Words of Wisdom

Youth is wasted on the young.

Friday, 8 May 2009

Happy Birthday BA: Fourteen

May the 8th marks the anniversary of VE Day, the sale of the first glass of Coca Cola and the birth of the Baby Angel.

There has been much build up to this year's event as, at 14, kids are legally allowed to find part time jobs and, in this family, have their ears pierced :-(. I made that rash promise years ago when she first asked and, at the time, 14 seemed like a lifetime away.

But here we are. Fourteen at last. Her big present was much anticipated indeed; on Thursday night we went to see the big arena production of 'Phantom of the Opera'!!!!

The BA's journey with the Phantom started many years ago. I once bought her a little music box which played 'Music of the Night'; I think she was 7. Later, the Bestie introduced her to the film version and eventually, last year, her dad took her to the theatrical production in Sydney. She was smitten.

When Prof J asked us late last year if we would like to make up a group to see the Opening Night performance here in Adelaide, we couldn't say yes fast enough. I must admit I was slightly less excited than the BA. I had seen it once before in the UK and was a little underwhelmed after all the hype but I was willing to have a second look.

Well! What a phenomenal performance! We saw Anthony Warlow and Ana Marina (pictured) in a spectacular which made the hairs stand up on the back of your neck. From the moment the chandelier lit up amongst showering Roman Candles and was lifted upwards towards the ceiling accompanied by the thundering chords of the 'Phantom' theme, I was hooked. Warlow's voice was sublime and his performance tormented. The staging was breathtaking and complemented by the massive dual screens on either side of the stage, enabling you to see the faces of the performers, close-up.

The BA was simultaneously captivated, moved and overwhelmed . She wept at the finale and left the theatre aglow, agog and outrageously happy. And then it hit me like a lightbulb going on over my head. Her cake this year would have a 'Phantom' theme.

This had been giving me trouble for a few weeks now. Each year I do a cake for her birthday (and latterly for the Small Boy's) and it is part of the birthday ritual to choose the cake and for me to interpret it somehow. Last year was a star from the sidewalk at Grauman's Chinese restaurant, Hollywood; previously she has had an ipod cake, an X-Men cake, a Treasure Island cake, a Scooby Doo cake and a Monster's Inc cake. After initially finding instructions in cake books, nowadays I mostly make them up. I usually find a picture and try and to carve the cake into approximately the shape required, then use roll-out icing to create the features and details. Generally I am fairly pleased with the result.

This year was different. After struggling for a theme (the BA was less than helpful) the Phantom came to me on the night before her birthday! As you can imagine it did not leave me much time!

Now, had I had sufficient time and the brilliant idea about a week earlier, I could have produced something like


or this

for her birthday cake.

Instead, she had to make do with this. It didn't quite go as I'd planned and of course I'd left it all too late to try again or do anything else. Oh well, she was a good sport and told me it was great and dutifully blew out her candles. Well, she actually only pretended to blow them out as she had a shocking cough and didn't want to breathe her germs all over the cake!

Fourteen marks the beginning of a seven year cycle for the Baby Angel. At seven she was wrested from her comfortable existence in the UK and whisked halfway around the world to a new life in Australia.

I wonder what the next seven years have in store for us?

Whatever. I'm up for it.


Mid Sis said...

Oh how I wish I'd been there....AND the cake is fab I don't know what you're talking about I think it looks kinda mystical with the theatrical lights around it - 10 outta 10 I'd say. Been waiting for this post for days! lottsa love xxx

Jill/Twipply Skwood said...

I didn't realize our gals were so close in age! Mine will be 14 next month!

Absolutely NO making due with that cake - it looks delicious!!!

Happy birthday to her & glad you enjoyed the show!

A Free Man said...

The cake looks really good in that light! As it did on the day. Glad we got to spend it with you guys, even if a lot of us were sickly!

HipMomma said...

That cake is wonderful! Give yourself lots of credit for making the cake cuz I always buy them. It sounds like a wonderful birthday celebration.

Elisa said...


And the cake looks great...if the teaching thing ever gets old you might start a creative cake company. :)


SSG said...

Ah 7 year cycle s a good one, next she'll be 21!!!

And I thought the cake looked very tasty, though why was it all white in the photo where the BA is "blowing" them out?

Ooh ears pierced, that is exciting too!

Arizaphale said...

Uh...it was white because...it was white! It only looked ornagey because of the light in the first photo. Himself took that one with his geniusy camera skills. All mine were awful and showed the bad joins in the icing etc. Anyway, it tasted good!!

Arizaphale said...

ornagey? I meant orangey

chaoticfamily said...

Happy Birthday to your pretty gal... Looks like a great time and the cake is fabulous.

we_be_toys said...

Happy belated Birthday to the BA! I think you did a fab job on the cake - far better than I would have.
I think musicals are one of those things, that when they are good, they're really, really good, and when they are bad, they're horrid. Glad you guys had a phenomenal experience!

Kim said...

Happy Belated Birthday to Baby Angel!!!!!

I think you did a great job on the cake.

natalie said...

Dearest BA,

I know you probably think it's weird that your mum (mom?) has all these weirdo internet blog friends, and even weirder that we sort of pretend to KNOW you, but let me just say that if we were friends in real life, we would REALLY like each other.

I can not even begin to describe my love affair with the Phantom. It started sometime around age 13 for me and only gets stronger with age. I've seen the show in person only three times (in San Francisco, CA, and twice in Atlanta, GA). Each time I see it, it is more and more powerful. I was oddly disillusioned with the movie, although I did like it. When I was in college, around age 20, I had a goal to see the production in every major city in the US. Although that dream may never come true, I would love to see it as many times as I ever have the opportunity. I wish I'd been there for your birthday so I could say I'd seen it in Australia! Two dreams coming true in one night!!!!

Happy Birthday, dear BA.

I hope you like your new earrings, too! (You did get that done, didn't you?)