I have spent all my screen time on e2 for weeks now, and I just realised that means I also haven't spent any time crocheting. This is startling. For the past few years I have crocheted at least an hour every day, and seeing as crocheting in silence is boring, I put the TV on in the background.

This is potentially a problem. I decided to crochet a big lacy scarf/wrap thing for my Nana, who tells me every December that we are not to give her presents. Of course I ignore that, but I try to at least make her a present rather than buy one. It's always the cost she objects to, and if I can honestly say, "I had a ball of yarn leftover from that cardigan I made myself, and you really liked it, so I used it up!" she will be happy. But in order to give it to her, I'm going to have to finish making it...

The dogs are also looking a little rough. I usually brush them in front of the TV, and that hasn't happened either. The elderly papillon is fine, he hates being brushed and has a friendly habit of letting fly with a sbd whenever he sees the comb. He is apparently happy entering summer while still carrying an extra 25% of his volume in loose fur. The young papillon, however, has never had a matted ear fringe before, and he is Not Happy. He is sitting next to me scratching it in a suggestive manner, and attempting to help me with my typing.

The Italian Greyhound is hiding under a blanket, oblivious to combs, tangles, loose fur, or the perils of having very long butt hair. It's only 25oC out, so she's still a little chilly, poor darling. 

I am also planning my cooking adventures for the next couple of weeks. School is finishing, so I am having some friends over to build and decorate gingerbread houses. I need to make sure I leave enough time to bake them, mess a few up, bake some more, realise I haven't got enough chimney bits, bake extras...

Then it's my birthday. I like to have my birthday at home so I can cook. Partly because I enjoy showing affection by feeding people, but let's be honest, I also like to show off. My birthday can be a little tricky these days, because I have a few family members with food intolerances, diabetes, heart problems, etc. I like all of them, so I need to, you know, not kill them. But it does mean I have to figure out a menu that is gluten free, casein free, low sugar, low salt, low gout-triggering, sulphite free, seafood free, stone fruit free, yellow colouring free and isn't heavy on the red meat. At least we can all eat nuts.

And dammit, it's my birthday, so I'll make whatever cake I please and if nobody else can eat it - good. I'm more than happy to provide alternative desserts that suit everyone. But I refuse to un-gluten and un-sugar my cake. I think I want to do an icecream cake inside a regular cake, and use jam to 'glue' thinly sliced fruit to the outside right before I serve it. Strawberries and starfruit. That will be pretty.

And I will take that very pretty and very selfish cake down to the nursing home and feed it piece by piece to my darling aunt, who hasn't recognised me for months but at least doesn't have any food intolerances, and pretend that being with her doesn't make me want to scream and run away and throw a tantrum. I am her niece, and her guardian, and a responsible adult. Therefore we will eat cake.