New Zealand is so freaken awesome! I always get excited when I come back home, I'm not the only one who gets excited either:
Craig was kind enough to put me up for the first weekend when I arrived, as long as I helped out with Ellie's cake making! It was her second birthday. She has always been fascinated by the Auckland Sky Tower so after Craig drew up a few designs, we set to creating!
Here's Craig's Mum, trying to figure out how the heck we were going to make a sky tower cake:
Craig had this awesome idea of fixing a broken umbrella handle to a plate and pushing the umbrella through some chocolate log cakes which we had covered with iceing. I wasn't too sure what the tensile strength of chocolate logs were, but I reckoned we should give it a go. Ellie was already impressed at this stage, gasping in excitement and so impressed with our building skills:
Unfortunately, the tensile strength of chocolate logs covered in icing was pretty much zero and after watching it stand on it's own for roughly 10 seconds, the Sky Tower started to form a hematoma of chocolate log. Emergency procedures were activated:
Lying the poor Sky Tower back on the bench for emergency repair began to look fruitless:
In the end we had to admit defeat with the chocolate log idea. Plan B of creating a kiwi version of 9/11 involving the sky tower was pointed out to us as likely to cause crying amongst 2 year olds as opposed to delight:
Kim was very good at biting her tongue at this stage and her sighs were barely audible to avoid discouragement to Craig and I who were already working out plan C:
Plan C was to cover the umbrella handle with icing alone:
Which worked a treat! I was responsible for decorating the tower with pineapple lumps and pebbles, taking a photo of Craig putting the last pebble in to make sure he gets all the credit:
Other awesome feats of engineering involved inflating and creating a forest of helium balloons in the back garden (weighed down by flax leaves at the end of each string, real Kiwi ingenuity):
Then it was time to bring out the cake! The top half was fitted with great care (at about this time we found out that the support base of banana lollies wasn't going to withstand a level 1 on the Richter scale, let along a level 8 like the real Sky Tower)
Out it came, to gasps of astonishment at the incredible feat of construction:
Slight support involved in the blowing out of the cake, in case Ellie's superhuman blowing strength was to topple the cake:
And LOOK! It DID stand on its own! We let it do that for about 5 seconds before grabbing it again, although I'm sure it would've lasted for hours...
Was a fantastic day. I spent the week going to a few meeting and the next weekend went to Cuzzy Tania and Brenda's house warming!
Good ol' BBQ on the cards, here's Matt cooking up a storm with Cuzzy Karl taking care of looking staunch:
Me with Uncle Garry on my right and Karin there too:
Sitting around the back garden eating and drinking:
Apparently, I wasn't too impressed with Cuzzy Karl's drinking technique here:
Of course, I had to show him how it was done, doesn't look like Karl appreciated the taste of Leffe:
Cuzzy Tania brought out some of the old letters we used to send back and forwards to each other when we were teenagers. She also kept a present I sent her:
Which seemed to trigger a primeval urge to create other willie related props:
Karl said his was THIS big:
It was al a bit much for Blair and Cuzzy Brenda:
More scenic pics on next page!
By Tony Baker: email