Sometimes, I really get the wanties for something. And then I see them everywhere and the universe keeps sending me subliminal 'buy it' signals. The anticipation is possibly the most delicious thing - researching where the best place to get it from might be; agonizing over the colour choice - I can keep the excitement going for weeks.
But yesterday I finally gave in to temptation - it seemed justified. Aside from just having been paid for a piece of work which covered the purchase cost of a stand mixer, I had made a little bargain with myself and fate and it was time to shell out.
Last month, I had read an article in the Waitrose Weekend paper asking for applicants for the next series of The Great British Bake Off. I went to have a nosey, and found myself filling in the application form - you see, it asked the kind of questions that simply invited a trip down baking memory lane. And there's nothing I like more than reminiscing about foodie tales. So I emailed it off on a whim and thought nothing more of it.
Until along came a very nice phone call from someone at the production company wanting to have a chat about my application. I was surprised, to say the least. And flattered. But I didn't think it would go any further - not least because we talked at cross purposes about pastry and I confessed my utter reluctance to even try making my own puff, which I'm sure marks me out as a total baking dilettante.
But it was a laugh and I had great fun telling the couple of friends who knew I'd filled in the form that I'd had a call back. I also promised myself that if things progressed any further, I would finally treat myself to a stand mixer.
So now you see where this is going, don't you? Because I am through to the next stage - on Tuesday I'm headed off to London, clutching samples of my sweet and savoury baking, for the judges to taste. And if they like my stuff, it'll be off for a screen test. The least said about that part, the better, for I have never harboured the remotest desire to be in front of the camera. But I'm calming my nerves with the thought that it almost certainly won't come to that - as the production assistant warned me, the standard is terribly high and I've already seen some blogs from really passionate and inventive bakers with amazing skills who haven't made it through to the next round.
But tra la la, I don't mind, because no matter what becomes of Tuesday, I have a shiny new mixer to play with and by the end of the day, I will be able to say that Mary Berry has eaten my cake.