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It’s Comic Relief!  And…Not been quite as big as I’ve seen it some years.  Normally there’s a pretty big build up for the two weeks running up to it.  Maybe I just don’t watch enough TV – and with our office using up holiday hours it’s something of a ghost town so not as much fundraising going on.

That said, the one fundraising thing that did happen was the Bake Off.  Normally we just do a normal bake sale for our floor, but Comic Relief was promoting this instead.  You provided a cake, tray bake or confectionary that you’d made from scratch (along with the recipe for proof), and it was judged by a panel of tasters before declaring winners, and putting the cakes out for sale.

Because it was recipe based, a lot of usual cake donators dropped out.  I personally worship the god that is Brownie Cake Mix when it comes to my contribution – even though they are only anticipated by one work colleague who loves them (the majority are usually left in the ‘leave a small contribution but otherwise free’ tray at the end of the day).  But one of my colleagues who does enjoy proper baking did sign up (she also made Betty Crocker cupcakes solely for charity – and they were nummy).  The competition was later branched out to the entire building, so although there were 16 entries from our floor, there was probably double that at least.

Before the judging, I slipped down to have a look…

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Have you ever seen so much yummy in one room?

Right off the bat there were clearly 2 main competitors for the grand prize.  The grand ‘Battenbug’

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And the fascinating ‘Malteaser cake’.

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Which sadly began shedding when they put it on display, and trying to fix the problem actually made it worse!  Needless to say, everyone was waiting for 11am so we could start buying.  At 10:50, my competing colleague went down to see if she could get her boxes back.

And returned in a foul mood.  Apparently it was ‘chaos’ down there.  A few minutes later I found out what she meant.  The cakes hadn’t been cut; there was an already long line not moving, and a swarm of people at the other end of the table ignoring the line entirely and getting served regardless.

By the time I got close enough to the table to ask how this was working, a good chunk of the big cake slices were gone.  I finally asked – and was told there was 2 lines, one at each end (they just never bothered to tell people waiting in the line now that was now reaching the other side of the canteen this).  I immediately abandon the line and dart to the other side to get served.  Pretty much discarded my brains last desperate attempt at being a ‘good girl’ and only taking one little ‘acceptable’ piece and did a financial estimate on how much I could legitimately buy, calories or no calories.  Manage to grab a slice of Battenbug and Malteaser cake, plus a brownie.  Then it was a case of paying – which was hard considering I had to get to the other side of the queue again as that was where you paid – difficult when there are people trying to pass you and everyone serving cake is glaring at you to move on.

Honestly, we do a bake sale half a dozen times a year.  We have never had this much trouble before.  One line, you go down in an orderly fashion, pay at the end.  Nobody squeezes in, everybody waits their turn, and the cake sellers don’t get crushed and swamped.  Suddenly we have even more people at a sale and we have two queues that aren’t supervised and no clear way area to pay?  Clearly the holiday leave had removed the rational thinkers from the events committee this time around.

Took my spoils upstairs to offer to my colleagues, and was immediately handed a sweepstakes sheet.  £1 or £2 depending on what side I did.  However the cake had been those prices and I’d already gone over my budget for spending.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big believer in charity drives, but the fact of the matter is I’m exceedingly close to broke right now.  £7 was more that I could afford to donate, and I still handed it over.  That’s nearly a fourth of what I have to survive on right now and pay off the last of my debts (and get out of that very annoying overdraft).

Sadly, my colleague didn’t win the tray bake section of the baking contest, but overall prize did end up going to the Battenbug.  Can’t say I’m surprised – both the Teaser and the Bug were delicious, but the bug was beautifully moist and flavourful, plus had the best decoration ever!  Didn’t win anything in the raffle I donated to sadly, but guy in the mailroom won a ‘man purse’ (actually a pretty cool looking sporty satchel thing) and was showing it off to people.  Get the feeling he was trying to hawk it (perfectly acceptable considering whoever donated it left the £60 price tag on it!).  I actually thought it was pretty awesome, but see previous paragraph for why I didn’t make an offer!

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