TWTW # 7 Too Cold For Spuds

Another week is over and another month, 2019 seems to be galloping at a pace. In a weeks time I’ll be another year older. This February has been reported as the hottest on record with temperatures getting into the 20’s on several consecutive days, which  has been mad. A few people seem to have gotten their potatoes in the ground already, including a few on my allotment site. I’m going to hold off for another week or so, as I’ve planted too early before and lost part of the crop due to a late cold snap.

I got round to sowing a few seeds this week, broccoli, cauliflower, swede and leeks all made it into pots. I’ve been thinking of trying some different approaches this year to what I grow on the allotment and am planning to utilise more plants from seed (I hope), and top up from the local nursery with anything I’m missing, doesn’t germinate or for some different varieties. I’ve bought odd plants from them before and they supply good stock, so either way we should be good.


I finished “After The Fire” by Henning Mankell and thoroughly enjoyed it. Starting with a fire – an arson attack – I thought that this was going to be a crime novel, and although there is the crime, the book is about much more than that. As with Mankell’s other books it is incredibly well written and set in the Swedish archipelago so a different pace to life, but one where you sense the scenery is both beautiful and isolating at the same time (sounds like my cup of tea). The multi-stranded story is held together well by the first person narration and ultimately I was a little sad to have finished it, knowing that as the author has sadly passed away there won’t be any chance of a continuation of the characters.

I may well revisit some of Mankell’s other books, and just check that I’ve read all of them.



 

TWTW # 6 – Home Baked

I’ve mostly been working from home this week, with some interludes for baking, and a few other things.

It’s also been a week where it would appear that Spring has tentatively arrived. The weather has been unseasonably warm, but it may not last. It’s still a bit early to get properly started on the allotment, so for now nothing much is happening there.

We had feedback on the last lot of tests that the vet did for Wilson, and it would seem that everything is normal. This is obviously good news, but doesn’t answer the questions about what might have been wrong in the first. For now we’re going to monitor he and see if there are any changes over the next couple of weeks.

 


I love a good domino toppling!


I’ve been reading Henning Mankell’s “After The Fire”, the last book he wrote before he passed away. I’m only a few chapters in, and I’m not quite sure what is actually going on but it is very good. I’ve always enjoyed Mankell’s books – the Wallander novels in particular – this isn’t a Wallander story but is a character that he’s used before in “Italian Shoes”, you don’t have to have read the previous story to enjoy this one though. Written in the first person, you can really feel the emotion of the character and what he’s going through after his home is destroyed by fire leaving him with only his night clothes and two left-footed wellingtons. I’ll try and remember to do an update next week.


 

The Week That Was # 2 (Experiments With Sourdough)

I’ve been wanting to do some sourdough baking for a while now. I already bake quite a bit of our own bread (mostly in a breadmaker), and regularly make pizza bases, rolls and other things and I wanted to give sourdough a try too.

I got a starter (you can make your own but I opted for the slightly easier option) from the Wild Baker and it arrived earlier in the week. I feed it (with flour and water) a couple of times and then it was ready to go.

There are a couple of quite long pauses for rising etc. in the sourdough process and I think next time, I’ll shift things around a bit so that these happen overnight rather than try and squeeze things all into a day-and-a-half.

That said the resulting loaf was fantastic (see above). Great tasting and a definite success. It’s always good when cookery of any kind goes well, but this was especially pleasing.


It’s been a pretty chilly week, with temperatures dropping below 0°C on most nights. This had meant that my home office has been a little inhospitable some mornings and so I’ve moved to our lounge to work.

I’ve been assisted by the dogs to keep me company (and warm), although I must admit they have been a little more distracting than normal. I assume that this is as much the change of routine for them as it is for me.

I’ve been asked by a potential client for a proposal for a piece of work, so I suspect that most of the coming week will be taken up in pulling that together. They have ambitious plans so it’s good that potentially I’ll be a part of that work.


I’m between books at the moment, but a quick visit into town to post a parcel took me past the secondhand bookshop.

I always try and leave more books with them than I take away, and this time I succeeded, although I have to admit to be quite pleased with the ones I found.

The Week That Was #1 – I’m Back

So I’ve made a decision to try and get back to posting at least once a week. I’m going to ditch the old format of the “Quick Links” posts but stick with the premise of reviewing the previous week. We’ll see how that goes and what comes out of that in terms of topics, but my suspicions is that the overall content will broadly be the same. So here we go!

Continue reading “The Week That Was #1 – I’m Back”