Finding the nicest places to eat
With family, friends
and a small brown dog.
Finding the nicest places to eat
With family, friends
and a small brown dog.
A new fresh notebook, filled with empty pages and promise. A new document, “open from new blank document”, and write.
And this time it’ll be different. The voices will stay. They’ll stop being shy, come out and tell their stories.
I’ll sit down and write or type until it’s done. No stopping to scroll through Twitter, or Facebook, check the mail, play Pokemon Go, or read that really interesting article.
And the words that are hiding in the corner of my minds eye, will shout “Boo!” and let themselves be caught.
Why won’t they? Why don’t they?
Is it age, or worse? the menopause? I’ve heard of “chemo” brain, is this “Covid”* brain?
Back forty years.
In my Welsh bedroom. Light back on. Writing with youthful pomp, about the cruel words evading me. Dreams of Dylan.
But never the singer
I though this might help.
Making myself write every day. What’s it meant to be? Practice for 10,000 hours and you’ll get proficient?
The wasted time. The times I’ve thought but not written, and then seen it written. Because among 7+ billion why should I have original thought?
The times I’ve thought and written, then seen it written elsewhere.
Because among 7+ billion why wouldn’t it?
And the person who writes it is.
Is a writer. Sits and writes.
Spends the hours.
Is known, has reach.
No! Chase away the resentment. It just curdles. Compacts thoughts into meanness.
I should keep trying. Ha!
But that’s so much more.
Something to read properly.
Instead of scrolling. Instead of playing.
(When normal service should resume)**
*reaction to the Covid situation not suffering from it, as far as I know I’ve not had the virus
** I did this more or less stream of consciousness earlier, and lacking inspiration and nearing Friday night dinner time I pressed post. Hopefully back to armchair travel tomorrow.
And from tomorrow we can.
In small groups* and outside. Nicola Sturgeon”s announcement today had been expected, so we’ve already got an invite for coffee with friends next week. In their garden.
It’ll be nice to sit and chat with them. We’ve had conversations across the road when our daily exercise paths have crossed, and shouted from the garden when they’ve passed at other times. But yelling gets a bit tiring.
We’ll be hoping that the sunny weather keeps up, remember it wasn’t picnic weather last week. Sunshine and a light breeze would be ideal**.
No catch ups with family for me yet though. The rules on travel haven’t changed, and even if they had I certainly couldn’t manage the journey to Wales or even to see MasterS** without a stop. And public toilets and cafes are still closed.
It’s welcome, but a bit scary too. And a long way from the life we were used to.
*In Scotland, groups of up to eight people but only from two households.
**weather conditions least attractive to midgies
***I’ve only once managed the journey to Edinburgh without needing a stop
Making those treats for DogS yesterday was fun, and it reminded me that baking doesn’t have to mean cake. So I had a rummage around in my recipe folder for this recipe from the BBCGoodfood website.
I remembered it was tasty, not too tricky to make, and would be ready in time for supper.
*don’t hate me for having yeast, I had a pre-Covid stash.
It’s not always been the same story for bread flour, but our local shop has a good supply at the moment .
So dry ingredients first, mixing in the salt and yeast separately, before they all get mixed together. Then it’s time to drip in the oil, and add some water, to bring it to the right texture for kneading
Making bread is fun, and kneading the dough is soothing
And it’s a good lesson in patience, proving first for an hour in the bowl, then 45 minutes in the tray.
All puffed up and almost ready to go
A few finishing touches
and then into the oven it went.
And the finished article?
But with a difference, I’m baking dog biscuits.
MasterS gave us this book for Christmas
it’s full of recipes for dishes you can share with your dog. Now we have a rule that DogS is not fed at the table while we’re eating. Ok, except for occasional* bits of cheese when she looks specially hungry.
But I thought it would be nice for her to have some nice tasty homemade treats. Although I have to balance that with the knowledge that she will happily graze on rabbit poo**
I found a recipe that a) required only ingredients I had to hand and b) included some of her favourite things. No, not rabbit poo, tho’ I’ve access to a plentiful supply of that. Cheese and carrots. And had the added attraction of parsley, for fresh breath. DogS is mostly pescatarian which gives her a certain, piquancy around the mouth area.
Here’s the ingredients and the rolled out dough.
Now the book said to use a bone shaped cutter, but I don’t have one of those.
So I tried free hand
And here they are all baked and ready to eat
But as they say the proof of the pudding is in the eating.
