Day 12 -It really is like the Big Brother House

 

Grass

1/1000 of a second before I took this picture, a Peacock Butterfly was sunning itself in this very spot.

We had our shopping delivered. It was like a scene out of Big Brother when the weekly shopping arrives. Only ours has to last until the next delivery around the 20th.

Still, we got everything we asked for, so credit where it is due Tesco.

The weather looks a bit rainy for Monday so I hoping to have a day in the kitchen,

I plan on making a raised pork pie, a date and walnut loaf and something else that I can’t remember. Possibly a Bakewell tart. Or was it some biscuits?

Talking of baking, can anyone recommend a recipe that includes shredded wheat? I’m not eating them at the moment as I’m saving all the milk for teas and coffees.

Garden update

What a glorious day. I’ve replanted a small corner of the garden and I’ve finally finished preparing the right hand border.

The plan is to put some squash in there, if/when they come as they do enjoy full sun.

I read somewhere that it is time for the butterflies to return from their winter vacations.

I saw two today (although they may have been the same one making a return visit). Attempts to photograph them failed.

So here’s a couple of other pictures to keep you smiling.

As ever, stay home – even in this lovely weather, and stay safe.

Day 11 – Bent keys and yeast

Trench

Not a snake grave

Another great day in the garden.

I’ve been widening the righthand border where the pond is. As I mentioned yesterday, this will become a new vegetable patch. In order to do this I have removed a section of the lawn.

It’s funny what thoughts go through your mind while gardening. As I was removing a couple of rows of turf I imagined I was digging a grave for a snake. The joke being that you wouldn’t bury it lengthways, you’d curl it up surly.

I took at picture and put it on social media saying that a neighbour with a bad back had asked me to dig a grave for his snake.

I had number of people asking what sort of snake it was. I had to come clean and tell them it was a fictitious one. They can be quite vicious. (The snake, not the people who asked).

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Today’s finds

Treasure

One of the best parts of digging in the garden is finding things long lost. Today’s haul comprised of a bent key, a button and part of an earthenware jug. Sadly no Gonzo sock (see yesterday).

I wonder what was in that pot. All we have to go on are the letters ‘STE’.

What item of clothing was that button from, I wonder? My guess is some sort of cardigan. And the key? Who did  bend it?

All these little bits of history buried in my garden, each with their own stories, never to be told. Unless anyone recognises any of them.

Daily bread

After Wednesday’s bread disaster, the yeast fairy brought us a new supply. We now have enough to make about 50 loaves. Sadly we only have enough flour to make 2. Hopefully we’ll finally get some in tomorrow’s delivery.

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New yeast, better bread

I did manage to make a very basic loaf today. I used a different recipe to the Delia one I used earlier in the week. No offence Delia, but during Lockdown you don’t get second chances.

I’m rather pleased with the results. I do need a better tin though. The one I have is a 2lb tin, but it’s quite narrow. Any reccomendations for optimum size?

The recipe called for fresh yeast, so I had to do a calculation on fresh to dry. Every website gave differing advice for 500g of flour, so I used 5g. Next time I will probably use 7g.

But today’s bake certainly confirmed that the yeast I’d used on Wednesday had had it.

Friday

I’ve just realised that it’s Friday. The whole weekend stretches before us. It is likely to keep on stretching until at least the end of May.

Stay in and stay safe.

 

 

Day 10 – Sockgate

Gonzo sock

Gonzo sock

This is a picture of my Gonzo sock. It’s a great sock. Sadly there should be two of them. A pair.

We’ve turned the house upside down looking for it.

Socks do go missing from time to time, but often turn up on the floor somewhere, dropped en route to the washing machine.

This is different. Gonzo 2 is nowhere to be seen. We’ve looked in all the possible places – pockets of things washed at the same time – and even the impossible places – the fridge.

As Sherlock Holmes would say, something is afoot. Poirot would be exercising his little grey socks and Inspector Clouseau would be walking into a broom cupboard.

The usual suspects

The usual suspects

I have rounded up all the usual suspects and will begin questioning later.

Garden update

I’ve spent most of the day finishing off my compost heap path and preparing the left bed for vegetables.

We have also decided to move the pond. The side of the garden it is in at the moment is in full sun for most of the day. This causes terrible algae problems in the summer. So we’re going to switch it to the other side of the garden and make it bigger, with a boggy area.

Then the side that currently has the pond will be come a bed for the squashes and the vegetables that need full sun.

Lots of plans means lots of work to do. I love it.

Stay in and stay safe.

Day 9 – Counting the days

I’m going to have to keep a chart on the wall of all these days.

It’s Day 9 of the Lockdown. Day 17 since we started self-isolation, (which technically ended after 14 days). Day 3 of the haircut. Day 1 of being furloughed and Day 1 of planting in the greenhouse.

Bread

Worst homemade bread ever

It’s also a day when the bread failed. (That sentence makes me think of The Wicker Man. Police Sergeant Neil Howie will arrive shortly and I will trick him into inspecting my pile of bamboo canes. The bread will not fail!).

Anyway, I was talking about the great bread disaster of 2020. I followed Delia’s recipe and method quite carefully. However, I can’t blame Delia as I fear the yeast we have is past its best. In fact I would go so far as to say dead.

Admittedly we have had it a while and it was supposed to be kept in the fridge. Instead it has spent the last twelve months basking in the warmth of the kitchen in a cupboard next to a tin of pineapple we’ve had since 1994.

If we fail to get yeast in the delivery this weekend I will have to have a go with the sourdough starter we have. It’s two years old, and unlike the yeast, that’s actually a good thing.

