Bread and gardens

Yesssssss! I woke to the distinctive snick! snick! of a lady trimming a substantial ceanothus this morning, and, struggling into some duds, dashed out and now have the number of my next door neighbours’ gardeners, who really are a lovely gang of ladies and do an absolutely super job next door. I hope I can afford just a couple of hours or so a month, to keep my beds in order so that I don’t have to watch it all go to hell while I am not well enough to do anything myself.

I had been prepared to wait a week for the things I had ordered to arrive, but yesterday my new secateurs (adequate, but inferior to the old ones WHERE ARE THEYYYY?); some really wonderful new topiary shears, which will also be perfect for trimming my lavender, and a cheapo strimmer all arrived within an hour of one another from various couriers. This should have triggered Gardening Frenzy!!!, except that yesterday and again today, I am weary, so no Gardening Frenzy!!!

I will allow myself ten minutes in the garden after lunch, though. This is part of my new approach. Instead of expecting myself to do everything, I now expect myself to do a very little bit. Ultimately the whole thing still gets done. And in the meantime I don’t have that dragging sense of not having done anything, which really gnaws at the very roots of my soul.

Sesame loaf with tahini, garlic and linseedI had feta on my home-made garlic tahini bread this morning. The bread has a glorious, nutty, salty, creamy flavour, but the crumb is just slightly less elastic than I’d like and one has to be a little gentle when buttering it when it’s toasted or the corners will come off. This loaf had two cloves of garlic, a tablespoon of tahini, a good belt of the oil from the top of the tahini (sesame oil, effectively), and I added a good three tablespoons of whole and crushed linseeds and sesame. I suspect it is the seeds which have affected the crumb most, but the taste is so good I am loath to cut back on it.

I’m starting to really get the hang of my camera, at last. How long have I had this thing? Three years? Well I’ve finally got to the stage where I understand how all the various elements of a photograph (the technical stuff: yer ISO, yer shutter speed, yer aperture, yer white balance and that, not the composition stuff) work together, and – I dono, I’m enjoying taking a few snaps again, albeit since I’ve suddenly got the hang of it I haven’t been anywhere, so sorry, but these were taken in my back garden and both feature the same ash tree.

Sunset sky from my living room - the ash in the shade

A neighbour's house at sunset, from my back garden

I’m doing strips of chilli beef with couscous (barberries, flaked almonds, a few little bits of tom and ras-el-hanout) with a big green salad later. THAT ought to fuel me, eh?

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