Sunday, 27 September 2015

Gardening and a walk on the cliffs.

The moon this morning (5am) was lurking behind my trees and a bit blurred behind some thin cloud. I thought it might make a good picture and rushed for my camera. I'm quite pleased with that one, I took about 50 but this was the best.

Its another lovely day here in Brixham, Yvonne and I have been tidying the garden and the shed, getting ready for winter. As long as it is dry tomorrow we can take the rubbish to the tip without getting the inside of the car soaking wet
Yvonne cut some branches from our Corkscrew Hazel,

 and plaited them into the trellis over our seat.  

While she was doing that I took the dog out for a walk around Sharkham Point.   

St Mary's Bay (10 minutes walk from home) looked particularly special with the wind pushing the breakers in.

and as we went round the point the coast to Dartmouth came into view, also looking beautiful.

Then after lunch, I found a few early autumn raspberries ripening,

and a late Rose.

Also some new Geranium flowers.

I love our garden, Yvonne keeps it looking nice and I just do the heavy lifting. (and pick the fruit!)

Sunday roast today, is a piece of slow cooked Brisket of Beef (apologies to all you vegetarians, I do like a piece of meat!) with Roasted Beetroot, Swede and Potato.

 I will also make an Onion and Pepper stir-fry to go on the side, with some Home-made Horseradish Sauce. It sounds a bit random but I'm sure it will taste good.

These were in the oven for 1 hour at 180°

Onions and Peppers fried in Olive Oil with Balsamic Vinegar for 30 minutes until soft.

I won't show the meat out of politeness, but it was a nice change from our usual Sunday meal. 

Dried Pears

I picked a few more pears today, intending to dry them in my dehydrator.

First I made a solution of Lemon Juice and water to soak the peeled pieces in to stop them browning.

and then I peeled and cored the pears, cutting them into half inch pieces. I soaked these for 10 minutes,

and then arranged them on the racks.

I will dry them at 65°C for 8 hours and see how they get on.

In the end I left them overnight, and by  5am on Sunday they  were done.

Now they are in an airtight container, ready to nibble.

I might chocolate coat some, that's a job for another day.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

A few Walks

I forgot to post these pictures of cobwebs last week, I love the beauty of them in the early morning when the dew gives them substance.

And here's one showing the tenacity of nature, a fern growing in a crack in a wall, just  by the Leechwell in Totnes.

I've been in writing mode this week, and put about 5000 words onto my new story. When I need inspiration I just go up towards Sharkham, about 10 minutes walk from home and breathe in the air, fresh from the Atlantic.

We also went for a walk at Meadfoot in Torquay, looking back across the bay we could see Berry Head and Brixham in the sunlight.

What a view they must have

And then there was the Dartmoor walk, Haytor to be precise, from the top you can see Berry Head again

It hasn't come out very clearly, this was taken on my phone so I couldn't zoom it so much but it's just right of centre.. Honest!

Things are getting a little hectic here, I have the book coming out in a month, Well Bread! is going strong and there's all the usual mundane life stuff to keep under control.

I tried a new loaf for Friday's delivery, a White (refined) Spelt Sourdough Baguette, it involved converting a portion of my Spelt starter from Wholemeal to White, then making the dough but I think they came out pretty well. All were ordered so I didn't get chance to taste one, hopefully I'll find out on Monday.

 I've been invited to guest blog on someones website next month so have 1000 words of my choice to do for that. I'm also giving a talk at Oats (about Bread of course) on October 28th. I think I was less busy when I worked full-time. And then there's the book promotion events to organise. And the new book to write.

Don't forget to check out the new website for more information on the book and also details of an Earlybird offer if you buy it direct from me.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Sunday, 20 September 2015

A date for your diaries.

At last I have a publication date for Ribbonworld, it's November 2nd 2015.

What I don't have yet is any artwork or advance information except the blurb to give you, but I'll give you the blurb anyway.

