A cake, a name day and a piece of luck

In many parts of Europe, people celebrate their Name Day, or the day of the saint associated with their name.  St Barbara’s Day is the 4th December, and with me being half Polish and having a Swedish husband, means we celebrate name days in our family, usually with cake.

So…I made a cake, a chocolate one (just a standard Victoria sponge, but substituting 50g of flour with baking cocoa powder.  It is a good idea to add half a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda as well), split, spread with raspberry jam and then filled with raspberries.  It might not have passed Mary Berry’s scrutiny for beauty, but it tasted excellent and was really light in the middle.

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The cake

I decided to go out for lunch, so walked down to the Botanic Gardens and to the Picnic Cafe after admiring yet more roses and popping into the hot house. I love lily ponds, and was delighted to see some of the lilies in bloom.

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More roses

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Lily pad and pond

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More lily pond

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A fountain in the hot house

After a nice lunch, I walked into Thorndon and had a browse in the collection of shops on Tinakori Road.  I popped into one of the several antique shops, where I spotted some old theatre programmes.  In amongst the pile were some from the 1955 and 1956 seasons of the Royal Ballet at Covent Garden, and one from their tour to New Zealand and Australia in 1962.  It was a great find, and one I could not resit.

IMG_1472Name Day gift to myself

I had a lovely long chat to the woman serving and another customer about dance.  This was great fun of course and after being recommended to go and see Lemi Ponifasio at next year’s New Zealand Festival, bought tickets for that today.  So, all in all, a lovely St Barbara’s Day.

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