Now, we had the fete. It was exhausting. There was a lot of rushing about. It seemed to last for weeks. It didn’t. But the fact is, I spent a lot of a warm, sunny day, making myself useful. There were people, many dozens, who found jobs for me. One bought my book. Several others said they would, and promptly disappeared. However, I did very well at making coffee for everyone, and opening the bar. I tried very hard not to notice that some of the plastic pint glasses could not hold full pint measures. I was loyal to my Club.

I have made the cakes for the last couple of years, and it’s been nerve-frazzling. I don’t much go for cake myself. I’m more of a Guinness-girl. Anywho, I didn’t want to do the cakes this year. I’m sick of the sight of icing sugar. I don’t want to deal with buttercream. I just want to make myself useful, do the dog show, have a drink, go home. That’s it.

It didn’t work out that way, because it never does. The Women’s Group had said they would take on the cake stall for me. I was delighted. They asked how many people had appeared at our last fete. They asked about pricing. I gave advice and thanked them repeatedly.

Here’s how the conversation went:

Women’s Group: So, how many cakes did you make last year?

Petrina: Umm, well, I think I made about a dozen sponge cakes and maybe… two dozen cup cakes. Something like that. I had a few extras brought in by friends. I suppose there were a dozen more from other people.

Women’s Group: So, a dozen sponges, like Victoria sponge? Cakes that you’d slice?

Petrina: That’s right.

Women’s Group: (writing stuff down) So, a dozen sponges, and two dozen cup cakes… could you do the same again this year?

Petrina: (a few gulping noises)

Women’s Group: Only if you can…

Petrina: (kicking myself) Of course.

Now, I don’t know where the miscommunication took place, but the women seemed to think I’d only be making them a dozen cup cakes.

I was up at three.

I made eight sponge cakes – Devil’s Food Cakes, Victoria sponges with homemade raspberry jam, and red velvet cakes. I would have taken all eight, but Doobie, the Jack Russell achieved a leaping height hitherto unwitnessed and took a big chunk out of a chocolate cake.

When I approached the women, bringing in cakes two at a time, they were stunned. I apologised for not having more, and they looked to each other as if I’d fallen out of the back end of a cat.

Once they’d recovered from their shock, they sold the lot, made a decent wad of cash for their causes, and sent me a card and a box of chocolates. It won’t take them long to convince me to do the same again next year. The chocolates were Lily O’Briens.