Friday, April 27, 2012
It has been a long silence here in this blog. If you happened to read my previous posts, you might have guessed what I was up to. Suffice to say, it was a complete break that was filled with exciting competition, learning experiences, tool quest, fun, and new friendships.
Where to begin? After an intensive 3 week preparation of the 2012 Squires Kitchen cake competition pieces, I was finally on my flight to London on 8th of March. My heart was beating hard and my mind went restless. A journey into an exciting unknown event was felt like going to a marvelous yet dangerous fairground. Especially when the flight to London was scheduled to arrive in late afternoon followed by supposingly one-hour drive to Farnham. So I bet by the time I was in Farnham it was already dark. Haunting dark. My worries had set in all at once.
Amidst my worries, I insisted on making the best use of my time during a 5-hour transit in Shanghai Airport. The airport had to entertain the sight of me touching up my miniature wedding cake in the passenger sitting area. Several Mandarin-speaking women couldn't help themselves from approaching and questioning me of what I was doing. My quick smile response managed to send them away but yet each of them was so thoughtful of leaving polite complement for my cake. "Thank you and sorry for declining a chat!" was a grateful message sent back silently as I quickly went back to work on the beads. Hours passed by without notice, the next thing I knew was the loud boarding announcement was fueling my anxiety - I had to stop and embark to the next flight!
11-hour flight to London was daunting. The food was horrible, seat was uncomfortable and I couldn't sleep. The over two hundreds in-flight movies were suddenly so stale and boring, I shut the screen off and tried to close my eyes as long as I could.
Upon the arrival at the Heathrow Airport I had to face my fear - I couldn't find the booked taxi driver. Only after making the phone call to the taxi company and wandering around, the driver’s face showed up. Reaching my apartment, some 45 minutes later I didn't waste any second unpacking my boxes, settling down, having a quick chat with my surprise apartment-mate named Grace, and starting assembling my competition pieces. Time passed by so quickly, the next thing I knew it was morning. I had managed to finish my entries into 2 competition categories: a Thai style - miniature wedding cake and a Bauhinia Purpurea - single bloom.
My morning saw the taxi come late for over 15 minutes that had sent me into a panicky mode. Luckily it reached at the Farnham Maltings, the place where the competition would take place at 9. There were 2 rooms used for displaying the competition pieces. It was really a fabulous moment meeting the competitors of which none I have met nor known. After placing my pieces into the assigned spaces I felt such great relief - I had done what I came to do! Quietly I left the room to get fresh air and go to explore everything the exhibition had to offer. Here I come, all good, all exciting!
The following morning, I came to the exhibition again to learn and experience more of what I had missed on the first day. And more importantly to find out the result of the competition. Impatiently I just dashed into the competition room and as my eyes were scanning through the room, my heart almost came to a full stop when I noticed there were some paper signs next to my miniature wedding cake. Yes! Yes! Yes! I got the third prize! And it was a Gold! And my Bauhinia was placed the fourth.
My special moment was the third day or the last day of the exhibition when I received prize certificates from the gurus: Linda Garnham for the miniature cake, and Alan Dunn and Paddi Clarks for the single bloom. Thank you so much!