“What was that thing that was on the British Bake Off, asked the younger last night.
“What was what thing on the British Bake Off?”
“I don’t remember the name. It had a funny name. “
“I mean it could be anything. They make so many things. And a lot of things with funny names. Like,” I started racking my brains, “entremet or … ciabatta.”
“Nooo! Not a thing you bake, that thing Noel was pretending to be!”
“That thing Noel was pretending to be,” I repeated, mystified.
I racked my brains again. A goth? A dandy? David Bowie? Russell Brand?
“You said it was a kind of mouse,” the younger went on.
“A kind of mouse? I repeated.
I thought for a minute.
“I probably said ‘a kind of mousse.’ Was it a bavarois?”
There had been some MAJOR bavarois on the season finale of Bake Off that we had watched the night before.
“No, no no, not a mousse, a mouse,” insisted the younger, who was naked as a new-born mouse herself, having just gotten out of the bath.
Now she put her hands up like little paws under her chin and squeaked “meep meep meep.”
By this point we were all giggling uncontrollably.
“A meerkat?” suggested the elder.
“Nooo!” protested the younger. “It was a British thing, and also a thing you eat.”
“A kind of mouse and also a thing you eat? I repeated. “I’m so confused,” I said.
Could it have been some kind of World War II recipe? I wondered. Those were desperate times. Or perhaps some kind of grouse?
“A British thing you eat?” said the elder. “You mean, like … bangers?”
“Bangers!” I exclaimed. “They don’t make bangers on Bake Off, that’s not a thing you bake,” I scoffed. Then I paused.
“Bangers,” I repeated slowly. And it came to me.
And that is how the three of us came to watch the first episode of The Clangers last night. If you too are feeling like you need someone to dab your forehead with a cool flannel and fetch you a mug of soup, I highly recommend it. Oliver Postgate’s voice is more soothing than Ativan.