So I’ll leave you with DogS,
Who I think approves.
**and on one memorable occasion sheep poo. The outcome was not pretty, and smelled worse.
It was sunny this morning and I retraced some of Saturday’s steps.
This rose had unfurled
the anemones seemed happier
and the May* was definitely out.
The lambs had left their shelter
and this guy looked contented.
Here’s that peony, even blousier than before
There was even a breeze to keep the midges at bay.
Though that didn’t stop DogS picking up a tick snootering in the long grass.
When I got home, I put out the washing (MrS removed the tick)
And brought it in again**.
When the rain came back.
*I did cast a clout
**it was dry
And today that is something I am most definitely lacking.
I wondered about another baking post, they’ve been popular. But the problem with that is I’ll end up with cake. And I like cake. A lot. Here’s one I “rescued” from the shops on Thursday. And ok I haven’t eaten all of it, just most of it.
Never mind “The VeryHungry Caterpillar” I’m the “always hungry and can usually manage a little something even when I’m not, Marina”
Compounded with that, MrS made another batch of ice-cream and these!
So so no baking for me, well unless it’s doggy biscuits
I know it probably only matters to me but I don’t want to repeat myself too much. And I haven’t been further than the shops since the middle of March. So no travel nor days out inspiration for posts. At least last time I challenged myself, I gave myself a theme. Although with 31 days perhaps I didn’t really think that one out…..
I just went off piste after “z”.
We’ve had horrible wet weather for the past few days too. So even though I’ve had my usual walks they haven’t been as productive.
And I’ve spent far too much time fuming at the news. Scrolling through Twitter, liking, re tweeting and searching for a pithy comment to make in my own tweets. But mostly just sinking into an incoherent spluttering “Whaaaat???”, “Buuuttt” .
It’s all here.
As I write it seems that our Prime Minister’s chief adviser remains in post.
Those incoherent splutters are threatening to overtake me again.
It’s such arrogance and disdain; for all the people who have died, have lost family and friends, and have simply obeyed the rules to try and keep others safe.
I think I’m going to take DogS’s example,
find myself a comfy chair, and my book.
So I’m now 23 days into my #EveryDayinMay challenge to myself. And Spring is moving towards summer. Here are some photos I took around the beginning of the month
And now some taken on walk today.
First I noticed these Hawthorn or “May” blossoms.
Do you know the saying “Ne’er cast a clout ’til May is out”? There’s often debate, disagreement even, over its meaning.
Is it referring to the month or the flower?
And what is a “clout” or “cloot”?
Well in Scotland a “cloot” is a cloth, and can be used as word for vest. As in don’t stop wearing your vest until. ..
Well until when?
Until the 1st of May, or when the Hawthorn blooms?
Or perhaps the end of May? With May being “out” meaning over?
And then my mother used to say the same thing. In Wales. Where we didn’t use the word “clout” in the same way. Although it was usually a warning not to go out without a coat.
And walking along I noticed the blossom wasn’t even at the same stage everywhere.
So: “Don’t take off your vest/coat/make any rash decisions that it’s summer, until it’s May/May is over/Hawthorn starts to bloom/is in full bloom.
Is that clear now?
But everywhere I walked there were signs of summer, bluebells going over and being replaced by campion.
Wild roses starting to bloom.
Ditches are filling up with irises and umbellifers,
anemones and peonies blooming in gardens.*
the trees in fare in full leaf and bloom.
Those lambs getting bigger. And wiser.
No room for these guys though.
All topped off with beautiful summer weather**
*mine are still in bud and getting battered by the wind
**winds of 50+mph and a temperature of 9.9 degrees centigrade
Oh, and there are still plenty of rabbits, they were just a bit too quick to catch on camera
Travel diaries providing inspiration for planning the perfect trip
Climbing, Outdoors, Life!
keeping things real and quick
Life stories, road adventures and big dreams by Marron Santillan
Giving Your Dog The Time of Their Life
Seeking Solace in the Horizon of Life & Beyond.
Stories and photos from Scotland
Speciality Ice Cream from Scottish, Highland cows
The Cricket Pages
a collection of words about my average, bog-standard life accompanied by some sub-par illustrations that depict selected moments in said life
Natalie. Writer. Photographer. Etc.
My Diary Travel, Photography, My Sight About Somethings
The ultimate guide for independent travellers seeking inspiration, advice and adventures beyond their wildest dreams
Food Photography & Recipes
If you could go anywhere you wanted, where would you be headed right now?