Monday, 31 October 2011

Paddling in the Ocean of Everything

The last few weeks have seen me an utter joy to be around albeit if you are wearing a nuclear hazard suit and ear muffs.

I caught food poisoning, the flu then slipped some discs all at the same time. Right as the harvest finally got started. Right at the beginning of the 'tattie holidays'.

The harvest brought in itself like the scene in Nanny Mcfee, all magical shapes and glitter but that may have been the opiates, uppers, downers and sidewayers prescribed by the doctor. I made the sidewayers bit up but took to walking like a crab anyway, progressing to lobster mode after finding my Dad's old walking sticks.

The Farmer, possibly at the end of his tether, carefully drove me to a chiropractor in Aberfeldy and despite being convinced that one swift crack of the neck would end not only the pain but my very life, back was sorted beautifully.

Nothing shifts the cold and flu quicker than standing in a very cold, windy field, hauling lumps of stuck straw out of the bailer. The wind forgot it's manners and rather than a Victorian glove type slap on the face, it was more of a punch with a knuckleduster and a good eyeful of straw thrown in the eyes just in case it missed the first time.

The Farmer drove past happily in his heated combine, Eldest Son and I wrestled with the stuck bailer and oaths were carried away on the wind to be hollered in someone's ear who lived miles away and would be all shocked.

We managed to get some of the barley in before the rain came again and the combine got stuck in the field, the same as the next farm and the farm further past that one. The ground beyond saturation after months of rain.
The oats are still uncut and bar from hand scything them (which is *bound* to put your back out), there is little we can do except wait for a hard frost which will firm up the ground enough to take the weight of combine and tractor.

There was only one answer to the long faces, longer wet days. The Mother of Death by Chocolate cake. We would all burst our arteries but die happy.

I threw everything chocolatey into the monster sized cake, cooked it to slightly burned perfection, removed it from the oven then dropped it on the worktop where it smashed into many pieces. Many.
Undaunted and now *driven*, it got stuck together with a bucket load of salted caramel sauce (Thank you, MmeLindor) and a mountain of chocolate ganache to hide the damage. The ganache was so thick, I was tempted to mend the roof with it. The roof I am not supposed to mention so you never read that bit.

This is the panacea for all evils and ills, ridder of flu, sorter of backs, lifter of spirits, clogger of arteries and the Devil may care.

I would share but it has mysteriously vanished.


  1. Can I come to yours for a bit of the cake then?

  2. You are most welcome!

    I may make another one and not drop it this time.

  3. My husband has an old scythe mark scar across his shin. It's not only your back you can damage out there. Nice recovery with and of the cake.

  4. chocolate cake cures many ills, of this I am convinced. I may bake one this evening

  5. Death by chocolate indeed. The weather sounds bloody, glad your back is better though.

    By the way, I got a reply to my letter to Alan Salmond, from Fiona Leslie in his office. I'll send you a copy if you email me: dslf at hotmail cot com

  6. Thank you, all.

    Sarah, I received a letter from Richard Lochhead and while thorough, it would appear that the onus falls on us to pursue several lengthy routes as opposed to the landowner being instructed to make the farmhouse wind and watertight.

    No changes since the 18th century for the tenant farmer....