Thursday 13 June 2024

The steam train day, and Magic Dough

 We had a lovely steam train trip out with our friends from Kent yesterday....whilst we were waiting to get on the train, there was a freezing cold wind and quite a bit of cloud, but the sun came out and it warmed up considerably after an hour or so.  The ride itself was a bit uncomfortable (the trains and carriages are very old), we got shaken about a lot, but the actual journey was lovely - beautiful countryside, sea views, pretty stations.  The stations are all very well kept, with gorgeous flower beds and pots - all staffed by friendly volunteers, here's a couple of the border displays:-

The engine that pulled us:-

No chance of getting a photo without people in the way, at each station there were lots of people waiting for a chance to get on and be shown around the engine compartment, and loads of steam buffs taking photos.  Each station has different things to see, some have 2nd hand bookshops, one has a museum of old train memorabilia (including a sleeping carriage fully kitted out), one of the stations has a lovely little maze garden, another an attractive picnic area with new benches and tables.  

Our friends, who are geocachers and do a lot of walking and sightseeing, have opened our eyes to lovely villages and areas around here that we, as residents, didn't even know existed.  I guess since we moved here - 6 months ago today - we've spent so much time getting the home and especially the garden sorted, we've not really had much time to go exploring.  Now we've done enough in the garden for this year, we'll be able to have more days out from here on.  That's if the weather finally warms up!  It's freezing cold again today, with heavy rain forecast anytime now.  Well, I say's actually about 15 deg. but feels a lot colder with the wind, and I do seem to feel the cold a lot more nowadays.  It's definitely not flaming June!!

Now I've bought the little tabletop oven, which works really well, I want to start making bread again.  The blogger and food writer Thrifty Lesley (I'm sure many of you know of her) has a recipe for what she calls Magic Dough on her website, it's basically a cross between ordinary bread dough (it has a little quick yeast in it) and sourdough, she makes a batch of it and keeps it in the fridge, feeding it once or twice a week with a cupful of flour and some water, and taking out some of the dough to use for many kinds of bread.  I'll make up a batch of that at the weekend.  I've bought a few bags of flour recently to stock up, as the price of wheat is forecast to go up due to the bad weather affecting wheat crops.  Some of the flour I keep in the freezer - it doesn't go solid but stays free-flowing, I just have to remember to take it out of the freezer a couple of hours before I want to use it, so it can reach room temperature.

We're having dinner out with our Kent friends later on, before they go home tomorrow.  And that's the last of our friends/family visits for a while, although husband's daughter and son in law are talking about coming down for a visit in a couple of months.  After all of these visits and the extra work, days out, entertaining and full-on chatting that entails, I'll be glad of an easy slow week to come, I feel totally worn out.  Definitely feeling my age lately!


  1. A case of new eyes seeing what's on your doorstep, and as you say, you've been otherwise occupied! When (I won't say if) the weather warms up, you'll be able to explore. A bit of R&R is called for, now though. You've had a busy few weeks. I know what you mean about feeling your age! xx

  2. Thrifty Lesley is fab, isn't she! 🙂

  3. I like Thrifty Lesley too - she's so clever. xx

  4. Please could you posy a link to the magic dough recipe, please, Sopoze - I can't find it.

    It's lovelyn that you are finding new and different places to visit. Lovely. xx


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