With my choccy Paddlepop in my left hand, I type somewhat haphazardly with my right; I've just arrived home from work and am appreciating what has come to be a rarity so far this season  a warm and sunny evening and a clear (for the most part) blue sky... it may even be a summer PJ night. You come to really appreciate these things when you've had a "summer" like this.

After a wonderful weekend spent with my nieces, it's been a somewhat hectic week at work, just to understate the fact. At this time of year we have to wrap more magazines than usual to get them off to the printer in readiness for the New Year. 'Winding down' is definitely not a term you can really apply to the atmosphere at a publishing house around Christmas. But there is finally light at the end of the tunnel; 5pm Thursday is approaching and I could not be happier!

I promised some pictures of this year's gingerbread house, and though I'll admit it didn't turn out quite as majestically as the house in my mind's eye, I'll stay true to my word and present the evidence. This year we lived through our first truly traumatic building accident in our gingerbread making history. We decided to try a variation of our usual icing mixture. 'Edible concrete' would be a more apt term for the icing you use to piece together a GB house; this stuff is not for the faint hearted. I suggested a variation of the usual mixture in order to achieve a more fluid substance to make pretty icicles. In other words, I sacrificed the principles of safe construction in the name of aesthetics and it did not pay dividends. We had pieced together all four walls and had waited half an hour, and with trepidation began to lower the roof panels when all of a sudden the walls just clean collapsed and fell into our hands. In a split second our beautiful 3D house had gone all 2D on us. My mum was standing on one side of the bench and I on the other, both of us now holding the fallen panels, absolutely horrified, but also in hysterical fits of laughter. We had gone to so much care and effort to get those walls together and look what happened. The foundation platter was now empty, not a house in sight. Honestly, it was all a bit Thredbo circa 1997. The moral of the story is, don't tamper with the gingerbread recipe!

Without further ado, here is the final result. I might also mention that due to exhaustion and haste on my part, these photos are a big blurry ol' mess, but you get the idea. 

Can't wait to smash it up on Christmas night.

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