Thursday, January 12, 2006

I, Baker


This wholemeal loaf is my second attempt at baking bread. I am pleased with the result.
When I opened the oven door at the appointed time and an actual loaf had arisen in the tin I was satisfied out of all proportion. I strongly recommend this activity, especially if you have a little time on your hands and can cope with making an unholy mess. Do not forget to coat your hands (back AND front) with flour before kneading the dough. Otherwise, much sludge sticks to your hands and can only be removed via a humiliating trudge to the sink. I forgot twice which is why the loaf looks small - a substantial quantity of the original dough never made it to breadhood.
I'm going to push on to more advanced breads which looks like being expensive (this is a highly uncommercial enterprise). Raisin Bread, for instance, looks like setting me back about £30 to buy the ingredients. Unless you can buy 1 tablespoon of brandy. Next week - rye bread. Incidentally, I stopped eating bread recently. I only really wanted to make it. That's quite chefish.
I've just received a text message which suggests to me that I might have unsuspected powers as a motivational speaker. I had coffee this afternoon with a friend who was dreading going to a restaurant with her work colleagues tonight. I said, without any serious intent, that she should take it upon herself to be the one who made the party swing and get everyone involved in the conversation (she is quite reserved and self-conscious and seems to have a downer on most of her co-workers). I added that, on her way to the restaurant, she should think of something good about everyone who would be there. Cheesey and obvious, I know, but that was the spirit it was said in.
Well, as things turned out the planted seed insisted on growing and she had a good time and BIG THANKS to me.
This has made me acutely aware of the extent that things said casually can have an effect on others, good or bad.
Clearly, the next step is to take my own advice now that it has been safely tested on someone else. You see, I'm realising that I have developed a survivor mentality. I've been going into most situations in life with the goal of getting through them and, folks, that is not LIVING!
Ok. Enough words. Let actions speak.
I will bake a better man.

56 Comments:

Blogger The Grunt said...

Great metaphor, Rob. That bread looks tasty too. I need to get out of survivor mode as well. Have you ever read any works of the late, great scholar Joseph Campbell? He did a great series on the power of myth, as well as other related subjects. His writings are helping me find myself. He also spends a lot of study in Buddahism. I don't agree with everything he says, but find that there's much that is useful and true.

11:02 PM  
Blogger rjw said...

Did he write "The Hero With A Thousand
Faces"? It's been recommended to me before.
I'm reading Huckleberry Finn at the moment which must be one of THE great American books.

1:37 AM  
Blogger The Grunt said...

Yes he did write "The Hero With a Thousand Faces". Huck Finn? I've got to read that one all the way through. I just finished Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men". Great story and a quick read. One book that I've got to read is Joyce's "Finnegan's Wake".
Choinks for the recommendation,
Tara!

9:33 AM  
Blogger rjw said...

"Tell 'em about the rabbits, George"

5:09 PM  
Blogger The Grunt said...

Timeless line. I cry at the end of that book/movie everytime. I think that it's because I am my brother's keeper (he's not like Lenny, though, but I do feel like George sometimes).

You know, I just got a call out of the blue from a family I met in Sunderland. It's been almost seven years since I last saw them. I'm thinking of going back to the North for a visit, maybe. Everytime I get the money, I spend it on something here. I need to climb back up to Penshaw mounument and declare the Tyne&Wear the new holy land.

One thing that I noticed is that I have got out of practice understanding the Mackam accent. That would probably go for Geordie as well. I just sat there on the phone saying, "what?" over and over again. Thankfully, I caught on after 30 minutes in.

Not having had the pleasure of going into Lancashire county, what accent do you have--what do they call it? Is it similar to West Yorkshire? I probably talked to people from there, but never noticed.

One of my goals for this year is to get some A-Z's and mark out my turf. I'm forgeting all the Chapel roads and Chappletons, so to speak.

With respect to your post, I'm following suit. Keep up the good blogging!

9:45 PM  
Blogger rjw said...

