Saturday, 21 July 2012

Cheer up Cupcake (Strawberry Milkshake Cakes)

Getting out of bed on Wednesday was an effort. After two and a half weeks at Vogue and about four weeks of feeling cured, the glandular fever monster had stirred from hibernation and now had me in a headlock.

"Uh oh," I thought, as I wrestled with the invisible creature that was making my body ache and my thoughts blue.

Eventually tearing free, I shuffled to the bathroom where I showered sat in the bath tub. Standing up under the jet of water seemed too much; on Wednesday morning the water droplets looked like gobstoppers large enough to knock me over.

As I stood in front of my wardrobe later that morning the glandular fever monster held out clothes for me - a grey dress, my fluffy black university hoody, some black lyrca running leggings (comfier than being naked) and my huge pink jumper covered in rabbits (the glandular fever monster prefers black but cannot resist an overdose of kitsch).

"No, glandular fever!" I said to the glandular fever monster, putting on some red tights, a colourful floral skirt and a red jacket instead.

I arrived at Vogue House and fell through the revolving doors.

"Good morning John," I said quietly to John the friendly receptionist as I tumbled into the lift, the glandular fever monster following me like smoke that chases you no matter what side of the bonfire you move to.

"You're looking a bit peaky this morning," said one of the Voguettes as I arrived in the office.

"I'm fine," I said, sitting down to work. Was it me or the office that was spinning? And during my lunch break would it be OK to make a blanket of Gucci scarves, curl up in the fashion cupboard and have a nap?

It was two hours later as I was telling someone about a press sample I was looking for on the clothing rail and couldn't dig the phrase 'grey trousers' out of the mud in my brain that I realised I probably wasn't fine.

"I think I'm going to..." I started,

"Go HOME LIBBY," they finished.
So that is how I came to leave my work experience at Vogue two and a half days early. On Thursday morning the glandular fever monster and I climbed onto a train heading home to Dorset. At least I didn't have to buy the monster a ticket. 
 After a long night's sleep in my bed at home I woke up knowing exactly what I needed to do to cheer myself up.

 The pink polka dot apron was my hospital gown and the spoonfuls of unbaked cake mix were my medicine. I have been told that there is no real cure for glandular fever other than rest. I think baking is pretty good treatment. And therapy.
I am not the only one in the house in need of cheering up. My sister is home from Bristol for the weekend and is being hassled by her own monster - the back pain monster that insists on constant piggy-backs without consent.

When my sister was younger and unwell strawberry milkshake would cheer her up. I remember watching her drink the frothy pink milk in one gulp. So I decided to make some strawberry milkshake inspired cupcakes to cheer us both up.
With cakes that pink and with all those strawberries, how could you not be happy?
I may have had to leave Vogue early, but two and a half weeks was still enough time for a great experience. And although I left early, I luckily didn't miss what turned out to be the highlight of my time there: my 'exit interview' with the Managing Editor.

I was just on my way home when she stopped me in the corridor. It was the second time someone had chased me down the corridor at Vogue. The first time was last week when I had just left the bathroom with my dress tucked into my knickers.

Thankfully this time was somewhat less embarrassing. (It's OK though - at least someone told me and at least I wear nice knickers).

"Can we have a quick chat before you leave?"
As we spoke she wrote notes.

"Libby Page," she wrote, "loves colour."

That I do. She told me that everyone in the office had really noticed my colourful outfits and that (instead of making me look insane, thank goodness) they had really cheered up the office and made me stand out.

Well that's that then. When I get back to London and back to my wardrobe I am taking a binliner and filling it with all my black and grey clothes. I want to be 'Libby Page, loves colour'.

The five minute conversation cheered me up as much as a whole pile of cupcakes. Because it may have been the glandular fever monster making me delirious, but I'm pretty sure she said to me, "You're a star and if anyone asks you can say that the Managing Editor of Vogue thinks you are going places."

The only place I was heading right then was home. But I left Vogue House with a smile on my face. I was even feeling happy enough to open the door for the glandular fever monster.

"After you. Because you may be ahead right now, but one day soon I will catch up with you and kick you over the moon and into oblivion."

I can't be certain, but I'm pretty sure it was a flicker of fear that passed across the glandular fever monster's face.

Here are my strawberry milkshake cupcakes - sponge cakes filled with different fillings: strawberry, lemon and raspberry and forest fruits, and topped with cream cheese frosting.

I'm off now - the cupcakes are calling.



  1. Lovely blog and fantastic cupcakes! Hope you feel better soon :)

  2. Thank you! And I literally just ate one and it was rather yummy :)