The Changing Seasons, August 2019

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In an extremely dreary month, I resorted to buying cut flowers to inject a little colour. Image: Su Leslie 2019

August is often a month in which I feel like hibernating. This year, with rain every day (yep, actually every single day), cold winds and heavy grey skies, I really haven’t felt  like venturing far from home. I know I’ve been busy at home — I’m just not quite sure what I’ve been busy doing.

My photos offer a few clues.

There has been a lot of baking this month; mostly sourdough-based. I’ve been making a sourdough wholewheat bread for a few years, and was getting quite reliably good results until a few months ago. My most recent loaves aren’t developing the gluten properly, and I’m obsessively testing variations on my recipe to understand what is going wrong.

I’m still not sure, but in the process of experimenting I’ve made a lot of sourdough pancakes/hotcakes (excellent for breakfast with berries), some good banana bread, a tasty wheat/rye loaf — and the best basic San Fransisco-style sourdough of my bread-making “career.”

In other news:

I discovered the multiple-exposure function on my camera and have had fun with that.

A bunch of supermarket tulips brought some much-needed floral inspiration as the weather has hammered my neighbourhood’s gardens.

In Whanganui last month I found three bags of dyed, carded wool for felting at $4 per bag. I couldn’t resist buying them, and have had a couple of attempts at wet-felting. I’m not at all happy with the results so far, but — like sourdough baking — I am determined to learn this skill, even if it’s only to make myself a scarf.

And in a moment of (probable) insanity; I decided to refurbish our dining chairs; bought from IKEA over 20 years ago.

I started out just thinking I’d smarten up an ugly, but comfortable $5 op-shop chair. Then I realised the colours I had in mind would work really well with our dining room furniture.

Somehow, I transitioned from that one little “paint-and-upholstery” job to making new seat frames for six chairs (bonus: I learned how to use a jig-saw); stripping and painting six grubby, waxed, wooden frames (plus one that was varnished); and upholstering seven chairs in turquoise and white striped canvas. Only one is completed so far — and boy have I learned a lot from it!

Not captured in the photographic record; I’ve also read more than usual (fiction and non-fiction); and completed the first assignment in a NZ Certificate in Horticulture course I signed up to. As you do …

About The Changing Seasons

The Changing Seasons is a monthly challenge where bloggers around the world share what’s been happening in their month.

If you would like to join in, here are the guidelines:

The Changing Seasons Version One (photographic):

  • Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery that you feel represent your month
  • Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.
  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so that others can find them

The Changing Seasons Version Two (you choose the format):

  • Each month, post a photo, recipe, painting, drawing, video, whatever that you feel says something about your month
  • Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!
  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so others can find them.

If you do a ping-back to this post, I can update it with links to all of yours.

Update

Take a look at these lovely bloggers’ August posts:

Sarah at Art Expedition

Ruth at Ruth’s Arc

Marilyn at Serendipity — Seeking intelligent life on Earth

Tracy at Reflections of an Untidy Mind

Tish at Writer on the Edge

Jude from Life at the Edge

Joanne at My Life Lived Full

Little Pieces of Me

Lani at Life, the Universe and Lani

DJ Ranch

Pauline at Living in Paradise

Ju-Lyn at All Things Bright and Beautiful

Brian at  Bushboy’s World

Gill at Talking Thailand

A wonderful sheep

 

 

 

 

 

 

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96 thoughts on “The Changing Seasons, August 2019

  1. I love your blog for free Su Indeed you can’t say you are’nt sure what you have been doing indoors after you have made such a delicious bread here in Nairobi whether is almost the same we have it all. sun shine in the morning cold in the afternoon then rain in the evening…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Boy oh boy, you are one busy woman! At first, I nodded with you on the ‘I don’t know what I’ve been busy doing’….. but then, the hammer fell, crashing down on me. My smug and nearly ironic smile for ‘being busy but not seeing anything of it at the end of the day’ fell, seeing the fruits of your many endeavours. I love that round bread and the first one too – if I didn’t have two wonderful bakeries within 30 & 200m from my home, I would bake too but it would be stupid with all I’ve got on offer here. I salute you, and wish you some colour in your heart too.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much. The Changing Seasons is a great way to remind myself of how I have spent my time. Mostly I feel like I’m not achieving much but looking back (certainly some months) is quite reassuring. 🙂

      Like

  3. The sourdoughs set my mouth watering even though logically I understand they are thousands of miles away and eaten by now… showing sourdough with blueberries hardly seems fair 🙂

    The chair is a great transformation and I hope you’ll find the other ones easier now you’ve finished the first. It’s funny how daunting even just painting something can seem and how happy it can make us when we try it. Good luck with the felting too! That looks like something I’d enjoy learning to do (except for the sewing bit).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks. It’s only with hindsight I realise that I actually have achieved anything 🙂
      I think I’m a born student. My reaction to any perceived gaps in my knowledge is to search for someone to teach me. While I love books, I learn best in quite a structured environment.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. For some reason I can’t quite put my finger on, I always seem rather hungry after visiting your blog … 😉

    I’m always happy to see the little Beamers in a photo – double the fun in a double exposure. Now you have me wondering if I might have a feature like that too.

    I’m very impressed with the chair project. I have a wood kitchen set that desperately needs to be refinished but I’m just not handy that way. I hope someone will stage an intervention if I ever attempt to do it myself.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. I shouldn’t see this before I’ve had breakfast, but it’s too late now. 😉. The summer (for us) has flown by and I can’t believe its almost September. I’ve been busy, too, and actually started a journal where one purpose is to keep track of some of what I’ve accomplished each day, just to keep myself on track with my goals.

