I like classic. Classic is good. It suits me.
I have tried over the years to go for other looks but they don’t work for me, not at all. I tried to be a goth but the black hair washed out my whiter than white skin, my blushing red cheeks betraying the ghostly look. I tried the layered cheesecloth hippy look but it didn’t suit my curves; hippy clothes love a snake hip. I went big for the glamour 1950s look in my 20s but I felt like a cartoon character, wiggling and wobbling like Betty Boop – a caricature of who I really am.
And the Working Girl business woman look felt so scratchy and uncomfortable, all control tights, no VPL thongs and tight waistbands. And I don’t especially like jogging gear, too clingy, those man-made fibres. And so I find myself resigned to the fact I really do love the classic look. I simply can’t apologise for it anymore. Give me a breton top, a pair of good jeans, some slip on shoes and a blazer and suddenly the rosy cheeks don’t look so silly and the curves are smoothed down by the long line of the jacket and the waist band doesn’t hurt. And best of all no one expects me to do any press ups or feel the burn.
Here’s the cakey version of my signature look.
Lemon drizzle loaf
- 175g margarine/soft butter
- 175g caster sugar
- 3 large eggs beaten, at room temperature
- zest of 3 lemons
- 3 tbsp whole milk
- 175g self raising flour
- juice of 3 lemons
- 50g caster sugar
Grease and line a loaf tin with greaseproof paper. Use whatever size tin you have to hand, for a larger pan the bake time is usually less as the cake is less thick. For a smaller tin the bake time is usually longer. You’re looking for the edges of the cake to be pulling away from the sides and for a skewer to come out of the centre clean.
Preheat the oven to 170C. Check the rack is in the centre of the oven. Cream the margarine/butter with 175g caster sugar until really light and creamy. Takes about 4 minutes in a stand mixer. Add the beaten egg gradually, dribble by dribble. Then add the zest and the milk. Worry not if the mixture curdles. Fold in the flour with a metal spoon, pour into your tin, level with the back of a spoon and bake for about 40 minutes until golden on the top and a skewer comes out clean from the middle.
Leave to cool slightly on a wire rack still in the tin and then make the sugar syrup by heating the juice of 3 lemons with 50g of caster sugar for about 2 minutes until the sugar dissolves and is just starting to bubble away. Poke lots of holes in your cake with a skewer and pour the syrup over the top, being careful not to let it all seep down the sides and drizzle the bottom of your cake only.
NB: The picture is of an un-drizzled loaf.