helen-louise (baratron) wrote,

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And while I'm talking of things British...

I have a craving for cake with custard on. It's a curiously British thing, to serve cake warm with hot, runny custard over it. Many of the cakes served in this way have names which sound highly dubious nowadays, but were perfectly innocent at the time. Like Spotted Dick, which is a cake with currants and raisins in. I expect schoolboys have been sniggering over that one for years, but it's a Traditional name that isn't inherently offensive (no racist or sexist overtones), so it must be preserved. Probably every so often a politically correct local councillor tries to come up with a new name for it which lasts about two weeks before the negative press coverage forces him to back down.

Lately I have been craving iced buns - the type that are basically just long bread rolls with icing (made just of icing sugar and water) over the top. Greggs' bakery calls them "Swiss buns", but I think they've made the name up to distinguish them from the other type of iced buns they do, "Belgian buns" (which are round buns with currants in and a glace cherry on top). I keep thinking about what these were called at school. My school, being a boarding school, served tea at 4 o'clock, and this was available for daygirls as well at the grand sum of 15p per day. It was a good opportunity to fill yourself with bread and jam before whatever evening activity you were staying at school for. Every day there was a cake, and once a week we'd have these iced buns. Being a repressed girls' school, we used to call them Sticky Willies. I remember how terribly scandalised I was by this name for the first few years, but by the time I left, it seemed completely innocuous.

I'm not sure why I'm telling you this story, except that gerwinium said he's always surprised that people have a history from before he knew them, even though he knows that rationally they must have. I was a shockingly different person when I was 11 to who I am now - even from when I was 18 to 19. (That was probably the bulk of the change, to be honest). I had a horrible realisation a few months ago, reading the Harry Potter stories again - I've always seen myself as Hermione - clever and brave, but when I was at school, I was definitely a Percy - so obsessed with the rules and doing the right thing by them that I couldn't enjoy myself. Even at sixth form, Being A Prefect was something I took so much more seriously than everyone else, and even at university, I still had some of this attitude... It's surprising how much old attitudes have affected my life far beyond the time I genuinely believed them.

I'm going to shut up and make my Bakewell tart now.

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