Day 29 – Ides of April

Tracy was at work on the ward again today, and I had a non-working day at home with the children. After a decadent breakfast of pastries and doughnuts we spent most of the day in the garden. Although we hardly worked.


Lucy and I assembled a planter outside the front door. We found all the bits, took it out the front and built it with cable ties. It was a bit old and the quality of the cable ties was rubbish, three of the eight broke. So Lucy had a break while I found some more. We had two cable ties for each of the wicker panels, and assembled it into a square. There was a black fabric liner, which we stabilised with some spare house bricks in the bottom corners.

The planter is quite large. We had three trips with the wheel barrow to fill it. The first time we shoveled some of the lumps of clay from a raised bed that had too much in it. That should give a relatively waterproof layer at the bottom to help retain moisture. The second time we got some of the topsoil I’d dumped in the raised beds the other day and added that in as a layer. We then topped it off with compost from the last bag and watered it a lot.

We were expecting there to be two planters, and we had a look around the hut, the shelves outside the back door, the coal shed and around the patio. But we didn’t manage to find it.

While we were doing all that Alexander was cutting the grass again on a shorter setting than the other day. He also whittled and sanded a bit of ash that he cut a couple of days ago. He’s planning to make a wooden light sabre handle with it.

‘Epoxy’ Bread

I watched a TED talk the other day about making bread and experimenting with different flours. One of the things was about bringing together two different mixtures to make a stronger better tasting bread in the same way that epoxy glue mixes two compounds.

Alexander has been experimenting with bread too. He’s got a sourdough starter that we’ve not quite managed to make work. So today we mixed some spelt and self-raising flour with water and set it aside to start the process. We also took a bit off the sourdough starter and fed it with spelt flour and water.

Tomorrow we’ll add some more spelt flour to the starter to make a soft dough that we can leave to ferment for a couple of hours. Once it doubles in size we’ll mix it up with the rest of the dough into a proper bread mix and knead it. With a bit more proving it should give us an interesting bread.

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