It’s been a busy, busy few months in Adams, Massachusetts;
We painted walls, cleaned windows, prepared salads, mulched the soil, pulled out weeds, power-washed the deck and mowed the lawn. Well, let me rephrase that, we mowed the lawn until Stefan was banned from ever mowing the lawn again, after having brought the expensive ‘skag’ lawnmower to a standstill, not one, but twice.
“It’s because you drive it too fast. Everyone else takes six hours to mow the lawn, you take three,” I explained. I had watched him with awe (and horror) as he zapped around the lawn so fast, a blur on the landscape, only his weight preventing him from becoming airborne.
We visited Boston, Williamstown, Albany and North Adams. We watched a Red Sox baseball game and danced at a live Bruce Springsteen concert.
“I’ll buy the tickets,” said Stefan being a huge fan. But on arrival we discovered that he had not booked seats, but the standing room area in front of the stage.
“Aaghh no,” I sulked, I could not bear the thought of standing in a tight, sweating crowd for two-and-a-half hours. Our hosts, it transpired, were not actually fans, but had happily tagged along, and now they helped us to find seats before heading for the bar. And there they remained (almost) the entire show. After the concert we found them waiting in the back seat of the car, like two naughty school children, having seen little of the concert, but having enjoyed themselves none-the-less. Stefan was asked to drive home.
We walked in the woods and saw a black bear and a fox. We made boerewors, melktert and buttermilk rusks and even located some bottles of Cape Jazz Shiraz. It snowed and it rained, the sun has shone and it rained, the trees blossomed and it rained, the wind blew and it rained. It was called Summer.
But the task that took up the most time and mental energy was the design and construction of a birthday cake. This was not just any old garden variety birthday cake, oh-no, it was a hydraulically-operated TMNT (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) cake for a two-year-old who is convinced that he is Donatello or Donny for short.
When we were asked to plan and execute his birthday party, my idea for the cake was simple; a round cake decorated with a Ninja Turtle on the top. After all what two-year-old would not love that?
“But Stefan likes a bigger challenge and he decided he wanted to make a cake that would open up to reveal four Ninja-turtle cup-cakes inside. I was duly tasked with making said cup-cakes.
And he glued syringes to plastic piping, drilled holes, made false tops and wooden stands. He went to bed late and his sleep was disturbed. I think he was dreaming about Ninja Turtles. Possibly he imagined himself as Leonardo? Leonardo da Vinci, the inventor, of course.
ADAMS, MASSACHSETTS, UNITED STATES: 19-05-2014