relentlessly average
relentlessly average

Honey, I’m Home

June felt like a busy month. After the race weekend I had two weekends of launching the new releases for the Les Mills then the Spirit yoga-pilates-to-music class at David Lloyd (which was horrible to learn even though I’d already done most of it in December to pass the certification) then a day out to meet my friends which was fun but I was so ready for a day just at home to switch into introvert mode and come back to myself. My sleep has been suffering over the last couple of weeks, I think a combination of the longer daylight hours, staying up later than usual watching the Euros football (which is not ideal right before trying to sleep) and possibly the fact that I’ve been running less than average having some recovery time. Saturday was that day.

Woke and got up early enough to be heading back from a nearly two hour run around the same time I would normally be heading out. Splashed through the rainy trails, up to the woods, scratched to bits by stinging nettles, soaked from running through the grass, sun coming through the clouds for the last couple of miles. Perfect way to set up for the rest of day in couch potato mode and a good day for that. Film4 had a Star Trek Marathon and England’s semi final match was on in the evening. I was really keen to see Star Trek: Generations, the first film with the The Next Generation crew which I have seen a few times before but not recently. It doesn’t get shown as often as the others which is a shame. I think it stays more true to the spirit of the series it came from and doesn’t go straight for the ‘let’s just blow shit up’ option. I also ended up watching Captain America (which I didn’t think I’d seen all the way through before, I struggle to stay awake when it’s one of the 9pm films with all the ad breaks they put in, but I must have done as I remembered the ending) as I have a huge crush on the main actor at the moment.

Saturday night was a much better night’s sleep than I’ve had for a while (thank you, long run!). Good timing for it as well as I had two extra classes to cover on Sunday morning, as well as my usual evening double, and wanted to do some baking so I was in constant motion almost all day. I’ve recently started following the Patreon account of Anne Louise Avery a writer who tells lovely little stories that have a feel of the Miss Marple world (without the murder) and Narnia, as the characters are animals. The vignettes have loose threads with the characters experiences happening over a few posts. Also sometimes referencing what’s going on in the real world through the language of the story such as ‘the terrible flu’. This quote is from one of the recent posts.

“Old Fox carefully packed some provisions in the best hamper and found his little gas stove for hot tea, and his grandmother’s Carmarthenshire picnic blanket. 

There were brown bread watercress sandwiches with salty butter, a delicate cheese and asparagus pie and a fine green salad from Old Fox’s garden, the dressing (in a little silver bottle) made with wild thyme and oil from Agios Mattheos in Corfu, a pungent oil with a perfume of white sun-bleached stone and the poppies and the sea lilies which grow in the olive groves of that little town. 

For afters, he packed some very dark hazelnut chocolate and a freshly baked plain honey cake, warm and golden. They had a kettle to boil water for tea and bottles of Citron Pressé. He also added some smelling salts and newly laundered handkerchiefs and a bottle of eau-de-cologne in case Mouse’s mother felt faint from her recent ordeal. Lastly, an ancient beach parasol for the sun, made from darned salmon-pink silk.”

The stories sometimes include picnics and recipes for cake. I’ve been wanting to make one for a while but I’m glad I didn’t get around to until now as this most recent recipe was much simpler than some of the others. It was called ‘Studland Bay Honey Cake’ which was also part of the appeal as Studland Bay is where we used to go to the beach as family when I was a child. I was worried I’d messed it up by not realising I needed to beat the eggs before adding them to the mix but it came out beautifully. The colour, from using dark brown sugar and dark honey, is incredible. Ever so slightly dry so I think it needs icing of some kind or perhaps just fruit or more honey.

Sunday morning I also prepped a sourdough for resting overnight and that’s been baked this morning. Hopefully I can get back into a rhythm of a loaf every week and back into more normal sleep pattern now there are only a couple more Euros games left. We’re past midsummer so the days are starting to get shorter again which will help. Although, when it’s not raining, the sun is still fully above the horizon at 5:30 AM. Today I decided not to resist it and got up to write, and bake, which has been a very relaxing way to start the day.

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