    Best get going with my day. Thanks for a delicious start. You’re quite creative.

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: The Changing Season – August 2019 – Little Pieces Of Me

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  9. Goodness Su, you have been busy! I’m afraid in winter when I rarely venture outdoors I am much lazier – reading, blogging and editing photos is probably the extent of it! Of course I’d love to bake bread and cakes, but we are sworn off carbs for now and I am not a seamstress. The horticulture course sounds interesting – is it hands on or run online? At least you are now heading into spring whilst we are on the downward spiral towards the months I detest the most….
    Sigh. Summer has faded all too quickly.
    https://wp.me/p79zFr-2gJ

    Liked by 1 person

    • Since our winters are so mild, I don’t really get the same need to slow right down that I did when we lived in the UK. I have been reading more lately — especially since I discovered my local library has a good collection of NZ gardening magazines.
      The course is online for me, though if I lived in one of a few other places in the country I could join an actual physical class. I enjoy learning anyway, and this is quite outside anything I’ve done before. So many ideas — so little time (and space).

      Liked by 1 person

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  11. What a lovely job you’ve done on your chair Su. So bright and fresh, they’ll be lovely when they’re all done. It shouldn’t take too long for that. I’d have to do the backs on ours as well as the seats and that is very time consuming.
    Leslie

    Liked by 1 person

  12. You certainly kept busy! I am tired just thinking of all the things you accomplished.

    I have to put myself into a February mindset. I hate February. Of course, we have to contend with snow and ice, not rain, so that really makes it miserable. But I have no patience for baking and no talent for making things. I just stay inside and do genealogy!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Wow, Su. You’ve done such a great job with that chair. It really freshens them up. I’m also in awe of your cooking too. Looks delicious. Hope the weather improves. You must have lots of field trips coming up now that you are doing that horticulture course.

    I’m just reviewing my Changing Seasons draft post to take out my drama queen tendencies for Sarah’s sake. 🙂 Will post in the next couple of days.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. I really don’t know where to start – it’s all so impressive!! First: I’m so glad I just had breakfast (the usual oats with banana and blueberries, some toasted buckwheat and maple syrup 😊), so I’m safe from drooling all over my phone. 😄 My, those hotcakes and beautiful, beautiful sourdoughs will have me dreaming very sweet dreams tonight. 😄 Is the round one the San Francisco style one? Where did you get the form to bake it in? It looks sooo professional!
    And the chair – just wow! I mean, I do know the power of a little paint but this transformation is simply breathtaking! I predict that our global all women team will have lots of work and make enough profit for us to have those wonderful ateliers and workshops we’re dreaming of. 😉
    So sad to hear about the relentless rain and hope your weather will soon improve! Xxxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much Sarah.
      I do think that our global business should be successful; we have such a good range of skills.
      The round loaf is San Fransisco style — though I used a slightly different recipe.
      I bought a proper cane banneton online for forming the bread. I love the little ridges it leaves, and it seems to help the dough to prove properly. Every time I use it, I worry that the dough will stick when I try to invert it onto the baking tray. It is horrible when that happens, but lately I’ve had more success.
      We have had three consecutive days without rain, and T is even out mowing the lawn. Maybe spring has arrived 🙂
      xxxx

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve just had a look online and think I will order one of those baking baskets as well – your bread looks just too delicious with those lovely little ridges. Do you use some extra flour to avoid the dough from sticking to it?
        Yesterday has been the first cold day in a while, and I’m shocked at having to wear jeans again. 😉 But I’m still in my Birkenstocks so all is well 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • I use semolina or rice flour and sort of throw it against the sides of the banner on to make it catch in the ridges. I guess you could dust the bread with one of them too.
        I hope it doesn’t get too cold too quickly. The forecast here is for more rain and (for us) winter temperatures. 🙁

        Liked by 1 person

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  18. Hi Su, you are strangely silent. Or perhaps just busy. If it is the latter, just ignore this message. If you are random problems with your comments, contact WP. And let them know you participate in some challenges and host one of your own, so Akismet might be screening you out. They fixed my problem for me, and Tina too. Cheers. Tracy.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Sourdough. God, I miss a good sourdough bread. Don’t have an oven in Thailand and I don’t live where anyone makes it. Sigh. I love your messy photos and the chair! Wow, well done, lovely work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much. I cooked without a proper oven for a long time, but now I have one I have completely changed my style of cooking and would struggle without it.
      You’ve reminded me that I heard one of the winners of the BBC TV programme The Great British Bake-off saying that when her family arrived in the UK from Pakistan, her mother used the oven as a place to store cookware. Cooking just didn’t involve using an oven.

      Liked by 1 person

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  25. Back now from the farewell lunch for friends moving to WA, now time to read your changing seasons blog. Such a busy and creative month you have had. Wish we could have some of your rain, there is non in sight over here and our fire season has started with 40+ fires burning out of control in the hinterland and a heavy smoke pall in the air. The horticultural course sounds very interesting, and I love our library system too. We can download magazines, for free and an unlimited time, to the iPad I’m a big fan of all the gardening mags too. Well now 4pm and time to check the garden after a hot 30deg and very windy day.

    Like

  26. Pingback: The Changing Seasons – August – A wonderful sheep

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