A tin of Biscuiteers biscuits arrived recently – belated birthday biscuits from the UK from my wonderful friends Sarah, Paul and Olivia Ryan.
The Biscuiteers are a London company specialising in, you guessed it, biscuits. They are a great idea for a gift, and I have used them for friends and relatives in the UK reasonably often. I have their cookbook which is a great guide to making biscuits, and I heartily recommend it. I have baked many good biscuits from this book, including with my nieces, although not quite up to their standard of icing (yet).
Very special to get a tin sent all the way here, as the postage is not insignificant.
Mysteriously, the enclosed gift card did not say who had sent the biscuits to me. My biscuiteer was unknown! The card was completely blank. I deduced it was probably related to my birthday.
My sister-in-law Suzanné has previously sent me a tin of THANK YOU biscuits from Biscuiteers last year, and I had first learned about the company from Sarah Ryan. These two wonderful women were on the top of my ‘most likely’ list. The time difference to England meant the solution to my mystery was a few hours away, fortunately I could eat a biscuit or two with my tea to tide me over.
It was indeed Mrs Ryan who had sent the delightful parcel, although Suzanné had also considered sending me some for my birthday (she sent me a lovely Polli necklace that arrived a few days later). Sarah had stuffed up the message entry whilst using purchasing the biscuits online – rather than been mysterious on purpose. I would have gone the mysterious explanation myself, but she is too good and honest for that!
I first met Sarah Thacker (as she then was) back in January 1997 when I arrived to spend a year as a resident tutor at King’s School Bruton, in Somerset, which is in the South West of England. We have been firm friends ever since. She is a woman of the finest character and it was fitting that there was intrigue surrounding her family’s gift to me (yes, there is an ‘in’ joke there). I was the non-bridesmaid at her marriage to Paul Ryan in 2000. Sarah has been on an odyssey of sorts over the last year since she turned 40, and you can read about our visit to the Savoy Hotel here.
And here is an excellent photo of Sarah that sits on the bookshelf in our study. It was from 1997 or 1998 and we are having tea in Oxford. She is talking on what now appears to be a big, black brick with an antenna at its peak, but at the time was an incredibly sophisticated and cutting edge mobile phone! I thought she was the epitome of cool, and there was not an ounce of irony (although the photograph might now suggest otherwise).