Oh to be in England, now that April’s here …or anywhere else for that matter.

P. and I virtuously practised abstinence from overseas travel last year. We traversed Australia along several axes, promising ourselves that in 2020 we’d visit friends in France and England as well as seeing our children and grandchildren in foreign places.

Talk about the best laid plans! Here we are confined to barracks with two Emirates tickets and deep frozen plans to get moving when the lights go on again. For their part, the far flung family have stepped up to the plate with phone calls, WhatsApp posts and photos to keep us up to date.

The apogee of our online life came on Easter Monday when our enterprising London daughter-in-law arranged an international online hot cross bun bake off for all of our family and various local London friends. Product was judged under four headings, one of which was taste – a challenge for a Zoom get-together — reliant on the cook’s description of the deliriously wonderful experience of eating the bun in question.

P. won the taste piece of the competition on the basis, we were told, of the list of exotic ingredients we’d included (star anise, cardamom, cumin etc) and possibly my description of the eating experience – hints of sour cherries, chocolate, raspberries, subdued tannins and a sustained after palate.

I don’t remember who the other winners were apart from the daughter-in-law’s mother who triumphed in the best looking buns category. I do remember there was a lot of laughing and some very funny looking creations. The runner up in the appearance section was a friend who had bought her buns at Coles. – G.

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