A guest post by Mr Lemon Drizzle.
There was, of course, no way I could let the blog anniversary go without a post from Mr Lemon Drizzle, husband, supporter and confidant, and both my biggest fan and my chief source of irritation all rolled into one. I'm sure he won't let me down. Or will he?
"Will you write a guest post for my blog anniversary?" asks The Wife.
"You have a blog anniversary?" I say. "Are we doing that now? Is that even a thing?"
"Yes, of course it's a thing."
"It is? What are we celebrating, exactly?"
"A year of my blog. A year of posts."
"Wow, is it only a year? What with all the technical support requests, it feels like much longer..."
"Don't be mean.Will you write a post for me?"
"Do I have any choice?" I ask.
"Yes, of course," she says, and then adds after about a second of reflection: "Well, no, not really. Not if you know what's good for you..."
I ruminate on this for a while.
"Who reads your blog?" I finally ask.
"Nice people" she says, with immediate conviction. "Nice people who like pretty things and nice design. And fine cakes."
I scratch my nose thoughtfully.
"That really doesn't sound like my kind of audience at all," I reply. "You know my readership.You know the kind of stuff I write. In no way could anything I write be considered 'nice'..."
"It's not your audience, it's my audience" she says patiently. "You are writing for them, but on my behalf."
"What on Earth have I got to say that could possibly be of interest to an international audience of ladies who like cake, though? I've been married to a woman like that for over ten years, and as you know from firsthand experience, most of the time I can't think of single thing to say to her..."
"You can give them the inside story. You can explain what it's like living with someone who does this for a living.You can tell them what it's like at the coalface. Or should that be - ha-ha!- the 'cakeface'..."
I smile dutifully, even though she has made this joke many, many times before, and I have found it progressively less funny each time.You would be surprised at how often my wife mentions cake, makes jokes about cake, or just steers the conversation around to some form of cake-related theme. I mean, you probably think you have some idea, but nonetheless I reckon that even so you would be genuinely surprised. It happens a LOT. You really have no idea how much the woman likes making cakes...
"Can I tell them all the bad things about it?" I ask.
"What bad things?" she says. "There aren't any bad things."
"Oh, there so is. Like how you never properly make me a cake any more..."
"You get given cake all the time..."
"No, I don't. I get cake shavings all the time, because you don't like to waste the offcuts. So you'll say 'Want a piece of cake?' and I'll say 'Sure, that sounds nice' and then you'll give me bowl of misshapen offcuts that you were going to throw away. And it's always in a bowl, like I'm some kind of dog..."
"Oooh, poor you, it sounds terrible..."
"And then there's the tasting. When I'm not being a dog, I'm being a guinea pig..."
"What do you mean?"
"I mean that when you do offer me a whole, unsullied cake, it's always with some kind of testing proviso, like: 'I used the wrong kind of butter in this, do you think it tastes vile?', or 'Have some of this, I'm trying this new flavour but I'm worried it's too sickly', or 'The girls just wouldn't eat this, do you want to have a try...?'"
"Wow, that sounds awful," she says, in a voice that drips sarcasm, "I never realised how much you suffered...."
"And the fridge is always full of stuff I can't touch, and then the stuff I can touch I don't want. Like the buttercream.Why do have to keep ready-made buttercream in an old Flora tub? Do you know how many slices of toast I've inadvertently ruined by spreading buttercream on them?"
"Er, yes, I think I do. Is it two?"
"Well, yes. Yes, it is."
"Yes, you were very vocal about it at the time..."
"Well, the actual number doesn't matter, it's the principle. And the second time was much more annoying than the first..."
She shrugs. "Sure," she says. "Why not? You can tell them all of that..."
"You don't think it will put them off your blog? Hearing about the dark-side of the painted cake business?"
"No," she says decisively, "I don't think so..." And then in a smaller voice that she thinks I can't hear, she adds: "...they may well wonder why I'm married to you, though..."
There is a lengthy pause. I decide that, ahead of the impending ruin she has invited on herself (by agreeing to let me write a hard-hitting report on the secret grief that long term exposure to sugarcraft can cause in a marriage), I should say something nice.
"My blog is named after one of your cakes, though", I admit..
She gives a secret little smile."Well, fancy that..." she says.