Summer Holiday

Hartz Mountains National Park

We got back earlier this week from a month in Australia, our first visit in over five years. It was a pretty intense trip, not only because we saw lots of family and friends, some of whom we hadn’t seen in that long or even longer, but because our kids were now old enough to be taking it all in much more than when they were little.

I had thought that going in winter—because that’s when northern summer holidays happen—might lead to a lot of wet and grey days indoors, but we were lucky with the weather, which was sunny in Sydney and Canberra, and mostly sunny in Tassie, and only really wet and grey on one weekend in Melbourne. Then there was our trip to the Hartz Mountains National Park, when the temperature dropped as we climbed the mountain, until it hit zero and the early morning drizzle turned... to snow. In all my past years of visiting the place, I’d never seen it looking like this. More photos and reflections to come, once I get organized.

Meanwhile, Cecil has been blogging in my absence (because I queued up a month’s worth of entries beforehand in WordPress), and has now finished his adventures in Peru. But that project isn’t quite finished yet, either, so stay tuned for further developments.

31 July 2015 · x1

Adventures in Prodgers

When I first moved to Edinburgh in 2001, I spent a lot of time in its second-hand and antiquarian bookshops, which were more prevalent then than they are now. On one visit I found a small hardback with a title and author that seemed to come from one of those “awful books” compilations, and picked it up for a pound on a whim.

Read More · 22 January 2015 · x2

Comic 8.1.15 part 1

Read More · 8 January 2015 · x1

Rise Up

Bread is a large number of small holes entirely surrounded by bread. —Lennie Lower

Now that the year has got going properly, I’m going to have to get this blog going again, so here it is. This month’s banner theme, if it isn’t clear, is bread: I’ve been baking a lot of it in recent months, trying out recipes by Paul Hollywood and the Bourke Street Bakery, getting a sourdough starter going, and wondering why all my baguettes end up as flat as ciabattas. For Christmas, I got a baking stone and a copy of Brilliant Bread by past Great British Bake-Off runner-up James Morton, and tried out several of his recipes. At this point I can confidently say that it’s the only bread book you really need; it’s certainly the only cookbook I’ve read cover-to-cover in 25 years of cooking. I would start recipe blogging to document it all, except that it’s hard to take photos of wet dough when your hands are covered in it, and I’d just end up plagiarising all of James’s recipes. Buy his book instead.

Read More · 8 January 2015

Site News in 2014