Behind the 7th window, motoring into view…
it’s our fabulous Dixiemobile.
How proud Dixie is of his 1961 Ford Zodiac Convertible, with it’s walnut dashboard and custard creams in the glove compartment!
Made for us by artist @josiecreates, with her signature felted figures on board, this little model car has traveled all over the country with Mum and I, starring in bookshop window displays and festivals, giving me hundreds of hours of happiness playing when I should be working.
Josie is a very special member of Team Dixie. I think Percy secretly has a picture of her in his wallet…
Behind the sixth window, running to keep up…
Short of leg but big of heart; ballroom dancer, map-reader, packer of hampers.
Ernie Wise to Dixie’s Eric.
I can hear that Muttley laugh…
Behind the 5th window it’s WACKY RACES!
That this was my favourite childhood TV programme is no secret. Watching a huge number of episodes again recently, in preparation for the marvellous motors waiting at the start-line for the Didsworth to Dodsworth Race, was of course for the most serious research purposes and not fun AT ALL.
In my picture the vehicle most often noticed is the runaway bathtub full of otters, but I have a soft spot for the cow in a sidecar.
If you are a little rusty with YOUR Muttley laugh and need a reminder, here he is with Dick Dastardly at their very best…
Behind the 4th window of the Dixie Advent calendar -
it’s all about the maps, chaps!
Me and Mum, we do love a map in a book. Milly Molly Mandy, The House on Pooh Corner… maybe because it makes the story REAL – look, it really happened, it happened here!
It took lots of little bits of paper, sellotape and head-scratching to make the map and story work together, but I love the idea of the reader studying the map to follow the Didsworth to Dodsworth Race with all its twists and turns.
And I can now tell you – in each new story there will be more maps, and they will all join together to make one HUGE map!
Behind the third window – THE DIXIE CAKE!
Made with extraordinary lip-smacking skill and deliciousness by @rachelgimbert for the Dixie launch. And now here is Rachel herself telling us how she made it…
For the cake
24oz Caster sugar
24oz Self raising flour
Vanilla Bean paste
(my grandma’s old basic victoria sponge recipe, just on a larger scale!)
Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, blend in the vanilla bean paste and add the eggs and flour in small portions and mix well. Spoon into two GIANT tins and bake for 28 minutes.
Leave to cool in the tins and then turn out onto a wire rack. Sandwich together with raspberry jam and then using a bread knife carve away to create the bonnet and headlights. Cut away the seats and shape the boot of the car too.
For the Icing
This I do by guess work….
A couple of big dollops of butter
Roughly 3 boxes of icing sugar
Drop of milk
Red food colouring gel (concentrated)
Black food colouring
Mix together the butter and icing sugar (slowly to get a nice creamy consistency)
Add a drop of milk to make it smooth and glossy
While it is still white, give the cake a crumb coat (to seal in all the crumbs where it’s been carved)
Then place it in the fridge to chill completely.
Remove cake from the fridge and add a good dollop of the red food gel until it’s BRIGHT RED!
Then smother all over the whole cake!
Using the gum paste sculpt the fittings for the car and Dixie and Percy. Leave to dry out completely.
Using the food colouring, paint the details on.
And that’s it!
(All in fabulous heels obviously)
- and I can confirm, Rachel was indeed in fabulous heels…