It's my sister's 34th birthday today and apparently when you've known someone for almost 32 years thinking up new ideas for birthday and Christmas presents can be tricky.
As teenagers there were baskets from The Body Shop filled with bottles, soaps, lotions and bath pearls. We picked the basket and the things to fill it and took it to the counter where they would nestle everything in shredded paper and wrap it in cellophane. First there were animal shaped soaps, later dewberry everything.
On her 30th there was a silver charm bracelet with a small heart charm and in the few years since gifts inspired by summer holidays to come. A Greek cookery book, a beach bag, and some trashy beach reads. A Spanish cookery book, paprika, paella rice, saffron.
But this year I was struggling.
I decided to send a cake.
A cake I have been meaning to bake for a long time now.
A cake that I baked and wished I could taste.
A cake that was wrapped in foil, baking parchment and bakers twine before being placed inside a tin, inside bubble wrap, inside a box and taken to the post office.
A cake to be eaten with whipped cream or ice-cream. A cake so rich it should really just be for adults but a cake that I suspect will be greedily devoured by a certain seven year old and a certain eleven year old.
Happy birthday Zoë.