Friday, 31 December 2010

Monday, 27 December 2010

Christmas Day 2010

Freezing fog enveloped the village, giving an eerie atmosphere, as we drove out on our way to Musselburgh for the Christmas meal.

Leaving the village.

A few miles south on the motorway we left the fog and were bathed in bright sunshine.

In this view over Loch Leven (hidden by the trees), with Benarty in the background, a low mist hangs over the water.
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Beauty of ice crystals.

Due to the ongoing severe frost there has been a build up of ice crystals on the snow and they sparkle spectacularly in the sunlight or under the street light.
In the bottom right photograph it looks as if I'd spread the picnic table (yes, it is still outside!) with a lace tablecloth.
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Wednesday, 22 December 2010

The christening!

Part of the den walk.

Rosehips in deep freeze.

Frost crystals on deadhead of vegetation.

Ice forming on the overhanging twigs at the little rapids.
Today I took Mo and the gaiters up the den on what must have been one of the coldest, sunniest days of the year. The gaiters were very successful and although I slithered and slid along the path through a layer of very powdery, frosted snow on top of the previous deep, frozen, icy layer my jeans remained dry under them, with no snow into my boots either. I just hope the fashion police weren't patrolling that particular area this afternoon.
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Tuesday, 21 December 2010

.This winter's must-have fashion accessories.

Side view

Unzipped and opened out

Front view when worn, giving a rather smart ankle appearance!

Is this the correct way to wear this item?
In the current British Ice Age, with no sign of the two feet of snow melting and paths and roadways inches thick in ice I have been sent a pair of gaiters, as worn by all serious hill walkers, so that I can venture outside--even to the top of the garden to feed the birds is a major undertaking, ploughing through the deep powdery snow. The wellies I have abandoned as they are really too short to venture "off-piste" and they are also very slippery on ice. My boots are best but the problem was trying to keep my jeans dry and waterproof trousers collected snow underneath up over my ankles. These gaiters are the answer but my problem was with how to fit them--did the opening go to the front of my leg or the back? I tried both ways but discovered I needed to be a contortionist to fasten the zip at the back so I've settled for the front position. Strangely enough I saw a rather smart lady, in the shopping centre in Perth, wearing a pair with the fastening at the back--must be a different model!
Tomorrow I might venture down into the den with Mo, who hasn't had a walk for what seems like weeks....can't wait to test-drive these things!
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Monday, 6 December 2010

Homemade Bread!

Not my most successful culinary attempt!
I was a bit annoyed when my husband went down to the village shop and came home with a loaf of bread. "I'll show him!" I said to myself and gathered all my ingredients, out of date and otherwise, and set about making a loaf in my machine. I read and re-read the instructions but the selection chart was a bit confusing (to me in my dotage) but nevertheless I got all the ingredients into the tin in the correct order, as it instructed, selected the type and size of loaf to be baked and switched on. There were fairly lengthy periods of silence followed by whirring then more silence. Eventually a delectable (?) smell pervaded the premises and I peeked in the viewing window. It was rising nicely.
Now I don't know if it was my opening the lid to push one of the paddles down properly as it was underway, as it wasn't turning to knead the dough or the fact that I had been a bit confused about the timing but if you look at the photograph (and it needs no enlarging) you'll see that it all turned out a bit of a failure. It wouldn't come out of the tin, not even with the recommended tapping, and had to be prised out, bit by bit with a plastic fish slice....and just why has it turned into soggy,brown bread when I used strong WHITE flour?
Once I buy new dried yeast and proper milk powder and not Coffeemate I shall try again. I don't give up that easily.
To-morrow the birds in this area will be flying low.
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Sunday, 5 December 2010

More snow photos.

Main Street.

Overhang with icicles.

Another view of Main Street with heaps of packed snow from the road apparently left to thaw on the pavement after the council scraped the roadway.

Main Street going down to join the main road leading to Perth.

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Saturday, 4 December 2010

Self sufficiency?

After 2 nights of extremely low temperatures and still no way out (or rather, back in) for ordinary cars, to the top part of the village I decided to dig out my bread making machine from the attic and have a go at making our own loaves. Years ago I was told, "Best leave that to the experts" but that memory had faded and I set about retrieving all the bits and bobs that go with this modern contraption, one of which was the slim manual which came with it. My enthusiasm was somewhat dampened when I discovered that my store cupboard lacked some essential ingredients for even a plain loaf. Yesterday I had acquired the "strong" flour but my dried yeast was several years out of date (should I pretend I didn't see "b.b.-05:03?)
I slithered my way down to the village shop but was unsurprised to find they didn't stock the yeast or dried skim milk powder which the recipe required. I didn't want incorrect ingredients to be the cause of my (probably) yeasty tasting, sunken loaf!
Oh well, looks like we'll have to wait for Spring (or a sudden thaw) before we can savour this culinary delight.
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Thursday, 2 December 2010

How deep is this snow?

Mo trying to reach the solid ground.
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