On Saturday, I baked 36 cupcakes. Yesterday morning I iced them. (While listening to the Alleged Terror Of Brookfield, which was in fact so unterrifying that Ruth was able to deliver a trickily positioned calf in the middle of it. Come on, Archers, you can do better than that. Desert Island Discs was better. But I digress.)
As I started with the icing, I had a flashback to my CakeQueen days, and remembered how much I disliked decorating 36 matching cupcakes. But I began, and soon found that, actually, I was having a whale of a time.
I realised as I worked that there were a few reasons for my sugary fun. I wasn’t trying to match sugar roses to a swatch of bridesmaid’s dress. I was dealing with 36 cupcakes, not 136 or 236. I didn’t have a chain of 79 emails from a bride-to-be about how the cupcakes would look: the brief was ‘pretty’.
But most importantly: I was donating the cupcakes, and I was donating them to a great cause – the Blooming Great Tea Party in aid of Marie Curie that I was going to that afternoon. So as I worked I thought about all of the people who are putting in effort to make fundraising events happen: the bakers, the organisers, the venues, the waitresses, the florists, the people who come along. I found that I was full of gratitude. And I felt so proud and privileged to be one of the tiny people making a little effort for the sake of something big, and grand, and good. I thought about what Margaret Mead said: “a small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
If you are one of those people, thank you. Thank you.
Here are Alan and I, doing our bit later by selflessly paying money to eat a lovely tea.
(Elizabeth took the photo. More than that, she organised the event, and she did it brilliantly – unsurprisingly, as she is an event organiser, but even so, she deserves great credit for doing such a great job. Her take on the event is here.)