I will never live up to Sylvie no matter how long I live and how good I get at making cakes. She was our neighbour for years and made all my daughters birthday cakes. According to my children, there is no one else in the world who can make cakes as well as Sylvie. Now don’t get me wrong Sylvie’s cakes are too die for. They looked great and tasted even better. She could make any kind of cake in any shape but I think my kids are in love with more than the cake. They are in love with the moments. The moments when they got to eat those cakes, the joyful feelings, surrounded by their friends from all over the world. No matter how good I get at making cakes I can never bring back those childhood feelings of joy and delight my children get when they think about all the times they ate Sylvie’s cakes.



One of Sylvie’s famous cakes. My children still delight in telling people they ate Sylvie’s poo!

Sylvie is no longer our neighbour because we have moved countries. It would be a miracle if we ever even lived in the same country again, never mind being neighbours. If my children are fortunate then maybe sometime in their future they will be at the same table as Sylvie and her family, eating her cake and those feelings will come flooding back. This makes me both happy and sad. It makes me happy that they have people all over the world who will continue to give them joy but it makes me sad that those bonds would probably have been stronger if we had stayed as Sylvie’s neighbour.

You can see more of Sylvies fabulous cakes on her Instagram account @sissloscakes

Rachel Nelson is a New Zealand expat who has lived and worked in the US, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, the UAE, Qatar and Germany.