Thursday, November 17, 2011

Must Try Harder

I make my own bread from Dove's Organic Wholemeal and White Strong Bread Flour. I do a 50/50 mix. Yesterday I went to the cupboard to make a new loaf only to discover I had run out of the wholemeal and only had 250g of the white flour. So I made these lovely rolls instead. There were four of them but they were so delicious that two got eaten before I thought of taking a photo. I'm the type of person who thinks I can work stuff out by myself, with only the barest of instructions, so though I knew that kneading the dough is an integral part of bread making, I only ever kneaded the dough for a minute or two because, well, it turned out okay like that.

It's only very recently that I've started kneading the dough for the full ten minutes (after watching one of the baking programmes on TV), and what a difference! It really is much lighter and airier. And more delicious.
"Paula will get an 'O' grade without too much effort. But more effort would get her a V good pass."

My mother is completely unsentimental when it comes to keeping stuff from the past. She's constantly on at my dad to go through drawers and cupboards with her to throw stuff out, and will list items that have been in their bedroom walk-in cupboard for 30 years that they've never used. My dad is the complete opposite and keeps everything just in case it comes in handy. This means that when I left home my mother disposed of most of my childhood toys, which I find quite shocking because, eh, well, I thought they belonged to me, and I never got the opportunity to say whether I wanted to take them with me or not. This included board games, dolls, and books! A few things survived, and when I realised what had occurred I would rescue any remaining items I could, mostly books (though very few actually made it). The last time I visited my mother she said she'd come across an old school report of mine, which she gave me. 

The above report sums me up pretty well. I get by in most things without much effort. I pick information up pretty quickly and managed to be in the top sets at school (except science, which I was in the second set for) for all subjects and managed to get a 'B' or an 'A' pass fairly easily, only having to cram for a day or so before each exam.

But recently I've been thinking a lot about what I could achieve if I put actual effort into my work. My friend Janie recently completed her BA in Music and got a First; she then went on to do her Masters in Music and got a distinction in that too. I know exactly how much effort and application is required to achieve this. I got a 2:1 in my first degree and I also have a Masters degree (each without distinction, though I did get a distinction for my final piece of work in my BA and was chosen as one of the four top students out of the whole year - something I've just remembered). 

But anyway, the point is, I am aware I need to apply myself to my work with the hope that I will achieve more. Though I know I work better when I have a deadline to hit.  
And onto more frivolous subjects: Meg had brought a mouse in just as I was making lunch. She set it under the table (where I was working) and wasn't too interested in eating it. I disposed of the poor wee thing in the bin and then sat down to eat poached egg on toast. She then jumped onto the table and kept trying to nose her way onto my plate. I fended her off until the last couple of bites, then I had to push the last of my egg on toast to one corner while she licked the rest of the plate. She likes the butter, but I think she likes egg yolk too.
And this is an amazing tree root near where I live. It's taller than me (I like scale) and is so impressive close up. One of my favourite things is to be outdoors scampering about the countryside. I like having a purpose (collecting kindling, looking for the river) but just being outdoors in this beautiful Scottish landscape with the colours and the light is amazing.

1 comment:

Sacha said...

You've convinced me - I'm going to try and make my own bread. And knead it for the full 10 minutes. The 'must try harder bit' is the story of my life too. Ah well.

That tree is amazing - but then the Scottish country side is simply magical (says the person who has been to Scotland ONCE). ;-D

Oh and Meg remains one of the cutest cats in blogland obviously.