Crumpets

‘and shall we have crumpets for tea ?’

I don’t remember where that quote comes from. But that’s what we had for our meal this afternoon. Toasted to a slightly brown colour and hot so that the crumpet is cooked through. I usually have butter or margarine on it but today I had butter and then as a treat a small amount of Greek honey.

The porous, sponge like consistency of the crumpet makes it good for absorbing melted butter. The top of a crumpet is full of a lattice of holes, whereas the base is solid, so these lacunae stay filled and only leak slightly. Yummy! I’ve also toasted crumpets, then grated cheese on them and then I gently microwave them for a savoury snack.

This bought back a memory of using a fork pierced through a crumpet and pushed onto the front bars of a gas fire. A tricky thing to do as the fire might burn your fingers as well as the crumpet! Cook the back first then the front, then take it off the fire and butter and eat. (Childhood memories of when life was more basic).

Sunshine and clouds

Walking home, Stoke-on-Trent, about 3.15pm this afternoon. The low sun barred by dark clouds. It didn’t rain but the bright sunshine really shone out behind the clouds. The lamp posts give a sense of scale. You can see the shadow of the cloud on the right cast at an angle so it gives an indication of where the sun is. It never emerged as I walked as the clouds were really slow moving.

Condensation trail

We don’t see many planes overhead these days, but the last couple of afternoons we have seen a condensation trail as a plane has flown over.

Condensation because water vapour in the atmosphere condenses out on soot from the plane engines as the plane flies through the cold moist air. It makes a cloud that can hang in the sky for ages or dissipate quickly. In this case it was almost gone by the time the plane had passed over.

There are conspiracy theories that the trails are releasing chemicals into the atmosphere. This isn’t true but stems from some experiments years ago by scientists seeding clouds with silver iodide to create rain by giving water droplets a nucleus for the water droplet to form on.

So there is a grain of truth, but just that. The reality is far simpler. See https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contrail. For more information.

Reflected sky

When I come out of our art group this afternoon I saw a wonderful dappled sky. This was the aftermath of storm Arwen last night. There were still freezing gusts of wind and snow was lying in small patches (most had melted). I’m in love with cloudscape, I’m a member of the cloud appreciation society although I’m rubbish at identifying clouds! Anyway I decided to mirror the view so it looks like there is a calm icy lake . X

Boat Band live!

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I went out for a walk today up our steep hill and then called into the local pub to see our friends in the Boatband who were playing outside in the beer garden. We stayed to listen to the music, it was the first time we had been there since March. Everything was socially distanced with a one way system in the pub so you could use the facilities. The music was cajun. You can find them on YouTube. We had an excellent socially distanced afternoon although I drank far to much gin and tonic! (it’s taken me three goes to type something coherent here).

 

Wild fowl

We just went for a walk round the small lake at Westport and decided to feed the birds. Mostly pigeon and Canada geese with a mix of a few others and some swans and ducks. I fed the pigeons by putting the food on the top of a fence. Once they were confident I tried holding the food out in my hand and they pecked the food while standing on the fence, finally they all took turns standing on my hand and pecking the food out of it. I only did it because I knew I could wash my hands afterwards.

The management of the lakes are now with Staffordshire Wildlife Trust and the whole place looks more managed but wild if you see what I mean. Colourful poppies and other wildflowers surround the visitors centre. Drifts of nettles feed butterflies. I saw an electric blue damsel fly skittering about them. I also saw a peacock butterfly and a cabbage white.

We were sitting up on the balcony at the visitor centre when we saw a large carp in the lake. It’s pale colour meant it was visible from above. Looking at its size compared with some terns sitting on a piece of wood in the lake it must have been about 18 inches long.

An enjoyable afternoon.