Cake is Life. It is the epitome of all things joyous and sugary in any occasion. Be it a wedding, a birthday, an engagement or baby shower - a party without cake is just a meeting, Right?. It is the single defining thing that keeps mothers helplessly ensnared in a birthday party because we as a society have cleverly engineered the cutting of the cake be the LAST thing we do to signal the end drawing near. The cutting of the cake is the symbol of togetherness to a bride and groom, or a fun and messy encounter for a first birthday smash to achieve pinterest worthy smash cake photos. The bringing of life of Princess Elsa, or Batman (before we eat them!), and so much more . In short - Cake is Life.
And so it takes a certain level of commitment and dedication from a cake decorator to ensure their parcels of joyous contentment and ooh's and ahh's arrive happily to their destination. And so we do, and so we do. Against congested traffic, against 90 degree angle entrances and driveways, against the peeping toms who insist on 'just one look at the cake'. Against the elements of summer, rain hail and snow. And cyclones.... which brings me to my story.
Three wedding cakes were due to an Island Destination on a Saturday. After a week of rain and battling the humidity (a caker's nemesis) upon an ensuing cyclone, it was finally time to package up and deliver my precious stacks of goodness to embark on the 45 minute (or 1.5 hours in cake delivery time) journey to the ferry to travel over to the island, a logistics concept of which can lend it's own set of anxiety laden thoughts of catastrophe at that time of year.... Hakuna Matata, we do it all the time.
The difference on this particular Saturday was the knowledge that there were three waterways enroute, which had a high chance of flooding. I knew this, the venue knew this, my ringneck parrot knew this - because I talk to my parrot, I'm a cake decorator, we're awake in those hours the rest of the population isn't - but those who were not in the know were the couples who had entrusted in me the cake celebrating the biggest day of their life. No Biggy.
20 minutes (or 40 minutes in cake delivery time) I confidently came upon the second waterway, after crossing the first with gusto unencumbered. I saw that there was about four inches of water and five little fish swimming across the road but felt my landcruiser was more than capable to tackle it and pushed on. Cake is Life.
Big mistake. Half way across, the front of the car jerked downwards and a hearty and impressive, but less-than-desirable BANG to underneath the car tugged me out of my daydream of cake delivery bliss as the car stalled in the middle of the flooded bridge. A large pit in the centre had washed out at some point and was covered from sight by the flooding. Lovely.
My first thought was not 'Oh my God, I'm stuck in the middle of a flooded bridge' or even 'Geez, I hope there aren't any Crocodiles in this Crocodile infested waterway'. No, it was (to the cakes) 'Don't panic, my centre dowell system has handled worse angles, we got this'. Uh Huh.
As I ineffectually tried to start the car again whilst checking for floating bodies of the crocodilian variety, I began to assess my judgement of deciding to become a cake decorator in the first place. I mean, by this time I knew that the long hours, the tedious and back-grinding hours of making sugar blooms and kneading fondant and endless hand stirring of batter weighed heavily on the 'why do I do this' end of the scales. When I was 18 I wanted to be a hang gliding instructor. Why didnt I become a hang gliding instructor? Then I wouldnt be stranded in the middle of a flooded creek trying to deliver wedding cakes. Oh, wedding cakes! Right!!! Onwards!!!!.. It was after this little five minute (or 10 minute in cake delivery time) musing that the car had rested enough (I guess) to sound a little more convinced at starting.
With renewed vigour I somehow managed to get the car started again and she climbed out of that pit like the 4x4 goddess that she was and in a showing-off-kind-of-way, coughing and spluttering we hurtled onward bound once again. Had the third waterway been even a slight challenge we may not be reading the wedding cake delivery success story that this is.
Upon arrival 25 minutes (or 50 minutes in cake delivery time) later, I figured we - being the car, the cakes and myself - had earnt a bit of a granduous (granduous is a cake decorator word, meaning 'grand' but with more 'ness.) entry to the Marina, and upon hearing the cheery blast of the 2.40 ferry's horn signalling five minutes to go I felt it perfectly acceptable to just drive on down the jetty in true 'Chariots of fire' spirit, and park up beside the boat - Uh Huh. Near death experiences by way of crocodile meal have a way of putting things in perspective for you.
Needless to say, the cakes arrived perfectly, the pit in the bridge was fixed and the unpredictable North Queensland wet season subsided to a nice calm winter and happy caker life could go on. I'm happy to report that it has been my only slightly precarious cake delivery to date. You may ask why I'd be so stupid to attempt a bridge crossing during a flood, well - because I'm a cake decorator and it's just what we do.