1st March 2005: Dydd Dewi Sant

It’s snowing half a ton — well, about 10cm, which on top of the old snow that was already there makes it very deep where it hasn’t been cleared. The sidewalks haven’t been cleared today, which makes walking like wading through ten centimetres of powder, more where it’s drifted.

Zorinth and I went out with the intention of having breakfast and buying some food and some daffodils, or failing that, a leek.

It’s not very onerous, being Welsh, you only have to have some daffodils (or leeks) on March 1st, otherwise there aren’t really any obligations, it shouldn’t be very hard, it’s not like being Jewish or something.

However, we had breakfast, we decided to shop in IGA instead of Marche Atwater because of the aforementioned ton of snow, we bought food, and only at the bus stop did I remember that I needed a daffodil. (Or, you know, a leek.) They even had leeks in IGA, but I hadn’t bought them thinking I’d generally rather have daffodils when I got around to flowers.

I didn’t go back, as we were laden and the bus was just coming, I thought I’d be able to get a leek in our little local corner shop, which is expensive but pretty good for fresh veg. Not today, not a leek in sight, never mind a daffodil. This is, of course, where the girl works who had never heard of Wales, so I suppose it’s only to be expected.

I came home through the snow a bit glumly. I couldn’t quite face going out again especially in quest of daffodils/leeks, so I decided to make a cake and make a daffodil in icing on the top.

The reason for this obsession with things with green shoots on March 1st actually has nothing to do with St David, who converted the Welsh to Christianity in about AD 500, and whose fame largely rests on having dropped a handkerchief to make another hill so he could be seen. (The hill is still there. Wales is full of hills. He’s get more points with me if he’d made a flat bit, which Wales is notably lacking. Zorinth once remarked, when crossing a rather large parking lot, that there was more flat space right there than in the whole of Wales.) The green shoots were in a battle about six hundred years later, when the cunning English had disguised themselves in the same uniforms as the Welsh and the Welsh cleverly pulled up some nearby daffodils (or, in some versions, leeks) and put them in their hats to be able to tell friend from foe. That’s what Mrs Caulfield told me when I was six, anyway, they may have updated the story since. I always thought it was very dim of them not to be able to tell the difference between daffodils and leeks, and Zorinth used to pretend they were actually the same, as a joke, but a few years ago I saw some leeks growing and realized that if you just have the green shoots they really are very similar.

Anyway, I made a chocolate cake, and I covered the top with melted chocolate. I left it to set for a while (not long enough) and then I made very thick icing, the kind that’s icing sugar and yellow food colouring and just a little water.

Now a daffodil, in essence, is just a yellow triangle and two yellow ovals.

I tried, really, I tried.

I should have done a leek.

I called Zorinth, who had been clearing the steps of snow and sorting out his bookshelves like a model child.

“What’s this?” I asked.

“A yellow axe?” he suggested after squinting at it a moment.”Part of a JCB? Oh. A daffodil. Ah. What a pity. You should have asked me to do it.”

I put the stupid cake on a plate, and Z disappeared in here. I washed the dishes. Not very difficult, a daffodil or a leek once a year, but clearly too challenging for me.

“Come here,” Zorinth called.

I came in. He’d used google image search to find a beautiful picture of a big bunch of daffodils for me.

And the cake will taste just fine.

Posted in Life as it blossoms out in a jar or a face, Whimsy