Can a banana cake cure all feelings of inadequacy?

4 years ago

Yesterday I ignored a Facebook friend request for the first time. It was from one of my bosses here at the University of Bath, Sleazy Patrick. Just as I was clicking on IGNORE, he called me into his office and asked me to go and buy him a latte, which I did. When I brought it to him, he asked me whether I'd like to see Tarantino's latest work of great brutality, Django Unchained, with him this weekend. I said that I intended to spend the whole weekend slaving in our hothouses with my father - a true story.

My delightful banana and walnut tea cake cures all feelings of inadequacy.

Later on I made the mistake of relating S. Patrick's tempting offer to my mother, who roundly castigated me for not seizing the opportunity. When I explained to her that a date with S. Patrick was not in keeping with my resolutions, she said: 'Even if he's disgusting, Piggy, you should go out with him to make Benji jealous. Good grief! Don't you understand how a man's mind works?'

I might have said, 'actually, Mum, I do know how a man's mind works, as I have just finished reading The Game by Neil Strauss'. Instead I said, 'I don't think we have the same values.' I said it rather snootily too, which I regret, but I'm still not going on a date with S. Patrick. For the very short time I had him 'on the brain', I realised that he bears a frightening resemblance to Glen Bulb from Nighty Night.

Glen Bulb could play the role of Patrick in the movie of my life.

Honestly, what woman in her right mind would go on a date with S. Patrick/Glen Bulb? I suppose what happens is that all the good-looking, successful people pair off, leaving the rest of us to pick from the leftovers. If leftovers are all there is, one begins to consider them.

What's heartening is that men like Benji are still available. From my observation, he's a bona fide bachelor, just as his mother told my mother, and there's no impediment to us getting together. I honestly thought there was chemistry between us that afternoon I ran into him jogging at Nun Far. What's happened? Well - nothing! And I'm not the kind of girl to make the first move; I'm far too shy and wet for that kind of thing. So I suppose I will maintain my White Witch of Narnia act and see where it leads me. Probably the way of the White Witch...

And as if I wasn't feeling bad enough, last night my best friend Aisha rang with the news that she's pregnant with her fourth child. In a way I was delighted for her, but as soon as I hung up I sank into a state of profound jealousy and discontent. Here is a woman, still in her twenties, already a dermatologist, mother of four, owner of a luxury flat in central London and driver of a BMW Roadster. By comparison, I am a blogger with a law degree and a dull office job.

Now I'm trying to cheer myself up by reviewing my resolutions and eating banana and walnut cake, which I made last night after the pregnancy news. I left it in the tea room when I got to the office and I keep going back for more pieces. Petronella, who's growing on me in spite of her copious, effortless glamour, has tried it too and sung its praises. We've exchanged recipes too (my banana and walnut cake for her orange and almond cake) so within the next week I will post Petronella's recipe.

In the meantime, you will have to make do with:

Piggy's banana and walnut cake

You will need:

  • 1/2 cup of butter, softened
  • 2 big or 3 small overripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup of whole walnuts 
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp of vanilla essence
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 50mL of milk
  • 1.5 cups of self-raising flour

And this is what you do:

  • Preheat oven to 180C/360F and grease and line a large cake or loaf tin.
  • Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla essence.
  • Add the eggs, milk, bananas, walnuts and then self-raising flour, stirring after each ingredient.
  •  Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for about 45 minutes.

This is a simple, easy recipe that works every time. It's spongy and moist, yet slices well and you can freeze it too. Guaranteed to pick you up!

Please read about more of my adventures at

Piggy xx

PS Sorry, Shaz, for being such a snooty little cow. I have been reading The Guardian a lot lately and I blame its bad influence. I'm becoming an elitist snob who shuts down argument with some pithy, vague insult that supposedly demonstrates one's intellectual superiority. Won't happen again.

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