Kirsten is currently back in Germany. It all started a few days ago when her phone rang while we were eating dinner. She answered it and started talking away in high-speed German. My understanding of low-speed German is virtually nonexistant so I could discern little beyond the fact it was her mother to whom she was talking. After some time she wandered over to my computer and started booking plane tickets, at which point I began to get a little concerned. When she eventually finished the call she seemed more bemused than distraught and it transpired that the conversation went something like this:
“Kirsten, you know it’s your sister’s birthday this week?”
“Well you know that cake you made before? Did you just follow this recipe?”
“Well I made a couple of small creative changes but I pretty much just followed it, yes.”
“But it’s really complicated… Can you come back and bake it for me?”
And so her mother is paying for her to fly over to Germany, bake a cake, stay the night and fly back tomorrow morning. Kirsten’s not complaining since she gets to be there for her little sister’s birthday. But, we calculated, once flights, airport taxes, trains, coaches and taxis are all factored in, that brings the total cost of the cake to a lavish £110. Without ingredients. I’m not sure I’ve ever tasted a cake that expensive. Either her mother is insane or it must be a damn amazing cake and I don’t even get to try a slice…
On the subject of German baked goodies, Kirsten’s also got me eating festive Lebkuchen, a Christmas delicacy that is essentially spiced gingerbread coated with dark chocolate and topped with icing. Gaudy to look at, but with a rich, spicy taste (there’s cinnamon involved too), they’re definitely growing on me.
Meanwhile, the World Community Grid has recently picked up a new project, FightAIDS@Home, researching new drug therapies for HIV using the system I mentioned previously. I would seriously urge everyone to think about getting involved since these are serious causes with valuable results. Having spoken to Sparkie I also realised I didn’t provide a link to the Cambridge team last time. That’s now been rectified.
Finally, an early teaser trailer (mostly stylistic with little content) has emerged for the long-awaited Superman Returns. Before you ask about the title, no it’s not cashing in on Batman’s success, the return of the man of steel (or rather, blue tights) was announced long before the dark knight’s “beginning”, but suffered from continual delays and difficulty in selecting a lead to step into the daunting boots left by Christopher Reeve. Although the director is somewhat secretive about his admittedly “expensive” budget, he has played down speculation by stating, “it’s under $200 million.” Oh, that’s okay then.