Monday, 22 February 2010

Imminent collapse

Hello from soggy Surrey.  I'm getting very sick of this weather now.  I don't mind winter as long as the weather does something interesting.  Ice is interesting, gale force winds are interesting, snow is very interesting, but rainy grey is not.  Oh so very not.  Depressing.  Hate, hate, stab, stab, stab.  Snow is seemingly back again north of London but down here it's overcast and miserable.  I want sunshine and crocuses and daffodils.  I want Spring, goddammit!


Might as well do this cocooning thing properly then - I'm crocheting snuggly blankets and cushion covers so I decided to have a go at making bread too.  I'm pretty pleased with how it came out.

It lasted less than 24 hours because it was BLOODY FAB and once we'd started eating it we couldn't stop!!!  I just followed the instructions on the Hovis Easy Yeast packet which advises only one kneading and one lot of proving, thereby halving the time it takes before putting it in the oven.

I did venture as far as the back garden which, admittedly, isn't really very far, but I think it's safe to say that the Suki Memorial Shed* isn't going to last another winter.  I think this is it's tenth winter and the combined efforts of the weather and the squirrels ripping the gritty felting stuff that goes over the roof (thereby letting in the rain) have resulted in imminent roof collapse.  This is what the inside roof looks like:

Grim, isn't it?  The bulge in the roof, towards the back wall is like some kind of giant pustule, ready to burst downwards if given a strategic poke (which is very tempting).  Water drips from it and I've had to cover the lawnmower with large empty plastic bird food bags in a vain attempt to try and keep it dry.  We're really going to have to do something about it this summer.

Being unable to get out very much means that some time has been spent in the jewellery workshop and I've another new design to show you - this time it's one of my window jewellery suncatcher thingies.  In fact there's 2 new designs but I've only made one so far.  I'm going with a cosmic theme and so have made a Saturn suncatcher.  I think it works quite well.  It's made from fused clear and dichroic glass, and will be strung from purple organza ribbon (the rainbow shoelace was just for the photo, for which the sunshine very briefly emerged):



This particular design takes quite a lot of glass so I'm not sure that I'll be making that many of them but I think they're quite good fun.  The other design is of a sun but I've yet to see how that turns out.  I'll be keeping this particular Saturn and make another to put up in my Etsy shop.

The cats have been stuck indoors with us as well, but I don't think they mind all that much.  Apart from a quick dash out to the garden after breakfast for an empty, they cutch up with us for the rest of the day, or help a great deal when 'Important Work' is being done on the big computer in the study, viz.:


But, I have to say, what has got me through the past week has been watching the fabulous Winter Olympics from Vancouver.  TLH and I don't watch much, or partake in any, sporting activity but we love watching big events where you can see world-class competitors risking life and limb in order to be the very best at something.  I have friends and family who really don't understand this, they see sport as a complete waste of time and money and just don't see the appeal.  But I will happily sit glued to the telly for the entire duration of the summer Olympics (and you can bet your arse we're going to try and get tickets for the 2012 Games - I cannot describe just how excited and thrilled we were when London won the games) and even the football World Cup.  

But I've decided there's something special about the Winter Olympics.  These are stupifyingly dangerous sports, as exemplified by the tragic death of the 21-year old Georgian Luge slider, Nodar Kumaritashvili.  Why anyone would think that lying on the equivalent of a tray and hurtling down an icy slope at 80mph is a good idea is beyond me - but I'll enjoy watching someone else do it.  I mean, there's little danger of you getting seriously hurt, maybe even killed, if you're just running around a track or jumping really high, but look at the view a ski jumper gets once they've launched themselves:

Or how high the snowboarders can get when doing tricks down a halfpipe:

And whoever decided on introducing Ski Cross as an Olympic sport deserves a medal themselves.  The men's was on yesterday and was completely mental:


Basically, four skiiers race as fast as they can around a twisty turny course with lots of bumps and jumps, with the fastest winning.  There's loads of jostling and spectacular crashes - real heart-in-mouth stuff, and more than a little dangerous.  I was texting my brother during the race (as we were both watching it) and he likened it to something from a Bond film where our hero is being chased at full tilt by evil henchmen.  Brilliant!  The women's race is on later in the week:

Unbelievably exciting - doesn't make me want to do it though, I'm not that stupid....

* Suki was our first cat who was 19 when she died in 2000, the same year we put up the shed, hence the name.


Anonymous said...

That bread looked v. professional. I am totally impressed. The shed, oh, the shed. Perhaps you can create a new one by baking a giant, bread shed and hollowing it out from within?

Mrs jones said...

Katy - we made more bread today which worked just as well. The shed has also been half eaten by the resident rats who would LOVE me to make them a bread one. They've got quite brazen now & yesterday we watched 3 of them running across the lawn to collect the bits of bread I'd put out for the birds & scurrying back somewhere under the shed, laden with their booty. They were v thorough & collected the lot. We feel poison is now the only route.

Anonymous said...

Hey sis,get me some measurements and i'll try to get you a large sheet of plastic that will make a lovely new non bulgy roof-i've got a sky blue one on my shed!

Kella said...

The bread does look good, I'm not surprised it was gobbled up, nothing beats homebaked fresh bread, especially hot out the oven with a lovley spread of butter, yum!

That shed sure looks um yucky, certainly a summer job ahead.

I love the latest sun catcher.

Anonymous said...

hey, I've got some spare shed roof felt left over from when Mick the Builder fixed mine last autumn. It's gathering dust in the garage. Would at least stop the drips...

TLH sis

Mrs Jones said...

Hello sister-of-TLH - thanks for the offer, the trouble is getting the felt up over the existing shed roof, seeing as how the ivy has worked its way into every crevice and the fig tree from next door is practically leaning on it. Access is the problem, so we might as well wait until the summer and replace it all properly, doing some strategic branch lopping at the same time.