Many of my regular readers will know that over the years I’ve baked the odd loaf. My love affair with bread started when I was about five and our school teacher taught us the magic of yeast in bread and we made two  tiny rolls each to take home. Now from what I remember the bread dough was pretty grey – all those grubby little hands taking their turn at squishing the dough – but the smell of the freshly baked bread and the taste of the crust, I was hooked!

It was only when I left home was I able to cater to this side of my personality and tastebuds, often finding obscure little bakeries in odd little places. One likes to romanticise bread, but it’s an every day staple, and I’ve often found very good family run bakeries in really run down areas. One memorable really tough winter where the house I shared was so cold the shower clogged up with ice for weeks, a tin of Heinz cream of tomato soup and a whole meal loaf that I could purchase by the quarter literally kept the wolf from the door.

When the boys were little I made bread as and when I had the time, when they were older I could never keep up with demand. In London I was just too busy and there were too many tempting bakeries to try at every turn in the road. But recently I noticed we had run out of bread, and I was in our local high end supermarket and I just didn’t fancy any of it. And then I realised, I haven’t bought any bread for over a year, we truly are self sufficient.

I rarely make fancy loaves, I do like to play with sourdough, but am equally happy to play with commercial yeast. Often and I do mean often, it’s a white bread flour, salt and water combo, which I’m very happy with. Occasionally I follow a recipe, most of the time I wing it. 

And today’s was no exception, no scales involved, commercial yeast brought alive, flour, water, salt. I think my bread today was equal in stature to anything I could buy in a bakery, and most definitely fresher! 

Nom, nom!

And I made a couple of spares for the freezer.

Crusty bread.

A New Arrival

The smell of a very young puppy is just heavenly. It runs neck and neck with new baby smell and I’d be hard pressed to tell you  which I actually prefer. I can tell you this though, puppy feet smell just like cheesy wotsits, which is just so cute! 

Meet Teddy. 


The story goes, Ruperts breeder was having another litter which would be related to Rupert. We had thought about it, but because hubby was having the odd moment of not being quite right, we’d pushed the idea away. But then, you knew there was a but then, one can’t live ones life on buts and maybes. So we tootled over to have a look at the last two of the litter, and low and behold the pup I’d fallen for weeks ago was still there. Although I hadn’t realised that until I looked over the litter photos later. What I do know is I instantly connected with this pup, it was something about the eyes and that lovely dark muzzle, the pup instantly connected with us and first fell asleep on hubby, then woke up, came over to see me, fell asleep, then woke up and went back to hubby. The other pup had long since disappeared bored by the whole proceedings.

Out for the count.
My Bears. 
Ruperts baby. 

Rupert has taken to him so well, it’s lovely to watch them play and then snuggle up together while they sleep. Don’t be alarmed, Rupert has just been castrated so they don’t fight when they are older.

Nearly 9 weeks. 

We are so lucky to have such a happy puppy, now I just wonder when he’ll start sleeping through the night! 

Reading in Heels, November 2018.

Reading in Heels plopped onto the doormat a couple of days ago, which was a very pleasant surprise, not least because although we have had Halloween and Guy Fawkes my brain had not computed that we were again into a new month. In fact everything has gone awash this week, the swimming has stopped, the daily walk, everything, I’ve just wandered into a black hole. Hubby’s not been well, we ended up in accident and emergency on Sunday afternoon/evening while a gamut of tests were done, all hail the NHS, who I’ve always loved and adored. Then he saw a specialist team the next day and he sees another one next week. He seems to have improved immeasurably and is back to pottering on the plot, often with his new mantis tiller, so fingers crossed, it was just a bit of a moment. It was just me that got launched out of my cocoon of a lovely life, but I went for a long walk yesterday and am finding my way back. So it was a bit of a distraction to find this.
I eagerly ripped it open, anticipation tingling.
Ooh goodies, squeal. Firstly the book, States of Passion by Nihad Sirees, a dark and stormy love story set in a Syria, known long ago, filled with music, art, wealth and culture. Sounds wonderful, just the sort of book to read when one can hear the rain beating down along with the crackle of a good fire. There were treats of course, Nemi tea provided some chai tea, I do love a chai tea so I’m looking forward to that. Honey rose bakery provided the most delicious brownie I’ve ever had in my life, it might have been small but it was wonderful, and nearly didn’t make it into the photo! Korres provided some bergamot and jasmine body milk which smells devine and is such a nice treat from a high end brand. Just perfect to use after a nice long soak in the tub on a winters evening to float into sleep amidst beautiful scents.  And some postcards, which are a bit random but will make perfect bookmarks.