Tuesday, 20 February 2007

Today, I starting writing a novel

Yup, I really did.

It's a fantasy-adventure sort of thing (seeing as you asked) and I'm aiming to write for half an hour every weekday morning. I'll even get up a little bit earlier in order to make time to do it.

I'm hoping I can manage about a thousand words a day, but I won't force it, and I'm not going to kick myself if I don't. I'll be celebrating if I do more than that.

The rest of it, I'll figure out as I go.

Pancake Day, Shrove Tuesday

Or, in our house, the day when we ask why we don't have pancakes very often (once a year, if that). And where the recipe is.

And then we remember what a pain in the ass they are to cook for a family of four.

Even though we're not a family of four, we didn't have pancakes.

Still a strong smell of Reblochon in the house this morning.

Monday, 19 February 2007


Tartiflette for dinner to night, made with potatoes from M. Trotin's garden, and a very well-travelled Reblochon cheese.

Onions, sauteed in olive oil, with chunked potatoes and lardons of gammon, were combined with white wine, creme fraiche and no thyme (instead mixed herbs) before being placed in an oven dish.

The travel-weary Reblochon cheese was then halved laterally and placed on top of the mix, and left in a 190 degree oven for around an hour.

The smell of the cheese pervaded the house, as we peeked inside every so often. Not acrid, but unusual. Not unpleasant, but strong. The finished dish was delicious, and three people (3docs) made a very sizeable dent in an enormous serving.

Accompanied by a green salad made with mache and chicory (from Mdm. Trotin's garden), a very satisfying meal.

"Produced from the day's second milking, this cheese measures 14cm across and 3–4cm thick, has a soft centre with a washed rind and weighs an average of 450g. As proof of its being well-aged in an airy cellar, the rind of this cheese is covered with a fine white mould. The optimal period to savour this cheese is between May and September after it has been aged six to eight weeks. It is also excellent from March to December."

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reblochon

Friday, 9 February 2007

Someone stomped my snowman!

I wandered (slip-sliding) down the lane this morning to check on my own three-baller, and was somewhat disappointed to find him missing (or should that be: "disappointed not to find him"?).

On closer inspection it became clear that he hadn't in fact melted, he'd been stomped! The mushy pile of snow lumps that he'd become was well-trodden and covered in bootprints. Worse, they were adult-sized bootprints!

Last night: three-stack snowman. This morning: trampled snow lumps.

Oh, the humanity.

It's not snowed further since yesterday, but much of yesterday's fall is still around. Other people's snowmen are still standing, in great lumps of snow.

Thursday, 8 February 2007

I made three snowmen

Two of them were only small (but size isn't important), two-ball affairs, barely larger than my head. One was a three-baller, as high as my shoulder. He had eyes, a nose, arms and twiggy hair. But no mouth.

The snow was a couple of inches deep this morning, and another inch has fallen since then. The sky is white, cloudy, and the snow is falling more heavily.

Wednesday, 7 February 2007

It's cold this morning

How cold? When I started the car (at 08h46, mark you, when the Sun had been up for over an hour), the dashboard thermometer read -7 degrees C.

There was ice on the inside of the rear window. The bottle of water that's recently taken up residence under the front seat was frozen through.

By the time I got into the office it was a Floridian minus 5.