Sunday, 24 November 2013

More Bread

Number two son is back from university this weekend and requested some homemade bread so I dutifully obliged with a lovely bloomer and a standard tin loaf. Number one son came in just after the bread was out of the oven. Four hours to make, sixty seconds to demolish :-) 

The Boys

Here we are again, all tacked up and waiting for the off :-) Ben and Beau our two lovely boys waiting patiently (which is unusual for Ben as he is normally such a fidget) to be taken out. It was another lovely autumn day today and we are starting to get some canter out of Ben bless him. You see he is a retired Pacer; which is to say a race horse who pulls a buggy with a jockey rather than the jockey being on his back. Pacers also run differently with both legs on one side moving at the same time as opposed to diagonally as is more common for most people to recognise. As a result of his past he finds trot and canter a little bit of a challenge, but after 18 months he is starting to get there as demonstrated beautifully today. We'll done Ben :D

Friday, 8 November 2013

Poppy time

Tis the season to remember and so out comes the hook and wool and time to make a couple of crochet poppies for the Memsahib and her friends. Below is an example, simple to make each one takes about an hour from scratch. Donations are made to the poppy appeal from each recipient. 😊

Wednesday, 23 October 2013


You can take the dog out of Glasgow but you can't take Glasgow out of the dog. Tilly with her favourite tipple :-)

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Disgruntled of Ayrshire

Here we have one disgruntled puppy. Upon arriving at our usual walkway through the woods we discovered that the farmer has been in and put up new fencing. Murphy is not impressed!

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Slipper thief.

It looks like butter wouldn't melt in this little fella's mouth, but apparantly slippers do. It's been a few days now since I last saw mine. Murphy where are my slippers? Now he has started on the crocs! 

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Late afternoon hack

Who would have thought that on the 4th October we would be out riding in shirt sleeves. The sun had just gone behind some cloud before this photo but up until then it had been a glorious day. 

Friday, 27 September 2013

Bumper crop

This year has been a very good year for blackberries up our way. The Memsahib has decided to have a go at blackberry infused Gin, (seeing as we can't find any Sloes in our hedgerows).  We have also been eating more than our fair share of blackberry  and apple crumble, pie and any other pus you can put blackberries in. There is (in my mind anyway) something strangly ironic about the fact that in the very year that Blackberry, the electronics company are having a bad one and laying of part of the workforce the humble blackberry (hedgerow fruit) is having a cracker of a year. Just an observation :-)

Friday, 6 September 2013

First nip

Today the air had the first nip of Autumn in it. You could just about see your breath and hands were kept firmly in jacket pockets, jacket remained done up for the entire walk. The dogs didn't seem to mind though. 

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Bloomers a la Paul Hollywood

Man that's a well risen dough, and lots of it too :) better make me a couple of spanking bloomers. 

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Sourdough take 2

Second attempt at sourdough bread and this time I prepared it the night before and left it to prove a second time overnight. As you can see it has risen well and so in the oven it went. Again a slight change 15 mins at 220 fan assist and 15 mins 180 fan assist. We'll see what that does. 

Well here is the finished article and it is not as well risen as the last loaf and not quite as fluffy inside. I will have to adjust things slightly again for the next try. Maybe I'll use the non-fan oven. 

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

First sourdough loaf

Here it is, finally after a couple of weeks of sourdough starter preparation I have baked my first sourdough loaf. Lets hope It tastes as good as it looks. If I'm honest I have skipped along a bit and so if the flavour is not there I'll adjust my method next time, here's hoping.
Addendum; it turned out nicely, lovely crumb and that subtle sourdough flavour.  I shall consider that a success and move on to the next loaf. I now need to work on the timings as this is a loaf that should not be rushed. Maybe I'll look at some other form as well, such as rolls. :-)

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Friday, 19 July 2013

Oat, Ale and Rye bread

Here is my Oat, Ale and Rye loaf. A little flat but it sounds ok and smells great. You can see the sourdough starter in the background, it appears I have finally cracked it and I have an active starter. I just need to keep feeding it twice a day for a month and then I can put it in the fridge for a rest. 😃

Fun with bread.

