staff problems – 132cm rain – optimum time for studying – bread making

Monday 29 August 1664

.. and thither came the woman with her mother which our Will recommends to my wife. I like her well, and I think will please us. My wife and they agreed, and she is to come the next week. At which I am very well contented, for then I hope we shall be settled, but I must remember that, never since I was housekeeper, I ever lived so quietly, without any noise or one angry word almost, as I have done since my present mayds Besse, Jane, and Susan came and were together. Now I have taken a boy and am taking a woman, I pray God we may not be worse, but I will observe it.

Pepys has highlighted a problem in taking on staff. They may be perfectly adequate individually but collectively may not get on well and clearly this has been the case with the three ‘mayds’ mentioned above. When all said and done, the servants  can be an intrusion on the house and constitute a type of extended family, so harmony at all levels is vital.

132cm is about 4 feet 5 inches – imagine swimming around in that lot at night in the cold

I do feel for the people of Houston Texas and surrounding areas because 132 cm is one heck of a lot of rain. I just measured how high it would come on me using a tape measure and it comes up to my shoulders. If we imagine a suburban area 40km x40km x 0.00132km  = 2.112 cu km or 211,200,000,000 litres of water.    A lot.

I have given some thought to the best part of the day for reading and studying. I can organise my life as I wish but have not been able to discipline myself enough to study at the level I wish to  never mind keep up with the vast pile of books that for some reason I keep accumulating. I read that Kindle books are becoming less popular and are not surprised.  It’s very nice reading on the subway but given the choice I would go for a real book any time. There is one big advantage of the Kindle however that you can change the size of the  text if you happen to have poor eyesight.

People who are obsessed with a topic can study at any time but I reckon the best time for study is the mornings when you are fresh and unencumbered. NB Theoretically,  this blog is open to anybody and anyone with an opinion is more than welcome to write to me. My e-mail is on the home page of this blog.

using the normal 500ml of whole wheat brown flour this is a variation on the normal shaped loaf.

As regular readers will know, we make our own bread. Some time ago we bought a bread maker but it took us a long time to actually get round to using it for its intended purpose. I think it is the ideal food for a novice.

The ingredients cost very little, about 70p per loaf, so if you mess up then there is no great harm and even if the result doesn’t look very nice it is very probably edible so no need to throw it away on sight.  I decided to just use the bread maker as a mixer; I decanted the result after about 10 min of mixing onto a round baking tin, having decided that I would make a continental-looking loaf. It smells good. I find that unless bread has cooled down it is a little bit indigestible so I must wait an hour or so.

About four o’clock this afternoon I got the urge to go and see our current garden job. This was strange because I thought no one was going to be there. My gut feeling wins again. There was the client and his daughter busily discussing what they wanted to do with the garden. The timing was perfect but I had not intended that to happen, I just got this urge to do something and when I get such an urge without any reason behind it it is always ‘meant’ to be.

Tomorrow is going to be a hard day. I have somewhat under quoted for the clearing job but can theoretically do it in the time allowed so we just have to get cracking. I shall cut down the trees and bushes and Francoise would drag them to the rapidly growing pile of spoil. I shall get into the zone rather like you do when you meditate and the energy will look after itself.


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