Whilst lovely individually, and great at running around cheerfully without injury or argument in a windowless coverted ice rink full of health and safety defying bouncy castles, seven year olds en masse, required to sit in one place for more than thirty seconds, are FIENDS. Doubtless my enjoyment of the windowless converted ice rink and the screeching and hitting was heightened by being moderately hungover. Also, we over-ordered pizzas at the modish prize of NINETY OF YOUR EUROZONE EUROS HOLY MOTHER OF GOD (this was part of the 360, I am not Louis Quatorze, but somehow 90 euros of pizza seemed particularly outrageous, more so than 250 for "running around a cold shed", for some reason), and because they were there and we had bloody well paid for them, I ate most of them. The nine pizzas. Because I wasn't fat and prematurely aged and despairing enough already.
"Je n'aime pas la pizza" the small children said, looking at me, challengingly, judgmentally, or so I felt in my paranoid and hungover state.
"Eh, ben" I said, dead eyed and twitchy, drooling stringy, gross catering mozzarella "C'est pas grave. Il y aura du gateau".
There was gateau. I did not make it. My part in the gateau making marathon that is Fingers's birthday starts tomorrow. He has disdained the Women's Weekly Birthday Cake book, in favour of, uh, this:
.. which he has made up. I suppose it is an improvement on the Ragigigas of two years ago, which was a complete fucking ball ache.
"Well that should be easy!" said the CFO breezily, with the misplaced confidence of a man who has never taken up a palette knife in anger. I refrained from taking up my palette knife in anger.
ANYWAY. I am not here merely to whine. I have a competition for you. Because, see, I went to the Asian supermarket yesterday (pre Winegate) and bought a selection of snacks, that included some extremely fine animal biscuits. Actually, it was a rich and varied walk that produced many other delights that I will save for another time, including a bizarrely full selection of Taylors of Harrogate teas in the asian supermarket, some eccentric audio book filing in Waterstones, and an owl handwarmer that I would marry if it were legal. For now, though, let us limit ourselves to the animal biscuits, which come with the animal's name written on them in - I suppose, theoretically edible under the laxest food safety rules - black ink. You may wonder why naming them is necessary, I am here to show you:
I have stared at this for a long time. A very long time, I'd say. I've actually reached a point where I think this biscuit is EXACTLY what a panda is, and have entirely forgotten what the original creature actually looks like.
I quite like "Fur seal" too:
In comparison to these two, "Horn Owl" and "Pea Fowl" are masterfully executed:
Elephant, I feel, has a distinctly John Merrick face, which is I suppose some kind of indicator of accuracy:
The packet promised many more treats including "Tapir" but by the time I got home from the heart of anniversaire darkness, the weepette had eaten them all. HOWEVER. That was not before I had set up the following exciting competition for you.
Take a close look at the following photograph which I have ineptly altered in a tantalising fashion:
Your job is to work out which of these is "Leopard", which is "Tiger" and which is "Cat". I would like you to know that my youngest child managed 2 out of 3, so you have that impressive score to beat.
Since I STILL owe Aye Aye lady a present (Aye Aye lady, you feature in my to do list every week, I think your present may well be a packet of these amazing biscuits, they are quite tasty actually, very like Nice biscuits), I don't think I should suggest there will be a prize. Just the satisfaction of a completely pointless task, er, done.
I am going now. I have floors to wash with my tears, and bizarre hand drawn aliens to reproduce in fondant. Have fun.