Sunday, September 04, 2011

Better in the morning, yeast and in bed.

1. It's been a rough night -- Alec has a cold, and has been burning hot and feeding every hour. But now morning is here, and he is cooler and laughing at all his normal amusements.

2. We ordered in the wrong kind of yeast, so I've been baking bread by hand for the last fortnight. I've always used a machine up until now, but when Grayson Perry came round he made a remark that needled me rather, about using a machine to do a craft.* I opened my mouth to say that I never hand baked because I didn't like the feel of dough -- but then I thought that this was not an argument I wanted to have with a potter. Anyway -- the more I get to know dough, the more I like it. I've discovered that the sticky feeling that bothers me so much wears off as you knead. I've discovered that arms that spend all day hefting a weighty baby are equal to kneading -- and that it only takes ten minutes of hard work. Then there's a bit time to go and do something else, before the pleasure of punching down the sponge and hearing the bubbles pop.

3. I'm so tired, and it's going to be a difficult night -- but I do like having Alec as a warm bundle in bed beside me. He feels needy and pathetic and just wants to be held. Under normal circumstances he wouldn't be happy in with me -- he would roll and wriggle and squirm until I put him back in his cot.

* In one of those ah-ha moments, I discovered that GP has curated a show at the British Museum on the unknown craftsman.