So it was one of those mornings. Bloody cold with a layer of ice on the puddles. It came as a shock to the system. This was primarily as it turned out that one of the electric heaters, (the oil radiator) had tripped its extension lead again (IKEA extension leads have a trip switch in them) and wasn’t working. We keep it on minimum all the time to take the edge off the overall effect of not having any heating. The house was 6°C (43F) but it seemed colder today for some reason.
So the best thing seemed to be to wrap up (now I have found the box my merino wool tops and padded trousers are in: the stuff I used on tour) and go for a walk with the camera in tow.
This was taken at 7:20am… The sun was just starting to come over the hill to the East and but it would be a while before it started to warm life up.
This is the ‘quarry’ that is used to repair the road. It has filled with water over the winter. Ironically it is at the top of the rise and has no natural feed into it!
This is one of the ‘fields’ along Spring Creek Road. We sometimes see cows or sheep in here, more often it is kangaroo that are grazing the field. It is also as far as my walk takes me today. Crutches and cameras don’t mix!
The road: Spring Creek Road in fact. The post box is at the end or rather start of it still some distance off!
There was a slight hoar frost which had yet to burn off. There was also ice in the puddles and water from vehicles traversing the road was still freezing at all the dips.
Back at the pond that is our turn off point. I should really have shown you our gate. We don’t go through it, we go around it. If you go through it, you have to traverse a ditch. Go past it and beyond the tree, and turn just before this pond (only about 50 foot further) and you don’t have to traverse the ditch!
The sun is beginning to warm life up now and is nice!
So as life happened today (3 loads of washing now that the washing machine is back up and running due to having a sewage outlet again), I decided that there was a chance I wasn’t going to be able to get it all dry, so having done the usual chopping of kindling first thing in the morning (Stuart gets the stuff small enough for me to either make into kindling or to be burnt once the fire is going), I had sorted it all into 2 piles. The shorter kindling and small logs for the studio building and the pot belly stove. I was using the studio as a back up for getting the washing dry if needed because the stove gives out so much heat. As it turned out, there was no need and most of the washing was dry by the end of lunch! OK some had been on the line since about 8am, but the some had only been out there since 11:30am. So, another fire was lit, after it was cleaned out. The pizza oven.
They are a big thing here in Australia, along with the standard BBQ (we have one of those as well, plus the old oil drum split in half as well as the original hot plate that the lady who set up the horse ranch back in the 70’s used.) As you can see I have no shortage of outside fires! The pizza oven was waterlogged, so it was a case of lighting the fire and letting life dry out slowly. I kept it just warm for most of the morning, until it had dried out. Then I got it hot enough to make some lunch on. OK most of it we had with our evening stew, but 20 minutes in the pizza oven and it was cooked and browned lightly on both sides. I turned it over half way through because scones usually take 12-15 minutes, and I wasn’t sure how warm the oven actually was. It was cooked to perfection. I simply used 8oz self raising wholemeal flour, 2oz marg, 1 tsp baking powder (I have no yeast or sourdough culture yet) and enough almond milk to make a moist dough. Spread it out on a small baking tray and put it into the oven, raised off the surface by 1/4 inch using the existing metal rack left behind (new as well!). 20 minutes later and…
OK, its a crap photo, but it was taken in the tablet rather than my camera and the light was harsh at 1pm in the middle of the day. It was a touch ‘short’, so broke easily, but scones do. I’m not sure how hot I managed to get the oven, but with a wire brush it should clean up nicely on the base (it was standing in water because no-one had put a bucket over the chimney and much rain had gotten in).
Sunset. They don’t last long here, so I have to be very fast given I was in the house when this one started. But it was a nice end to the day ignoring the Battle of the Somme crossed with Ypres happening to the left on the picture. More on that in the next posting!