Greg's Occasional News & Views


3 May 2015

Hello, and welcome to the May Day bank holiday weekend! We’ve had a decidedly mixed week – we had some stunning, sunny weather at the beginning of the week although it certainly has not been what one might consider to be “warm.” Indeed, there were smatterings of snow in County Durham which is, of course, considerably further north than here. Continue reading

26 April 2015

Back in the UK gradually recovering from the jet lag following another highly successful visit to the States. The confused and befuddled state (not to mention the general incompetence) which accompanies such trans-Atlantic excursions is slowly receding (or, at least, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it). Continue reading

19 April 2015

A short and sweet (?) post this morning. As mentioned last time, Ms Playchute and I are in the States and this morning find ourselves in the glorious splendour of Lake George visiting with brother Sandy and his wife Pam. We’ve spent a few days in Hanover visiting with my folks and will be returning there tomorrow morning for a few more days – just long enough to out stay our welcome, I guess. We fly back home from Boston on Wednesday evening. Continue reading

12 April 2015

It’s been a very good week with some impressively pleasant Spring days – sunny once the early morning fog/mist has lifted with moderately pleasant temperatures – highs in the mid 60s (15 to 18 C) or thereabouts. It looks like we’re finally out of the winter woods. Continue reading

5 April 2015

Good morning. Very pleased to report that Penelope has largely recovered from her “low-level” flu-like symptoms of last week. I am less pleased to report, however, that I have been dealing with the fallout as I spent some of the week feeling somewhat less than excellent. Still, I reckon I escaped with considerably less discomfort and inconvenience than she. Continue reading

29 March 2015

You know those days when it seems that everything that can go wrong will go wrong? Thursday morning was one of those mornings.

Firstly, the latest iteration in my pursuit of the perfect sourdough loaf ended in something approaching disaster. Alright, it wasn’t a disaster in the traditional sense but it certainly was a considerable disappointment. What was so disappointing was that each of the preceding steps had gone exceptionally well – the dough rose magnificently, the second proving looked excellent. However, when I came to turn the proved dough on to the baking tray it stuck to the Banneton – I hadn’t used enough semolina to line the proving basket. This, of course, has the effect of knocking the air out of the dough as one struggles to get it out and you’re left with another (delicious) sourdough pancake! Continue reading

22 March 2015

Good morning and welcome to Spring, or at least as far as the calendar is concerned. Actually, we’ve had another pretty good week although the middle part was somewhat misty, foggy, grey and cold. The forecast for the few days ahead is for it to return to colder temperatures – perhaps one last blast of winter before we finally escape its clutches? Continue reading

15 March 2015

We’ve had a pretty good week – hope yours has been tolerably tolerable. Temperatures are definitely picking up – we’ve been in double figures (Celsius) on most afternoons with the occasional very bright, sunny day. The wind has still been a bit chilly but, on the whole, I can confirm that things are certainly headed in the right direction. Molly and I spotted our first bunch of open daffodils on our morning stroll around the recreation ground on Friday morning.

daffodils Continue reading

8 March 2015

It’s been, I have to admit, a fairly decent week. The weather has steadily improved through the week with gradually increasing temperatures, less wind and more sunshine. As usual, it’s easy to be fooled into thinking that Spring has arrived but at least everything is trending in the right direction.

March Weather Continue reading

1 March 2015

SnowdropsGood morning and I hope that Spring is just around the corner wherever you are but especially to those of you in the great frozen northeast. We’ve had some tantalisingly splendid glimpses this week with an especially bright and sunny day on Friday but it’s still decidedly “fresh”. Still, the sunshine has got Molly all excited to judge by her frequent demands to be let out in the garden so that she could recline in a blanket of sunshine on the back lawn. I guess it’s warming to those old bones. Continue reading

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Last updated: 03/26/2020