Let the planting begin!

Following on from yesterday’s Stop Press news, my first delivery of garden goodies arrived today. It mainly comprises of compost and plant trays to put the compost in. But I also got some peas, beetroot and salad leaves along with some herbs.

I’m starting the peas and beets in the greenhouse as we’ve had a couple of sharp frosts this week. As soon as they shoot, I’ll get them in the ground.

I’m also preparing the lefthand bed for potatoes and leeks, which I hope will arrive early next week.

Here’s a little look at how things are shaping up.

Remember, stay in and stay safe.

Day 8 – The one about cooking

Blog follower

Targeted blog

Almost every day I post a new entry on my blog I pick up a new follower. I think most of the time they are automated follows picking up on tags or key words.

So, following my head shave yesterday I got this (right). I’m tempted to contact them and tell them that I haven’t lost my hair. It’s all in a bag in the shed.

What’s cooking

I have found myself venturing more into the kitchen. So far this week I’ve rustled up a banana and raisin loaf and some potato cakes, based on the linked recipes. Both have helped use up left over food and have also helped to pass the time.

I did have to adapt them a little. For instance, I only had one banana so I added a couple of handfuls of raisins. For the potato cakes I used 400g of cooked potatoes and 100g of flour. I used self raising flour, but only because I would have to sell my first born to get plain flour at the moment.

Both were delicious, but I don’t think I’m ready for MasterChef just yet. Last night I was told that I was using the wrong pan to cook peas. Can you imagine look on the faces of Monica and Gregg?

In the weeks to come I plan to be more adventurous. I’ve ordered the ingredients to make a raised pork pie. Surly no one is panic buying lard, minced pork and gelatine.

If you are wondering about the garden, then I am now very much in the hands of the delivery. I’m all ready to crack on, but at the moment all I’ve got is the enthusiasm and the time.

STOP PRESS

Just as I was writing that last paragraph I got an email to say that my garden order has been dispatched.

Stay in and stay safe.

Day 7 – Before and after

Today would have been my first day out after 14 days of self isolation, but here we are on day 7 of the Lockdown, still at home.

Outside the traffic on the road seems a lot busier than it has been for the last few days. Perhaps the weekend reduced some of the commuter traffic. Let’s just hope that it’s not down to people venturing out more than they should.

Buzz

Before

Before

I’ve been mulling over for a few days now whether or not to shave my head. I’ve always wanted to do it, but I never really had the opportunity to. Until now.

The prospect of being out of public sight for a few months means that no matter how ridiculous I look, there’s only one other person who has to put up with it.

I did receive some friendly family guidance. It ranged from, “Don’t do it” to, “make sure you put something on the floor before you start”.

I also did a mental check-up of all the implications of having a shaved head. Would I need a nightcap to keep my head warm in bed? Will my glasses still fit properly? How much will I save on shampoo?

I popped my electric shaver on charge. It’s only meant for trimming beards and I didn’t want to to run out half way through leaving me looking like a Peaky Blinders reject.

During

I couldn’t reach the back of my head.

Fully charged and with the bathroom floor covered in black bin liners, I was ready to take the plunge.

It actually felt rather pleasant. Large clumps of hair tumbling from my head. It all was going so well until, I realised that I couldn’t reach the back of my head.

I had to call for assistance and once they stopped laughing and composed themselves, the task was completed.

Most of the hair had fallen to the ground, onto the bags. The hair that didn’t make it to the floor was mostly in my mouth.

Usually when I have a hair cut I ask for a number 2 back and sides with a good trim on the top. So apart from losing all of the top, it doesn’t really look or feel much different.

However there is one small problem which I hadn’t accounted for. My phone. As far as Apple is concerned this is no longer my face.

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After

It’s going to be interesting to see how it grows back. Usually after a trip to the hairdressers everything is neatly layered and grows back uniformly. My hair will now grow back at the same rate across my whole head and by the summer I will look like Chewbacca.

Stay in and stay safe.

Day 14 (6) – Status quo

Bee

Bee

By the end of today we will have completed our 14 days of self-isolation. Not that that makes much difference as we will be entering the second week of the Lockdown. Nothing will really change.

We did manage to get out yesterday for some exercise in a nearby park. It was strange to see so few people there, and so spread out. It’s usually bustling with runners and dog walkers and young children riding bikes.

People were creating their own passing places on the pathways to allow others to stay the minimum distance apart. At times it looked like some carefully choreographed performance.

No one spoke, perhaps in fear that an open mouth would let the virus in or out. So just a nod of the head and an expression of ‘WTF’.

Unfazed by any of this, the flora and fauna. Budding trees, spring blossom and frogspawn. Life really does go on. See mini gallery below.

Today, as the weather turns noticeably colder, most of my time has been spent in Animal Crossings – New Horizons. Building a new world far away from this troubled one of ours. Having said that, trying to find iron nuggets does seem to be a problem.

We’ve also signed up for a six month free trial of Disney+. We got this as part of a mobile phone package. Last night we watched The Mandalorian. Wow. Every episode (and so far we’ve been rationed to three) was like a mini feature film. I personally think it has found the mix of humour and engaging storylines that I smooch enjoyed in early Star Wars films. And with the surreal world playing outside, this was a more believable reality, almost comforting.

Sadly I also watched Mary Poppins Returns. I made it as far as them all getting into the bath and decided that putting the clocks forward to British Summer Time was the only hour I was prepared to give up this weekend. No matter how much I beg you to let me watching it again – don’t.

Please remember to stay home and stay safe.