Here is a (non-toxic variety unlike the stuff made by Monsanto) round-up of recent activities:
- Writing. YAY! I've been writing exercises which will make me millions (!) on grammar and punctuation - 130 for each of three levels, with question, right answer, three wrong answers and explanation. Total: 780 inspiring and educational exercises... Plus reading through even more for a figurative language app where I came across a whole bunch of words that I had never heard of before, like anaphora, synecdoche, etc.
- Making water kefir. This is a process that requires regular attention what with keeping an eye on the first fermentation process to bottling the kefir ready for the second fermentation, and remembering how long the bottles have been out before they have to go into the fridge. I you want to find out all about making your own kefir water, this is a very thorough description. My kefir grains keep reproducing like bloody rabbits and I now have jars of the grains in sugar water sitting in the fridge waiting for someone to take them off my hands. I keep running out of flip-top bottles too. Must up my beer intake... This is in a vain attempt to give the boys a fizzy drink that's actually good for them. So far, so big failure, but it's a project in progress and I WILL find a version that they like! Preferably before they leave home... Meanwhile, my gut is glowing.
- Making sour-dough starter. Another process that requires regular attention! I started making it so I could make sour-dough bread until I realised (after my starter had been going for a week or so) it takes about 20 hours to make a loaf! As I'm not sure how to fit that into full-time work, I've been using the starter to make pizza dough until I work out the logistics of baking sour-dough bread.
- Being part of the local elections as a member of the team opposing the one currently in place. This has involved regular meetings and delivering political tracts in the village. We also meet up in the market on Sunday mornings to show shoppers we're a sizeable team of merry types who have good ideas and are ready to talk about them. We buy goodies from the market vendors - oysters, cheese, charcuterie - which makes us very popular with them, and, funnily enough, after the first Sunday we were there but the others were not, the next week, they turned up too in a different spot. We offer wine from the local winery, they serve the hard stuff. If we win, I'll be on the local council! My DB is hoping I'll make it to Deputé level so we can live in the lap of luxury for evermore... (he's got a hope!).
My mum was without a land-line phone for three weeks over Christmas and New Year. TalkTalk offered her a measly £18.08 off her next bill. I wrote to them and said I was not impressed. My mum is 80 and needs a land line, if nothing else, to contact the emergency services! She incurred £20 on her little-used mobile phone whose number is not known by most of her friends, and she suffered a lot of stress at the extreme inconvenience over the festive period.
TalkTalk wrote back and told me to get stuffed. They had compensation guidelines and as her phone had been out of order for so many days, she gets so many days off her next bill. It was all BT's fault anyway as their idiotic engineers had mis-connected some lines when they were working just down the road. Took three weeks and endless expensive mobile phone calls to get them to move their arse. Telecom companies are all bastards.
After all that I'm in need of a holiday. My DB and I will be off soon on a motorbike ride to Italy to visit Pisa, Florence and surrounding spots. I just hope everything stays alive while I'm away!