A Sunday Ramble

More rain today. A terrific storm with lightning and thunder last night about eleven, just as I was trying to get some sleep. We lost electricity for a few hours, but it was restored, as was I, when I awoke. Forced to hoover the carpets, read books, think about the next post to Pat the Chooks. Trying hard to avoid ironing shirts, cleaning shoes and all those other domestic tasks that are too closely related to going back to work in the morning.
The chooks and geese seem oblivious to the rain, at least the chooks are when they can get out from their pen. If I haven’t opened the gate for them and it is raining, they huddle underneath the coop like sad smokers outside an office building. This morning when I opened the pen, all the hen-chooks came out in stately procession and went into their morning routine (see previous posts) without delay or hesitation. Some of them seem to enjoy standing underneath the blackcurrant bush in the rain; others underneath the shelter of the bay window which projects out a foot or so above the ground.
The nut feeder has been a great success for the blue tits, who form a less-than-orderly procession to get at the peanuts. A few sparrows have made their appearance, and I have previously mentioned the robins that live under the hedge, but little else that I have seen so far. I would expect green and other finches, but they may come when the weather gets harder, if it does this winter.As I write, a pair of great tits have joined the melee and muscled their way to the peanuts.
I checked the level of the river this morning and it had fallen by about a foot, retreating from the rushy verge of the lower paddock. Still in spate and visible above its grassy banks for some way down the glen towards the loch. The water is very black and distinctly uninviting. I don’t know how deep the river is here, but I would think that it would be hard to ford even at normal levels just here, although historically there was a ford further upstream which was replaced many years ago when the technology of bridge-building (or more probably the capital finance) penetrated these parts.
Another first yesterday evening was to bake my own bread, which is something we used to do routinely in Somerset. The oven here is a fan-assisted electric one, which did a superb job with the bread and it was very satisfying to watch the loaves rising and browning. Not too sure of the equivalent temperatures for the gas oven to which I’m used, but very close to perfection, if the crusts slightly soft. Cost of two loaves about forty pence. The only trouble with good, home-baked bread is that it tastes too good to leave on the bread board for any length of time. I normally use dried yeast, but the local wholefood shop sells pressed yeast, which I shall try when my current stock run out. Must also get some wholemeal flour (this batch was white) and also bake some rolls for packed lunches.
This post is running the risk of starting to ramble, so I think it’s time to st…

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