I first met Tamsin on a swap board. She may even be the very first person I swapped with, or one of the first, certainly. Tamsin has been living in the USA for the past 14 years, though she is British and hails originally from just down the road from me. Which explains how, as part of a European grand tour of relatives and friends - including several blind dates with perfumistas (I was the fifth in the UK!) - she and her husband wended their way to Stafford yesterday, which also happened to be Tamsin's birthday.
And so it was that five years on from our original swapping contact, Tamsin and her husband had dinner with me, which segued seamlessly into another session of Cake Club, at which they were guests of honour. Tamsin even managed to make a cake on the hoof the day before - a rich chocolate mixture with a sleekly glossy yet rugged texture like an alligator - which turned out to be a delicious hybrid of biscotti and Brownie.
Tamsin and her husband K were easy, funny and charming company. It really was as though I had known them both for much longer, a phenomenon those of us who have had blind dates with fellow fumies consistently report. K deserves a special mention for helping to arrange the place settings and kindly popping out to the local shop to procure Diet Coke, the signature drink of my friend Clare.
By a curious coincidence, there was an existing connection between Tamsin and several of the Cake Club members, namely that the house in which her father was born is in the village where two of them live, and where Clare used to live. There was therefore talk of extant relatives and their doings - I heard a reference to a windmill and a crow - though I was out of earshot some of the time, rummaging for extra cake forks and the like.
|Tamsin and Clare - oh, she's finished her Coke already!|
And of course, with it being Tamsin's birthday, how fortuitous that cakes were on hand, several with candles on them. All night long we sampled cake and Tamsin blew out candles till we could eat cake no more - so we ate trifle instead, whose candles had miraculously not subsided into the cream by this stage. We washed the cake down with Cava of various hues and Earl Grey tea, until it was that time known as 'Tupperwares at midnight' where we find our original receptacles and divvy up the leavings to take home.
I have kept Tamsin's quota here, as she is coming back this morning for us to sample some perfume together. For as I am increasingly finding with these newfound Internet friends I have met through our shared interest, it may be fragrance that has brought us together, but then we find we have a ton of other stuff in common and that perfume is just the icing on the cake...
Hmm, shall I try scented icing next time? Okay, maybe not.