It took me most of the morning to do anything useful, but I picked up a bit towards lunchtime. I set up the new card reader – we’ve only taken cheques or cash up to now, but that just isn’t tenable any more. I felt surprisingly stressed afterwards, I’d obviously been worrying more than I’d known.
Later, I made a couple of phone calls and, in each case, got someone very helpful and friendly. The first was Tim’s house’s BT account, the direct debit hadn’t gone through and I had to do it again. Maureen from Ireland was lovely. I don’t know the name of the RBS Investment service Probate department woman, but she couldn’t have been nicer. She agreed that it was not great for me to send off all the documents – my passport, Tim’s will, my marriage certificate – and asked if there was a bank branch near me? I think she realised it was a silly question as soon as she’d asked it, because RBS has closed nearly all its branches and the nearest is Colchester. But then I asked if Nat West would do and it will. So it will mean a trip to Norwich in the morning, but never mind. And then after that, I’ll call on my friend Jan, who would like to see some of the china. Next, I’ll try to get my head round the bumf that the solicitor sent me, but that might wait another day. All the same, the auction has to take priority from tomorrow onwards. As I said to Jan, it’s a pleasure to handle the china, so it will sooth me.
The main reason the day didn’t start well was because I stubbed my toe. It’s quite peculiar. I’d left a pair of little boots – that is, short, in very soft leather – on the landing. By the wall, not lying in my way, but I still managed to kick one of them, very painfully. I looked down to see if I’d broken my toe.
I never walk around barefoot in the house. Even if it’s just socks or tights, I always wear something on my feet because I’ve several friends who do love to get their toes out, who’ve broken one. It’s very easy to do. But this was just from the bedroom to the bathroom with no furniture or anything in the way. I looked at my toe later, it’s swollen and bruised and more comfortable with a sock and that same bootee on. I hope the nail doesn’t go black, but I wouldn’t be surprised. Anyway, it put me off things a bit.
I started a batch of sourdough bread last night. My starter is equal quantities of rye and white wheat flours and then I usually use white flour for the bread. But I’d like to make bread that’s at least half wholemeal flour. So I made my usual white wheat, whole wheat and whole rye mix, then added various seeds – everything as usual except with sourdough starter instead of dried yeast.
I’ve learned a few things. I normally knead the dough in the food mixer and add the seeds in the last few minutes. But it gets kneaded twice, which I don’t do with sourdough. So the seeds weren’t fully mixed through and were quite difficult to incorporate later. The dough didn’t have the usual lovely stretchiness, but perhaps I should have kneaded it a bit longer. I left it overnight, out in the kitchen rather than in the fridge as usual, because I thought it needed all the help it could get.
What I mostly learned was that it’s no good telling yourself to set a timer if you don’t actually do it. The bread has not burned but it has a mighty thick crust. It actually tastes very good, I’ve tried a piece, but it’s hard to get the knife through the crust. I have to eat it anyway, I’ve run out of bread from the freezer.