Z has an early night

I’m back home and alone again, having stayed with Weeza and family on Wednesday night and brought Zerlina back here again last night.  I wanted to make hot cross buns yesterday, but it took us a while to get started and I didn’t realise how long it would take – you make the enriched dough first, kneading it thoroughly and leaving it to prove, then kneading it again to incorporate the fruit and spice.  What I didn’t appreciate was that it was then necessary to leave it to rise for another hour before shaping the buns and letting them rise for another hour yet.  This wouldn’t have mattered if I hadn’t agreed to play the organ for the Maundy Thursday service but, as it was, I realised I couldn’t speed the process and had to slow it down instead.

Zerlina is a reasonable little girl, taking on board the explanation that I’d have to cook them after she was in bed and I showed her how to make the flour and water paste and pipe it, and how to brush on the apricot jam glaze, both of which I’d be doing myself.  Roses kindly looked after her and put her to bed while I was out.  Zerlina asked for a soufflé again for tea and I added some ham as well as the cheese this time.

The hot cross buns turned out very well, though they weren’t the easiest thing to make and I was glad I had the mixer to knead the dough, which remained sticky, however long it was kneaded.  Alex made some last year and he didn’t mention that, I’ll have to ask him.  I didn’t think I’d added too much water.

I’m planning a quiet weekend, I hope.  Phil and Gus came over this morning to pick up z, Weeza having to stay home for the delivery of a new bed for z.  Al and family are on holiday in Yorkshire and I’m going to have lunch with Ro and Dora on Monday.  I’ve bought lots of flowers to decorate the church tomorrow (and will have enough, I hope for Russell’s grave too: if not, he will have daffodils picked from the garden) and will play the organ on Sunday.  I might amble down to the pub for a drink at some time but otherwise I shall be home, pottering around in the house and garden.  After such a busy few weeks, I felt quite lonely but I met that rather more than half way, taking and embracing the feeling and playing The Mountain Goats – and if Get Lonely doesn’t cure, it’ll probably have the opposite effect, so it’s not to be played lightly.

No sign of frog spawn yet in the pond or the stream and Wince, my gardener, says he hasn’t seen any yet either.  Anyone from a balmier part of the country got any yet?  I hope the frogs will find my pond again, but haven’t seen any sign yet.  The two of us were making plans for what to do over the summer – he’s quite a reserved man but he’s starting to feel more at ease with chatting to me now.  We’ve never done a job together yet though, he prefers to work alone even if it’d be easier with two.

Although it’s early, I’m really tired and going to have a long soak in the bath and an early night. Changing the clocks has completely confused my body rhythm, I don’t have any feel for what time it is any more.

2 comments on “Z has an early night

  1. 63mago

    Went for a walk yesterday and took time to look into the pond and the rivulet. There are batches of spawn, and even the first tadpoles. Standing still, watching and closely inspecting the grey-brown things / leaves / wood / stone / mud under the water I finally saw them, pretty large frogs (or are they Kröten – I never can tell them apart). Some became curious and looked at me and then went back into hiding, under a stone or into the mud. At one location there was a kind of ball formed by these animals, must have been five or more.
    Their colours ranged from greenish to dark brown, some had dots, stripes. And one started to make sounds, where he puffed up his skin became white.

  2. Z Post author

    When they’re spawning, there are lots of them, all in a testosterone-crazed heap and afterwards, usually a few of them die – the females, I suppose. It’s normally a bit more civilised in my pond, though. It must be warmer with you, we’re only a few miles from the sea. Toads (I haven’t looked it up, but I suppose that’s Kröten) are broader and flatter and don’t jump, they are more warty than frogs. I always kiss a frog (you never know…) but I’ve never yet kissed a toad.


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