Revisiting the old stamping ground? Nice that you've kept in touch with people from all those years ago. It's probably at least seven years since I was in the North East and I'm due for a visit myself. Do they call people 'pet' in Sunderland as they do in Geordieland? I only went there once - to watch the football. Yes, football - not 'soccer'. I believe Newcastle has had something of a rebirth in recent years, huge redevelopment around the quayside. Do you remember the Baltic Flour Mill which dominated the Gateshead bank of the river? That's a landmark modern art gallery now and Tyneside is a venue for hip weekenders from London.
My local accent doesn't have a name, just North Lancastrian. Typical North West - short, hard, flat vowels. I'm from Manchester originally - so if you ever watched the long-running, original British soap 'Coronation Street' - that's what I sound like. On my only visit to North America (Canada) I was regularly taken for an Australian, which is quite a common experience for visiting Northern Brits, I believe. If we don't sound like the Royal Family or John Cleese we don't register as English.
Likewise, though, we can spot a New York or Deep South accent but it's a bit hazy after that. I'm also familiar with the 'valley girl' mode of speech. Frank Zappa helped me out there. Can't imagine what the Utah/Wyoming border folk sound like but I've always imagined that the inland Americans do not talk as fast as the coastal varieties.
Haven't felt much like blogging lately but back to the world of work tomorrow so.....
Keep fighting the good fight!

12:47 PM  
Blogger The Grunt said...

Oh, I'm pretty familiar with the Mancunian accent. I didn't watch a lot of T.V. there, but I was aware of Coronary...er...Coronation Street. I think at the time everybody was into those Aussie soaps, Neighbors and Home and Away. My all time favorite Brit show would be either Red Dwarf or Father Ted.

I was called Pet all the time in Sunderland.

I didn't get to see Sunderland play footie (although I was around Roker Park constantly), but got to see the Magpies play a few times.

I need to see Newcastle now that it's been spruced up. Downtown always looked good to me. It was that Benwell Scottswood area that haunted me and was where I found myself most of the time. I've got a picture of me standing on a petrol-bombed car in the middle of Scottswood--or what was left of it.

My accent would be Western, but not twangy. I was born and partially brought up in Phoenix, Arizona. I don't know if that helps you narrow it down.

5:26 PM  
Blogger English Professor said...

_The Power of Myth_ is a great one, as well--Bill Moyers interviewed Campbell about it in a PBS series some years back.

_Huck Finn_ is indeed one of THE great American books--pity it's often taught poorly. Enjoy!

9:57 AM  
Blogger David said...

I enjoyed the word "breadhood".

2:28 AM  
Blogger The Grunt said...

I've got a word to add: bloghood. Where you been Rob?

9:50 PM  
Blogger The Grunt said...

I got a proposal for you, Rob. Can I do a guest blog session here? I'll make it interesting. Cheers ears!

10:02 PM  
Blogger Gill said...

I am just saying hi because you are one of the few people on here who like spirit of the beehive.
Did you ever make any more bread? Satisfying isn't it?

4:00 AM  
Blogger The Grunt said...

I figure that you still get emails from your blogger account so I will say hi!

Rob, I hope you are doing well. Believe it or not, I still remember you and miss your presence, thoughts, and words. I hope everything is alright, mate.

10:58 PM  
Blogger The Grunt said...

I will keep trying to contact you, RJW.

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Undertake no more than you can perform. ............................................................

8:31 PM  
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When love puts in, friendship is gone.......................................................

3:22 AM  
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7:43 PM  
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8:11 AM  
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7:20 PM  
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11:11 PM  
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11:23 AM  
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2:45 AM  
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12:06 PM  
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10:59 PM  
Blogger 凡柯柯豐柯柯柯 said...

你不能決定生命的長度,但你可以控制它的寬度..................................................................

10:30 PM  
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Joy often comes after sorrow, like morning after night.. . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

1:59 AM  
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10:06 AM  

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