To set the scene Ribbonworld is a sci-fi novel set in the future, this is what the back cover says;-

Miles Goram has a problem. All the down-on-his-luck journalist planned on doing was writing a hotel review and now there’s a body in his bathroom. Far from home on a strange planet, Miles must deal with the fact that somebody wants him dead.
Welcome to Reevis, a planet without days or nights where life is only possible under a vast pressure dome. It is on this airless wasteland that Miles finds himself caught up in a mystery involving a huge interplanetary corporation, a powerful man and his ambitious PA, and a beautiful young heiress who has been missing for years.
Crossing the galaxy in search of answers, Miles begins to uncover a web of deceit that stretches further than anyone could have imagined. With his life becoming at greater and greater risk, he realises that there is no one he can trust. Will he discover the truth and finally come to terms with his past? And, if he does, will it be enough to save his future…?

Interested, ready to learn more?

Well the wait is nearly over, I had a look and the first words were written on December 1st 2013 so it's taken just under 2 years to get the book written and published. 

I actually finished writing it on  December 4th 2014. Mind you there was a gap of 3 months after I finished it whilst I had a shoulder operation and recovered when little work was done on it. 

And I dithered about sending it off to agents and others, so I guess the whole process has taken longer than it might have.

Still, it's done now and I can start the serious business of promoting it.

Sunday, 13 September 2015


After a marathon session in front of the screen, I have proof-read Ribbonworld and found to my surprise that there were hardly any errors. (at least I found hardly any which may not be the same thing.)

I've sent the manuscript back now for final checks and hope we are on course to publish in October.

To whet appetites, I have put a page of the novel up on my website for you to read, it may be the bravest thing I have ever done, who knows what the reaction will be.

Anyway it's here if you want a look.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Not much to Report

Not strictly true but it's only been a couple of days since my last post and apart form the bread, we haven't done very much.
On Wednesday we went to Exmouth for the day, we had been ages ago and just fancied going somewhere different. A nice day out with a superb lunch in a restaurant above a bookshop.
Now I'm developing an interest in Bookshops, as I hope they soon will be selling my book; this one was called The Book Rest (clever!)

We had coffee there and liked the look of the menu so returned for lunch. The place was jammed which is always a good sign, we both had Cous-Cous with Roast Veg and Halloumi, delicious.

The first page proofs for "Ribbonworld" have arrived so I must spend the next day or so checking the layout and panicking that the story is rubbish and thinking of all the things I wished I'd written.

The publication date is looming, the plan is late October and that will soon be here.

Meanwhile the sequel is buzzing round in my head, I have about 14,000 words of it written and we are at the stage where it's almost like copying down what you might see on the T.V. At least that's how it works for me. It used to freak me out, now I just accept it and let it flow.

We had a message from George in Australia, she has acquired a trampoline and Tom has put it on top of a hill!

Looks like fun!!!

As long as it doesn't rain too much more today, we are off to Dartmoor for a picnic, I made some Rolls this morning so we can take them, filled with something.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Testimonial; and Half Price Beetroot

Here's a tweet from a satisfied customer; all I need to do is work out where she bought it.

  1. Nothing quite like a slice of fresh bread Thanks

I didn't grow any beetroot this year, what with my shoulder operation and everything else that's been going on. I'm a huge fan of Pickled Beetroot and to get my fix without lining the supermarkets pockets I bought a 10kg bag from Torbay Fruit Supplies.

After putting a few aside for roasting (try it sometime) I had about 9kg left and was going  to boil them in my new saucepan on my new hob.

However, the hob must have cracked at some time in the past (it's only 3 months old) and I hadn't noticed.

As soon as the beetroot boiled it short-circuited. I called and they are replacing it on Weds, as long as I send the old one back.

So I put the pan in the oven and cooked at 200°C for 2 hours, which worked a treat.

It took two pans full but I let them cool overnight.

After I had mixed my sourdoughs for today I peeled and cut the beets, putting them into old Mango Chutney Jars, (I buy 5kg at a time it's cheaper)

I weighed the result and had 8 kg of sliced Beetroot.

In all it cost £ 8.50 for the beets and £ 1.80 for Vinegar. Which works out at 13p per 100g.
Checking online, Sainsburys costs 30p. So I'm rather pleased with myself.

I even managed to write a few plot notes for my new novel whilst the sourdough was kneading.

No spoilers there, even if you zoom in! You'll just have to wait.