Soon enough I had both the coconut ice and the chocolate fudge setting in the fridge, and I sat down to watch some TV. I stupidly thought it wouldn't take long to put the trays together, so I didn't make a start on it until the movie ended at around 10.30pm.
I started with the coconut ice and chocolate fudge, but decided I better get some of the more bulky stuff on the plate before I went too much further. The obvious place to start with 'bulky stuff' was the Christmas cake. Taking a deep breath, I got out a knife and made an attempt to cut through the rock-hard icing. I must say, it wasn't easy to do while trying to hold a camera steady in my other hand!
With a little effort, I successfully cut the first slice, which turned out to be almost entirely icing. Even at that point, I had chunks of icing all over the kitchen. When I went to cut slices of the cake itself, it got even worse: the royal icing just shattered every time I cut through it.
I had my first taste of the cake, which turned out to be a bit like taking a shot of rum. I probably didn't need to pour that extra rum over the cake before I iced it: the result was fairly potent. It was still tasty, but very rich. I ended up cutting it into quite thin fingers, partly because larger slices were too bulky for the trays, but also because I thought people would have trouble getting though a whole slice.
By the time I'd added the cake, Christmas mince pies, shortbread, spice biscuits and brandy balls to the trays, it was getting very late. I even went onto my computer to print off a little card to put on each tray, but my silly printer refused to print - even in greyscale - because one of the colour cartridges was empty. I had to do without the cards in the end.
So finally I had 3 large trays and two smaller plates of goodies to take in to work. I also had shattered bits of icing all over my kitchen, and less than six hours in which to get some sleep. Six hours turned out to be a generous estimate, however, when the cat uncharacteristically went exploring and I spent half the night trying to sleep but instead wondering where she'd got to.
Shortly before 7am this morning, I was blearily loading trays of baking into the back of my car. Appropriately attired in a Santa hat and plaits, I dropped into a couple of the other sites on my way to work, playing the 'Christmas fairy' and dropping off baking, much to the appreciation of various colleagues.