Today’s picture is from my recorder playing friend Sue’s holiday trip to the New World. It shows the Biosphere in Montreal. It looks a bit draughty to me.
The last day of the year was very much in the style to which we have become accustomed. It was gloomy and wet. The cloud never lifted above 500 ft the whole day. It wasn’t cold though so I put my wet weather gear on and set off round the morning run on the slow bike. It rained the whole way round and the very damp conditions didn’t do my breathing any favours. I took so long that Mrs Tootlepedal had made and drunk her own coffee before I got back.
I then had to spend quite a bit of time pulling wet clothes off and putting them into the washing machine before I could make and drink my coffee.
In spite of the gloomy day, I was glad to have a pedal on the last day of the old year as it has been a year of steady pedalling for me. For those interested, I have updated the cycling page to reflect the pedalling year.
It was a rotten day for taking bird pictures and it was a rotten day for the birds too. I have taken some rough shots to give an impression of it all.
The next bird was so rain sodden that it was hard to recognise. I think it is a greenfinch.
The only birds that looked perky were the bramblings who seem to be more waterproof than the gold and green finches.
Even they couldn’t really brighten the day up as they sat around on dripping branches.
I devoted a lot of the afternoon to making bread. My daughter Annie had sent me a recipe for a hand made loaf using the ‘sponge’ method. Just in case it didn’t work, I made a loaf in the bread machine as well. The bread machine loaf was made with a ready mixed packet of serious ingredients from Lidl.
The other loaf required endless making. You made this bit and let it rest and then you made that bit and then you put this bit and that bit together and let them rest again. Then you kneaded the dough in a very gentle way three separate times, letting it rest in between. Then you roll out the dough, roll it up and put it in a bread tin and let it rest again. Finally, you get to cook it, but of course you have to change the oven temperature half way through the process. The whole thing took until 8 o’clock in the evening. The result looked very nice.
Time will tell which tastes best but the three minutes it takes to make the machine loaf compared with the six hours for the other loaf may well influence my future course of action, no matter how lovely the patient bread tastes.
Mrs Tootlepedal and I may or may not wait up to see the New Year in but we will both be jolly pleased to see the old year out as it has been a bit of a wash out.
Late newsflash: Mrs Tootlepedal has just brought me a slice of the patient bread. It is delicious. I shall know what to do on the next really wet afternoon.
I know that there are readers in both Canada and USA so I am adding another of Sue’s holiday pictures to maintain a balance.
I would like to wish a happy New Year from Mrs Tootlepedal and me to all our readers with grateful thanks for your many useful, amusing and kind comments over the past year. Keep them coming.