This seemed like it was going to be a true Guilty Pleasure from the outset, a former Land Girl was turning 90 and I had been asked to create something exciting to mark the occasion. “How exciting indeed” I thought with images of tanks, Marines, The Windmill and burly GI’s flashing before my very eyes. BUT, how could this be made more appropriate for someone with a few more years and in fact more class than I?
I had a further chat with a friend of the client who had suggested that since our former LG loved cakes, maybe a modern shop front filled with cakes, rather than focussing on the past would be a good starting point, and for a while it was...
The more I thought about this project the more I couldn’t get a certain image out of my mind. If you search for Miss Polly Rae on the web the same, incredibly striking photo always seems to be listed first. Dressed in what I imagine all Land Girls worth their salt to have been wearing (although on reflection, a bustier and hold-ups would be terribly impractical for picking your way through the “Blitzed” streets of London, especially during a blackout), Miss Rae stands triumphantly (and saucily) before burning planes and a battleship. I was desperate to use this as my starting point but it’s a battleship not a “Battenberg”.
It wasn’t until the day I ventured out of my glamorous central London apartment for baking supplies that I really started to get a feel for this Guilty Pleasure. Within my first few paces I had my first flash of inspiration (if this was a movie there would have been sounds of German planes overhead and some very dramatic music). The builders have moved in opposite and started to demolish an old 70s maisonette block –leaving behind half walls and debris. It was (and still is today...)exceptionally beautiful.
Turning the corner onto a quiet residential street I was happily mapping out my trip around the store and feeling quite glad that there was a tiny fraction of sun peeking through the dismal skies. When I looked up I noticed three sad looking flags tied into a tree, the leftovers of last summer’s street party.
I couldn’t have been more inspired by this point and with a determined nod (to myself, of course, it wouldn’t do to start acting crazy in such a cute little street) - I had finally cracked this. My cake would be a smashing tribute to cakes and to the Land Girls!
With a few extra touches, such as the “Keep Calm and Carry On” poster, radio and Union Jack bunting I hope I have captured the spirit of the times and made someone very happy in the process.
And now it’s onto the next.....I’m afraid my dears there can be no rest for the decadently wicked x