"When I recently came across this image, it instantly brought my mind back to the cake shop of my youth. Twice in my young life cakes have caused me great embarrassment.
The first occasion was when I was three years old. My father was in England working in a Yorkshire pit near Bradford. He was trying to get family accommodation to bring my pregnant mother and my one-year-old sister, Mary, across from Ireland to live here. On the day in question, my mother took me and my sister into a Dublin Tea Shop. As was customary at the time, the assistant would automatically bring a pot of tea to the table without the need to order, along with a cake stand that contained a dozen different types of delicious buns. One ate what one required and then paid on the way out. My mother only had enough money to buy herself a cup of tea and by the time she realised what I'd done, I'd scoffed down one cream cake and was feeding my face with a second. The story she told us afterwards was that we quickly did an Irish runner.
The second occasion that a bun embarrassed me was when me and Geoffrey Griffiths (deceased for 25 years now), dared each other to enter a confectionery shop on our way to school in Heckmondwike and steal a cream bun. I was 9 years old and Geoffrey was 11 years old. Both of us considered ourselves to be the best thief on the estate and yearned to be proclaimed 'the winner' to the much-sought-after title. Now, the bun in question just wasn't any old bun, as that would have been too easy a task to accomplish for a pair of thieves with our shop-lifting abilities. We identified a particular large cream bun in the middle of the shop window crowned with a big, red cherry and said that we would steal 'that' bun. Geoffrey went into the shop first and when the owner wasn't looking, he swooped to steal the bun. After he came out of the shop grinning from here to the other side of next week, we noticed that he'd only managed to steal half of the cream bun; leaving the remaining half on display for all to see. It, therefore, fell to me to enter the shop, distract the owner and then steal the other half of cream bun which surely would have drawn suspicion on the two of us, had it been left there in its half-naked form.
Stealing was probably the strongest of urges in my early youth, and it was years later, in my adolescence that my propensity to steal stopped.I stole an apple from the display box of the estate greengrocer and instead of reporting the theft he saw me commit to either my parents or the police, he offered me a Saturday morning job in his shop for which I received half a crown wage. I started to find my own natural goodness which had never deserted me and I became a Probation Officer.
It was customary whenever a colleague's birthday arrived in the probation office, for the birthday boy/girl to buy cream cakes all round. They were over thirty colleagues who worked in the Probation Office and so there was always a birthday to celebrate and a cream cake to eat. I rarely ate one without recalling the two incidents of my life this morning's post refers to.
Despite it being over 60 years after my illegal foray into the world of cream cake confectionery, I never forgot my original sin as I licked the cream of temptation and allowed it to dissolve into the satisfaction of having 'made it' as a decent human being." William Forde: April 28th, 2017.