Tonight it's sideways rain and gusting at 50 mph, yuk! No Indian summer here. However, yesterday was one of my favourite kind of days, calm and still, a pottering type of day. You know the kind where you guddle about doing stuff with no real order but it can be productive (to guddle um, another scots word which doesn't translate too well. Hmmmm I found a kind of reference here we're not talking catching fish, we're talking to potter about in an aimless fashion). Thinking of it like that, I'm sure the phrase 'she guddled' could be put on my tombstone, it would be quite apt, again not the catching fish with only your hands kind. Back to the pottering or guddling. Life here is pretty weather dependant, yesterday started with hope and slipped into grey/sunny intervals, therefore a bit of guddly cooking was done by me and my son, we made shortbread and jolly yummy it was too. Before he flies the nest he's learning to cook, bake and sew, as he's due to fly off next year, we thought we'd best get on with it. Today it was shortbread, last week, mince and tatties and then brownies. He's not a bad cook...............
Looks great, we had to try one piece, you know, um, what do they call it, lack of control? No thats not it, its, called quality control. Honest.
The Best Shortbread In the World
Perfect as intended by Jamie Oliver in Cook with Jamie: My Guide to Making You a Better Cook
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon caster sugar (powdered sugar)
2 scant cups flour, sifted, plus extra for dusting
2/3 cup semolina or 1 scant cup cornflour
Preheat the oven to 300 o F, 150o C. Butter a tin. Cream butter and sugar together with a wooden spoon until pale, light, and fluffy. Add the flour and semolina or cornflour. Mix lightly until you have a smooth dough.
Press the dough into your pan, poking it into the corners with your fingers – don’t worry about it having to look perfect. Prick the dough all over with a fork and bake in the preheated oven until slightly golden – 50-60 minutes. While warm, sprinkle with a generous dusting of sugar. Allow to cool slightly, then cut into chunky fingers.
Woo hoo it worked!
Most of it made it into a tin, well some of it did.
That started the day rather well. Big tick for the boy child.
Next on the pottering list was a bit of outdoors stuff - 4 loads of washing, I won't bore you with photos of my washing, well not today anyway and then the gravel got spread about the yard, 3 tonnes will get those muscles working, who said guddling had to be aimless? The daisies are still flowering, although looking, like the rest of us a bit weather worn, but they're very cheerful greeting us in the yard, even still.
That lot of gravel should stop me getting muddy feet everytime I try and collect the eggs, which hide behind the door on the right. We had a visit from a lovely chum, which meant a sit in the garden and a cup of tea (with shortbread, of course be rude not to have any), only one bit, I'm not a cake fan, but I'm a biscuit monster, so I have to put it behind lock and key, or give it away, so my chum took some home too. Which is just as well, otherwise I would have eaten all of it - it was very yummy.
We've got back into walking everyday if we can, normally in wellies, other footwear is not so lovely or lets face it in our climate, waterproof footwear is essential.
When I say 'we've got back into it' obviously I meant to say Mother Tyrant (thats me, I'm called that alot) has dictated we're all too lazy and require a walk everyday there isn't any sideways rain, so we've got down to the beach at the bottom of our track, twice this weekend on days which have not been gales and sideways rain (unlike today as I type rain is splattering the windows at a force greater than I'd really expect the winow to put up with).
Down from the house, we look over to Hoy in the background and Graemsay in the foreground, where a fellow blogger lives and I'm sure we can wave to each other - I always give her a wave anyway, just in case she's watching. Although I'm sure she has better things to do than watch for me waving!
We say hello to the horses, on the way down the track, not sure I've mentioned them before, they appear quite friendly...........
I like this lighthouse I can see two from the house but this one is my favourite. We often sing the 'lighthouse keeper song', you know the one, 'I'm going to marry a lighthouse keeper and live right by the sea.....'. As Mr Flowers is not a light house keeper, we don't want to offend him by tales of marrying someone else, so we don't sing it too seriously, unlessof course he'd like to buy us a light house and we can all live by the sea? Perhaps not.......
Our shore, not that its 'ours' but we do claim it for our own when we're on it. The beach is a sandy/rocky shoreline, nice and interesting. At this time of year, early evening lights is going faster than I'd like. We walk quickly, gasping in the scenes as they change intermittently between sun and cloud.
Lots of lovely shells to find and stones to skim, a favourite passtime of Mr Flowers and Mr Cheery it would seem. I've the co-ordination of a fish, (no offence fishes) so I don't tend to skim stones for fear of wounding those around me. I do like to look at shells though and I love these 'Painted Topshells' with their irredescant inner shell revealed, all pearly and silver, we desanded it a bit, just because it was so pretty.
The cellist spied a feather and took this rather lovely shot, I love the composition of her photos.
Whilst as always, I spied the plants on the beach (well aside the seaweed obviously, which I named as I toddled passed, just cos I like to keep my hand in). This bonnie daisy (Tripeurospermum or Matricaria, depending on which taxonomist you believe.......) was growing through the bladderwrack (Fucus vesiculosus, I remind myself, if you don't use the names you forget them quickly). Everyone in my family reckons I make them up anyway - so I guess I could call it anything and I'd always be right or wrong!
Anyway after a guddle on the beach, a dander back up the track, its time for tea. Traditionally sundays in our house includes either a roast dinner, or 'frog in a bog' (Toad in the hole) - this week we had delish home made yorkshire batter (the bog/hole) with tomato and pork sausages (the frogs/toad), mash, leek gravey and corn. The boy child makes this dish, using his secret recipe, which is neither his (its austrailian womans weekly recipe), nor very secret (we all know it off by heart - one cup plain flour, one cup milk, two eggs mix to a batter, perfect every time), really hot oven and a tray with 1 tbsp oil heated up in it. Hes great at it and he does make it very well, so we leave him to make it for us. No photos, this meal is always scoffed too quickly!!
A great pottering type of a day, I hope your own sunday was grand and full of fun.