Cake decorating

Cake class
Cake class

One of my interests is cake decorating. To those who know me, it does not sound like the kind of thing that I would like doing, but I was keen to give it a go and once I did, I realised not only how fun it was, but actually how relaxing it was too…

 

Christening Cake
Christening Cake

It doesn’t sound like it, but as long as you’re not under time pressure or fixed on exactly what you need to be making, it can be a real de-stressor.

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I first went to a half day cake decorating class with my sister-in-law and we produced – may I say it – some flippin’ awesome looking cakes. Fast forward a couple of months and I found a local 10 week course in cake decorating and went along. In this course we decorated Halloween cakes, Christmas cakes and learnt some really useful skills such as how to make roses. (See aforementioned roses in the picture above for my mum’s birthday cake).

Red Velvet Cakes
Red Velvet Cakes

I’ve since done cakes for family birthdays, christenings and anniversaries and absolutely love it. What I do need to work on, however, is my actual baking skills. I can make a basic victoria sponge but have never attempted anything else other than a one-off batch of red velvet cakes which looked good but didn’t match in terms of taste!

I’ll share some pictures as I go along but let me know if you have any requests and I’ll see what I can come up with!

Cake Class
Cake Class

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Afternoon Tea at the Burj Al Arab

Sunset on Burj

We headed back to our hotel, got ourselves ready and got a car to…the Burj Al Arab! It was awesome! We had spoken to the concierge at reception about visiting there, and they told us about the afternoon tea options. We booked up earlier that day and now was the time to go! We crossed the private bridge and pulled up outside, greeted by the male and female attendants. It really was spectacular. We travelled up the escalators that were lined with marine fish tanks and got to the top where there was a really impressive fountain. We looked around for a while and then took our seats for the fantastic afternoon tea.

Burj Al Arab lobby 21

Afternoon tea seems a bit misleading…this was not sandwiches and scones. This was a seven-course feast for the senses and it was absolutely spectacular. We had opted for the alcohol-free option, so instead started the tea with the most amazing prune juice.

Afternoon Tea at the Burj 1 - Copy

After this followed a course of sandwiches, of scones, beef and pureed potato(!), sweetmeats – all were amazing! Not only this, you get a spectacular view. We opted for the lower down restaurant, overlooking the private bridge and over to the Jumeriah Beach Hotel. It was really beautiful, and the staff were so lovely.

Burj Al Arab Lobby

This was pretty pricey, the equivalent of around £95 each, but honestly – it was definitely worth it. The food and drink was exquisite, the surroundings amazing and really? When else are you going to go into a 7 star hotel in your life? Its such an iconic building, and I was so happy that I got to go in and see what it was like.

Burj Al Arab foyer

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Things people don’t understand unless they wear contact lenses…

I’ve had many conversations with people who have perfect vision about contact lenses and there is so much of this world that they just do not understand. And lucky for them… about contact lenses and there is so much of this world that they just do not understand…

Taking off make-up is a nightmare.

You have to take your contact lenses out first, or you’ll scrub them a) out b) to the back of your eyeball if you attempt to rub your mascara or eyeshadow off whilst wearing them. So you have to try and remove them first. Good luck. The amount of mascara some of us wear means getting past our almost solid eyelashes to fish out this little disc of vision. On top of this, if you don’t wear dailies – you’ve got to get all the residual make-up off the aforementioned lens before storing it away for an overnight soak.

Putting them in water seems like a good idea

I have done this on occasion – particularly if I’m somewhere where I know I need to be able to drive myself home the next day (or frankly make it home under my own steam using any other method of transport other than being delivered back to my door – yes, I am that blind). However, my friends – a married couple who are an optician and ophthalmologist respectively – recoiled in horror when I told them this. Apparently there is some horrific water-borne bug that if it gets trapped between your eye and lens…well, bad things happen.

Falling asleep watching with your lenses in is AGONY

You’re curled up watching a movie, your eyes get heavy, you wake up half an hour later feeling like the someone has put glue on your eyes and set it with a heat gun. All the moisture from your eyes are gone and your lenses are firmly bonded with the top layer of your eyeball. Cue trying to remove them without ripping off the top layer of your cornea…

Swimming is terrifying

Ever seen those people who seem frightened of water touching their face? Well, chances are, they wear contact lenses. Having your contact lens washed out of your eyes is terrifying for three reasons – 1) the general chlorine mixed with contact lens drama is bad enough 2) if your lens does get washed away – you can LITERALLY SEE NOTHING 3) Scary microbes that live in water are SO BAD for your eyes, you should avoid them at all costs.

Uncontrollable winking

This is often seen in offices, coffee shops, in the street – basically anywhere. A little bit of insight (pun, ha!) – this is someone who has something on their lens. Whether its an eyelash, a blob of mascara, a hair or some random airborne item – it is now lodged on their lens and short of taking the lens out, the second best option is to blink your eye rapidly hoping to dislodge it. Also, it hurts like a MOFO so it’s literally impossible not to wink crazily, usually whilst water is pouring out of your eyes…

Unplanned night activities are stressful

Now this sounds rude, but not in that way – although that way also applies here. Many a night I’ve been out, or over at a friends and they say ‘oh, just stay at mine tonight’. This drives fear into my heart. I haven’t got my lenses case or my glasses! I panic that I’ll be blind come morning if I don’t have the appropriate place to store my lenses and so inevitably have to make excuses that I have to go home unless I’m sober and have my car in which case I can hop into my car, drive all the way home, pick up my eye-related paraphernalia and head on back to the party / outing / meal that I was at safe in the knowledge that I have my lenses stuff with me and now the world is my oyster!!

Only putting one in and trying to make it through the day makes you look like a psycho

We’ve all been there. You’ve either dropped or damaged a lens but either don’t want to wear your glasses (or if you’re me – have no idea where your glasses are). This results in winging it with just the one and what ensues is the inevitable inadvertent winking at individuals whilst trying to focus your good eye on something, a constant battle to try and focus both eyes at the same time and a splitting headache.

You can lose a lens in the back of our eyeball but it will not end up in your brain

A friend of mine’s mum was an optician and I remember my friend telling me how a customer came in because he had lost his lenses, and her mum proceeded to fish around 3 lenses out of each eye that had got lost in the void somewhere…how? I do not know.