Here we have a perfectly formed Guiness soda bread, (if i say so myself 😆) took 45mins from start to finish. It needed a little bit if improvisation in the form of a few more handfuls of flour as the mixture was very wet and as more flour was added I put a little more bicarbonate of soda in. Hey presto a lovely soda loaf. Yummy. 

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Edinburgh marathon

This is the moment when our eldest son set off on his very first marathon. He had completed no training whatsoever and was relying on his youth to carry him through. He made it to the end, although he had to call on every ounce of reserve that he had in him. A fantastic achievement showing his true personality and grit and determination to succeed. 

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

A gorgeous day

The sun has been splitting the pavements today in south west Scotland and we finish the day in the garden on the sun loungers, however the Memsahib got up for one minute and a cheeky dog took instant advantage 😄

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Foccacia Bread

Pleased with this Foccacia bread, but I have to report that the sourdough starter died somehow. I'm not sure what I did wrong but it definately did not look right after the first rise. Oh well, back to the start and try again.
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Sourdough starter 3 days in.

Here is my sourdough starter after 3 days, full of life and needing a feed. It has trebled in size and is full of bubbles and when I opened the lid a sound reminiscent of a weak fart escaped. The smell was as described (not the fart description) slightly sour and it had darkened in colour. So far so good, let's give it a feed and see what happens next. I could be making sourdough bread by the end of the week :-)

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Yellowhammer on the hedge

I wish my phone had a better camera to capture this little beauty sitting on the hedge, such a lovely song as well.
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Sourdough starter

Here it is, my sourdough starter. You can see life already bubbling up through the batter, time for a feed soon I feel :-) can't wait to get cracking on some bagels as requested by no.2 son (he, with the ooh so delicate constitution unable to cope with a little horse poo) OK, so it was a lot of horse poo but we are getting off subject. I will post updates of my Levain (sourdough starter by another name) as it grows and then follow it through to the end products.
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Friday, 19 April 2013

What a load of *#it!

Why is it so difficult to get your teenage son to muck in (quite literally on this occassion). I had advised the aforementioned that I had need of his services to assist me off loading the trailer. "What is it?" Says he. "Horse muck" says I. "No, your alright" says he and promptly walks off leaving yours truly to off load the steaming pile. Kids! Who'd have 'em.

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Rasta Hat

My eldest son requested a Rasta Beanie even though he doesn't have dreadlocks. The request was for an oversized beanie in green gold and red. I can do oversize I said (see previous hat attempt) :-)
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device


I have recently been bitten with the bread making bug and having successfully made a pizza dough and focaccia bread from scratch I thought I would move up to a full blown white loaf. I was pleasantly surprised by the whole experience and so, have just begun the process of creating a sourdough starter for more adventurous bread making shenanigans. Let's hope I'm not trying to run before I can walk.

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Friday, 5 April 2013

Heeland Coo!

Close encounters of the hairy kind. As you can see from my finger in the bottom right of this image I happened upon a Highland cow whilst collecting some eggs from the farm shop at Enterkine House. It was just roaming free! An hour earlier and I would have been on horseback through the yard, that could have proved a little sporting! Minding his own business munching on the hedge. The geese were out in force as well, that would definately have been a challenge on Benny Boy :-)
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Friday, 22 February 2013

More yarn engineering ;-)

The Memsahib is not a big fan of my crochet shinanigans even if I only wanted to make her something warm to wear (its not as if I'm wanting to make myself a crochet halter top or anything like that!). Any road up, I kept offering to make her a hat (see previous project) or a scarve, but she insists she does not like crochet. "If you must make me something I challenge you to KNIT me scarve" she says one day. Challenge accepted 5 rows in goodness only knows how many to go :D

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Tilly close up.jpg

Here is a photo I love of my Lurcher, Tilly looking alert in a misty field. She can't run like she used to as she gets older but she still likes to pretend she's a ruthless hunter.
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Friday, 18 January 2013


Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Crochet Hat finally finished

After several weeks I have finally finished my first major crochet (yarn engineering) project. The hat was supposed to be for the memsahib but as you can see from the photo it has ended up slightly (hmm) too big :D Perhaps there is an opening for a new item on the market, woollen crash helmet cover anyone!