16. Unlived Lives and Carrot Cake


This blog is about grief: the surprising and unsurprising elements; the way it affects me; the ways it makes life harder; the means through which I cope. But that is all a pretty self-absorbed way of looking at it. Because my grief is about losing Greg. Not only losing him from my life and missing him terribly, but about the life that he lost. He might not be alive to feel the pain of it, but those who remain feel it for him.

He wanted to live in America

He was going to go travelling

He wondered about being a primary school teacher

He wanted to make his millions in the city

He was going to buy mum a new house

He was going to open a brewery

He wanted to open a burrito restaurant

He wanted to have children

He wanted to visit more Arabic countries

He was going to own dogs

He was going to go to Glastonbury

All these possibilities that are no longer. All these lives that could have been his and now can’t.


The Cooking – Carrot Cake

Carrot cake is the choice this week for purely practical reasons: I had lots of carrots in my fridge, and some lovely little carrot decorations given to me by a friend. The recipe I used is ‘One Mix Carrot Cake with Orange and Cream Cheese Frosting’ from John Whaite Bakes.

One note of caution with this recipe: ‘mixed spice’ actually is a thing. I didn’t know this, and was ready to take a sample of spices from my rack and blend them together into my very own spice mixture. I thought it most unhelpful of John Whaite in failing to be more specific about what exactly mixed spice consists of. However, I’d done my best and had identified ground cumin, cinnamon and ground nutmeg as my spices of choice. This is NOT what ‘mixed spice’ is, something I realised just in time! Mixed spice is its very own thing which you can buy from the supermarket shelves.

Once you have all the correct ingredients there isn’t much that can go wrong. The cake mixture goes into one bowl, and there is absolutely no skill whatsoever in the process – it simply gets mixed together. The icing is just the same – a simple mix job. Somehow, though, mine didn’t turn out looking as heavenly light and creamy as Mr Whaite’s (see comparison below). There’s no denying mine looks rather less professional. The taste, however, was delightful. The nuts and raisins in the sponge make it feel substantial, but it remains light and moist, and the frosting adds delicious sweetness.


One thought on “16. Unlived Lives and Carrot Cake

  1. Life can be so bittersweet when we have lost someone so close and so dearly loved. What happens to us in the afterlife is so much more profound and complex than we can imagine, when we are here on this earthly plane.

    I think your cake looks beautiful Katherine!

    Love and hugs

    Aunty Theresa xxx


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