Friday, 19 February 2010

Walls and bread

I don't know whether I've ever mentioned it here, but I like walls. Old walls specifically, with lichen and moss and things growing up them, and water dripping down them. Walls that look like they've seen a thing or two.

This week, I've been taking photos of walls. There's two reasons for this - first of all the pictures in one of the old National Trust magazines I picked up in a charity shop last week. Look at those colours! It made me want to go and take lots of photos of walls straight away.

The other reason I've been taking photos of walls is because it's been a busy week, and when it's one of those busy weeks, I find I have to take my relaxation and recovery time where I can get it.

Which involves walking home from work along little alleyways, taking photos of walls.

For me this week, relaxing also involved cycling along the canal to do some voluntary work in another city. Cycling along rather a lot of canal, in fact, in quite a lot of rain and mud. A good opportunity to practice some enforced relaxation, and to appreciate what I could see, rather than concentrating too hard on what I felt like.

It's been easier today. I've been doing some of the never-ending PhD work, but I've been doing it at home, and I got up early to make some bread. Enthused by my success last weekend, I made some more of the Iranian flat breads (although they're not very flat, and are just rather like simple white bread rolls). Again, they turned out perfectly, and again, they all disappeared within about five minutes.

I love making bread. It's one of the things we've done most in the last year or two as we've cut down spending and tried to do things for ourselves a bit more. We mostly make it in the bread machine, but I'm trying to perfect a few recipes for making it by hand when we're in the house for a couple of hours.

There's something so comforting and rewarding about making bread, the waiting, the rising, the kneading, the smell, and the taste, and the satisfaction of eating something you've made from flour and water that tastes like so much more.

Now, if only I could figure out how to make it last for more than ten minutes, we'd be sorted...

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