stories

Pink iced buns

left: original artwork, right: the tea towel itself (creased, stained and used)
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I couldn’t tell you much about my daily routine as a 6 year old. I know that I went to nursery in the morning and I remember the inside of the building which was bright with the kid’s hastily pinned up drawings and noticeboards outlined by jagged borders on corrugated paper. I remember turning up my nose at the free milk cartons at story time (I’ve always been a bit freaked out by milk) and being afraid while playing sleeping lions. I don’t quite remember how my morning at nursery was formed, but I know how my afternoons following nursery began: with a pink iced bun. I don’t know if I went to Tilehurst’s Warings Bakery with my mum or whether she bought it before collecting me at lunch time, but I remember the rustling of the brown paper bag as she removed the bun and put it on a plate in front of the TV, careful to peel off any icing that'd gotten stuck to the paper. I remember kneeling on the floor too close to the TV showing Sesame Street, leaning over the plate as I devoured the treat. I paid more attention to the bun than the programme, staring cross-eyed as I held it close to my face between mouthfuls. I know how the pink icing I always wished there was more of tasted the right kind of sickly-sweet and how the bun was never too dry and how I was always full up once I’d finished.

Uncomplicated iced buns have probably never changed. An iced bun is an oblong-ish, pale-ish bun with a stripe of unevenly spread, perfectly pink icing. It cannot be improved. Not by sprinkles, nor by filling it with cream and jam. Nothing comes close to the satisfaction of such a simple cake, a cheap and delicious British treat.