Tuesday, December 08, 2020


Another successful if fairly idle day. I meant to make sourdough, so, like last week, I mixed the levain last night. But this morning, it wasn’t ready-to-go. The test is whether a small piece will float in warm water. Mine sunk like a stone. I feel sure it was over-proved. I’ve been including rye flour in my starter feed of late, and that is like putting a starter on steroids. Should I have gone ahead anyway? It couldn’t have been dead. Maybe it would have sprung into action. But I didn’t want to waste a day’s work and all that flour.


So tomorrow I’ll go back to the old system, and mix the levain first thing in the morning.


No knitting, I’m afraid. I’ve been idly reading Jan Morris’ diaries. In her 92nd year, she walked a mile a day (1000 steps) and read in the bath. I used to do that, long ago. VK was a favourite. But now I don’t dare sit down, for fear of not being able to get up again. I kneel, and take the legs one at a time when we get to that stage. No reading.


Archie came We got around the garden. He persuaded my iPad to disgorge pictures again. Here is Paradox, slightly blurry, with last week’s sourdough loaf. 

And we did some paper work.


I also got back into Craftsy. I had to re-set my password, because of all their changes, and for some reason password-resetting didn’t work on the iPad. But did, here on the laptop. It’s been so long that I’ve forgotten most of my courses. I spent some idle time refreshing my stir-fry technique.


I’ve been feeding myself, some weeks, with carry-outs from a dear local restaurant, l’Escargot Bleu. Today they put their Christmas menu up. Fred is eloquent about la poule noir, volaille du Mans, a black chicken popular at noble French tables in the 17th century, he says, and recently rescued from near-extinction. He has himself only eaten it twice in his life, and hopes we will leave him one for Hogmanay. It’s terribly expensive. Maybe I should have macaroni cheese and give the money to the poor. I’ll think about it overnight.


  1. Anonymous8:13 PM

    well, if Jan Morris walked a mile (1,760 yards) a day in only 1000 steps then she had a very long stride of about 5 feet (or 1 metre 50 cm) per step. Even my 6 foot 2 husband can't manage that!

    Your day sounds far from idle, even full of interest,


  2. I can't help feeling that some form of bath aid may be in order - there are some ingenious systems. - or what about a low plastic stool?
    Have the black chicken. When we were in Vienna we felt terribly thwarted to discover a local restaurant and expect to eat there the following evening to try their black chicken only to find it was their night off.

  3. Rebecca in MN6:05 AM

    I'm commenting simply to see if I can, using Chrome. I've been trying, unsuccessfully, for some years now.

  4. =Tamar8:27 AM

    I find it hard to believe that black chicken tastes significantly different from any other chicken. Perhaps you could find a happy medium.

  5. Anonymous10:31 AM

    I had been thinking the same thing as Shandy about shower stools and chairs. All types of both are listed on Amazon, including with and without arms. In the U.S. certain drugstores have them so you might have the same in Scotland. Make sure it is narrow enough for your tub. Chloe

  6. Anonymous11:33 AM

    I suggest you get an Occupational Therapist to advise. You may need to go via your GP, or possibly self-refer. There are many products and devices out there, you have to find the ones which meet your needs. Maybe a handrail on the wall would be helpful? would Archie or Helen (daughter) would set things in train if you wished them to?
    Helen (anon)

  7. =Tamar3:33 PM

    The shower chair my family used had two legs outside the tub; one sat down and slid sideways to enter and exit.