Today, for the first time in weeks I cycled to the market without getting wet, without fear of sliding on icy patches and without fear of being blown off my bike by high winds. A pleasant ride on the whole, although there were still some deep puddly places on the approach to the Donkey Line.
The highland cattle were back in the field next to the start of the Donkey Line. They’ve been absent for a good while so it’s nice to see them back “home”, as it were. They are rather impressive beasts.
The market was still a bit sparse, but the cheese and biscuits lady was back. A good thing too, as I rely on her for supplies of very good muesli, not sweetened like so many more commercial brands are, and oatcakes to have with cheese. Last week was too stormy for her apparently. It was almost too stormy for me, as I recall.
This morning I forgot to buy the oat flip biscuits she sells. I like to have a supply of these in hand as my gluten intolerant brother-in-law can eat them and I feel,it’s only polite to offer him something to accompany the cup of coffee he drinks sitting on the garden wall after we have been for a walk. I do have gluten free cake I made with flour from the cheese and biscuit lady (another reason for being pleased to see her return) but it’s in the freezer and I need to remember to defrost it when he comes around.
But the market is much reduced these days - the fruit and veg man, the fish man and the cheese and biscuit lady. There’s not much room on the square for many more stalls but still it seems very sparse.
I managed to get what I wanted though and as the delicatessen has started opening at 9.30 instead of 10.00 I was able to get my shopping done a little earlier than on recent occasions. There were remarkably few queues anywhere, another speed factor.
There are, however, moments on the return journey when it’s almost faster to push the bike than to pedal with the weight of stuff in the panniers. So it goes. It’s a different sort of exercise for me and keeps me out of mischief.
I ordered some items recently from Holland and Barrett, the health food people. It was mostly nuts and dried fruit but as I placed the order I spotted that they had almond butter. I used to pick up almond butter from the local Tesco, selecting always the one with nothing but almonds, no sugar and especially no palm oil. But I haven’t been to Tesco in months and the co-op doesn’t seem to stock it any longer. So for almost a year I have had no supplies. I sometimes suspect that the likes of me buying nut butter are causing changes in the kinds of crops being grown in some parts of the world but I’m trying not to feel guilty about it. I’m not a great fan of peanut butter - which is odd as I like peanuts, natural, salted, roasted, honey-roasted, in every possible presentation. I find the texture of peanut butter rather cloying but I really enjoy almond butter.
So I ordered a large jar along with assorted nuts and raisins. And for the last few days I have had almond butter on my breakfast toast, and on slices of apple - a delight rediscovered. Another delight is hazelnut yoghurt on my roast hazelnut muesli. A little bit of morning indulgence, or perhaps morning decadence.
That’s enough talk of food. Time is going by. I am expecting my daughter and assorted offspring to call round to drop some things off this afternoon and then maybe go for a walk to the duckpond. So I must press on and complete some tasks before then.
Life goes on. Stay safe and well, everyone!