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
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.