When I left the parental abode for the Leichhardt Ladies' Hostel #1 (before it became the Petersham Ladies' & Periodic Gent's Hostel, then the Leichhardt Ladies' Hostel #2, Slightly Closer to Annandale), it was a December. I was wide-eyed and giddy at the prospect of kibbutzing it up with three comrades, a cat and the über-roaches of the Inner West. Me mum (blessed be her name) was convinced that I would starve to death within days, and so she brought into being the biggest, brandy-soddenest, almond-studdedest Christmas cake the world hath ever known. It was my sharehouse dowry. I put it on the kitchen table in the Leichhardt Ladies' Hostel, and repaired into my room to discuss Schopenhauer with the local arthropods. The next morning, three layers of glad wrap had been gnawed away by a feline tooth, the top of the cake bore catmouthsized depressions, Max purred plumply from a kitchen chair.
This year I have lived on my ownsome. No cat, no cockroaches, no fellow house-citizens. And me mum (blessed be her name) made me the same old Christmas cake she's made every year for the last seven years. She said something about my taking some in to work. And feeding it to my neighbours.
Neighbours? Colleagues? Pah! Here lie the remains of me mum's Christmas cake 07, the entirety of which was consumed over a two week period within the walls of Hôtel Harlot. I say this with pride. This was a sturdy cake.
Naysayers: marzipans at twelve paces.