I've had time this week to make my sourdough loaf. I've had a few disasters recently; whether the flour is a bit old, the starter isn't right or it's something else that's changed I'm not sure but I was pleased with this loaf. I made a new starter using this recipe and it's worked really well.
Our plan this week is to re-decorate big daughter's bedroom. She asked if she could have a new bed for Christmas (I don't know whether I'm sad that she's grown out of asking for toys or happy that she sees a new bed as something of a gift!) and as her bedroom walls are marked with blu-tack stains where pictures and photos have been taken up and down over the years, we felt that a paint makeover was also required.
Small daughter is desperate to get involved with the painting. She's had a turn at painting the ceiling and then I turned her attention to some painting that was required outside. About ten years ago, I made these wooden pencils (or perhaps more properly, crayons) to act as a screen for what was, at the time, big daughter's "secret" play area. She had a sand pit and a trampoline at the bottom of the garden, and one birthday we bought her a "Wendy shed" to play in (now full of spiders and forgotten relics of games once played - I really must put it on my de-cluttering list!). Time passed, and the pencils are now badly in need of renovation. Most of them have rotted at the bottom and fallen down, and my husband's muttering about it all has got louder. It is definitely time to do something about them.
Small daughter and I set to work. I've considered a few options - getting rid of the pencils altogether, buying new wood and starting again, or renovating what we have. In the end, I have opted for renovating the ones that we have. I cut the worst of the rot off the ends and made them all the same length again. Some of them still aren't in great shape but they should be fine for another few years until I decide whether I still want them in the garden or not.
Small daughter got busy with the paint brush. In hindsight, tying her hair back would have been a good idea as she ended up with quite a lot of paint in it, and both she and the dog ended up with paint in their ears. The dog I can understand, as his ears are long and floppy, but small daughter?!
We used tester pots of paint in lovely bright primary colours. In fact, they're nicer than the colours I used originally, so I'm very pleased with how they turned out.
Luckily, we had just finished when small daughter announced that her fingers had turned to blocks of ice, and big daughter announced from the doorway that she had been making pancakes and they were ready. Talk about good timing! We left our pencils stacked up to dry and another day I'll start to dig out the trench where they're going to go. It's a good opportunity for me to review the border that they're in as the plants in there have grown considerably since I first put the pencils in.
A quick hand-wash and into the kitchen to try out big daughter's pancakes. They were really good! I think she can be our Official Pancake Maker from now on. It doesn't seem like a year since we made these pancakes, and big daughter is now much more confident in the kitchen and happy to try out recipes on her own.
So far, it's been a good week and we're only half-way through. Not too rushed but not too lazy either. More decorating planned for today, and a few treats lined up for later in the week. Lovely!