Reasons to Be Cheerful – Winter Wondering

More wondering what’s happened to winter this year!  Apologies if today’s list is a little short, I am suffering from a Kyocera-inflicted injury made washing up the knife during the making of  yesterday’s Malaysian chicken curry.  This has left me missing a (very small) chunk from the tip of the middle finger of my left hand – precisely the point that would impact on the keyboard.  As I touch-type (well, mostly), this is slowing me down.

So, this week’s reasons…

The beer is brewing!

I love home brewing.  It means I’ve got quite a lot of very good beer in the cupboard at any given time without the hassle of carrying it back from the supermarket.  It means I can experiment with adding herbs and spices (I’m fond of cinnamon) to the beers when bottling them and making my own unique brews.  One of the finest discoveries I’ve made in recent years is the Barkshack Gingermead – a brew made from honey, ginger and an assortment of fruit.  We’ve done raspberry and blueberry gingermeads so far, I plan to set off a rhubarb one this year (possibly rhubarb and apple, not sure).  We also “obtained” some apples during the Christmas break, so we’re making cider from them using some first-principles recipes found on the internet.  That’ll give us, by the end of March once the diet is onto “maintenance” rather than “loss”, best part of 100 pints of assorted lovely stuff to consume over the rest of the year.  Happy days!

The brewing process has some very unique smells, tied strongly into memories of place and time.  The wort, for instance, brings back memories of the wind blowing in a certain direction in Edinburgh, carrying with it the smells of the Scottish &  Newcastle brewery at Fountainbridge.  The hops (Goldings, in this case) brought memories of the pub in Kings Cross railway station, drinking Summer Lightning waiting for the train to take me north on a Friday evening.  Smells and memories are so tightly linked, aren’t they.

The Games People Play

I may have mentioned this before – we play a lot of games as a family.  Board games, card games, roleplaying games, computer games.  We expanded our Carcassonne set over Christmas, adding to the strategy in interesting ways.  Last night we taught the eldest 2 kids how to play Cribbage, stretching their maths skills with “Okay, so how many ways can you get this lot to add up to 15?”.  I also received my copy of a game called “Ashen Stars”, possibly one of the most beautiful RPGs I’ve had my hands on (about which more on Wednesday).  My wife and I are blasting our way through “Borderlands” on the PS3 at the moment and it’s proving detrimental to the amount of sleep we’re getting.  The mark of a good game!

Anyway, those are my reasons for this week!  They’re possibly not the best, but they’ll have to do.

Oh, and I dropped 4kg in the first week of my diet this year.  Sunday morning sees the next weigh-in, here’s hoping!

One Reply to “Reasons to Be Cheerful – Winter Wondering”

  1. I love the fact that as a mean yorur weight loss is just an afterthought whereas if this was a woman writing it that would have been reason number 1. Hope yoru finger is much better now.

    Mich x

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