I love baking.

Before you judge me, I don’t mean in a ‘it’s-a-pandemic-and-therefore-I-must-bake-banana-bread-with-all-the-bananas’ way. (Though, I do love a warm ‘nana loaf.)

But I genuinely am at my happiest surrounded by my recipe book collection, butter, eggs, flour and sugar…baking until there’s no more space on my countertop. Of course, I enjoy filling up my own cookie jars and cake tins but what really makes my unicorn horn twirl is sharing treats. Whether it’s dropping off a chocolate mud cake for my sister, surprising my father with an apple crumble, whipping up a coconut syrup cake for my brother or indulging my husband with buttery choc-chip cookies: I adore the joy on their faces when they receive their treats.

Why? Because I love making people happy. Nothing brings me quite as much joy as doing something kind for someone else.

Scrolling through my Insta-feed the other day I saw a quote that said: ‘do something to make someone smile. But remember that you’re “someone”, too’. It got me thinking: I am deliberate about showering kindness and love and cupcakes on everyone I meet, but what about me? Do I remember to be kind to myself?

I have not made any resolutions this year – because, let’s be honest, we are all still bruised and fragile after the rollercoaster that was 2020 – but I have made a quiet promise to myself. This year, I will be kind to Jodi. I will bake her brownies if she wants them and I won’t judge her for eating them. I will be patient when she needs it, and I will cheer her on until my pom-poms whither.

We are living through an unprecedented time (how many times have you heard that one in the last 18 months) and we are all doing the best we can.

Be kind to yourself, this year; won’t you?

PS: Malcolm, we miss you! (At least, I miss you striding into my office to yell at me for being grouchy. Ha!)

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