It's been five years since my first and only attempt to make a gingerbread house. I had enough gingerbread that time to make two small houses - one for my close friend who I nearly always meet for a drink on Christmas Eve, and one for my sister.
This year a different friend had to cancel her 40th birthday party because her little boy was ill in hospital. She said she felt like Daryl from The Walking Dead when he was trapped in the Sanctuary and forced to listen to Easy Street over and over - because another family in the same ward kept playing Three Little Kittens to soothe their poorly girl.
Once her boy was feeling better and her girl was off school for the holidays (and I was on holiday from one of my jobs, working at a school), we planned to meet up for a belated birthday/early Christmas lunch. I had an idea of making a gingerbread hospital (like the one Rick wakes up in during the first episode) on the outside that is the Sanctuary on the inside.
As ever, my ideas are usually better in theory than in practice, but hey - it kind of worked and my friend seemed to get what it was. Although the figure inside which was meant to be her as Daryl needed some definition for the arms and folded legs - she thought it was a handbag. Whoops.
You might be able to spot the record player, the character Jesus (who would have had brown hair if I had brown icing), Lucille, and a random star that looks more like a spider's web.
What was impressive to me is that I managed to carry it on two crowded trains to her flat without it collapsing. Royal icing is an amazing invention! (No, I don't make my own, as my Great British Bake Off book recommended. Gingerbread buildings take long enough to make without whisking egg whites as well.)
And if you like torturing yourself, here's a 30-minute loop of Easy Street.