to have at 6 pm, I’d bundle up in coat, hat, boots and gloves and go back into our cold and forbidding house, edging my way into a tiny space in the front room. Wrapped up in blankets, I connected through facetime and focused totally on the technical and star bakers, hoping desperately that the mice under the floorboards would choose to stay away.

And every day, when I checked the humane traps on my way out, there would be at least one rather subdued little creature. John would be sent out to take them to the local woodland, freeing up the trap for the next day.

Strangely happy times. Once back into the warm, it was time for tea, bedtime for the little one, then family watching of Bridgerton and the competitive glass blowing programme.

With the magic of hindsight it was a special time and I remember it fondly – but there is no way I’d go back to that cold, muddled, chaotic room – not for all the scones and choux in the world.

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