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We are in those dark days of the year, the ones after the Solstice when the days may be lengthening but the sun rises ever later. I find that it can induce depression and a great need to cling to my bed.

It is a measure of my dedication to my developing art then, that this morning saw me toasting and grinding hemp seeds before the sun was up, and  before I was showered and dressed. Yes, today is the day of the first sourdough bread-baking.

I know this one thing for certain –   if this bread fails then it won’t have been anything to do with yesterday’s sponging process. I woke to find a bowl full of beautifully bubbled goo by the server cupboard, where I had left the bowl in search of a warm place to nest overnight.

The new dough handling process was invoked, a là Richard Bertinet… only I am sure that I didn’t get it right and could have done with a video to hand… or at least the book. Amazon told me that they would deliver today. We can do it, they said, yes we can… whereas I rather thought, no, you can’t. So I am sitting here, breath bated, and waiting for postie to come calling.

I’ve had no coffee yet – the machine stubbornly refuses to switch on. Poor Mr L is on the Camp, so no wonder he is so grumpy. This probably explains his announcement this morning that he is ceasing development of his software product (stupid and awkward people are making him crazy – but perhaps it is his caffeine-free state.)

The Spelt Sourdough is on its first rise. It will give me plenty of practice in the Bertinet method – the recipe says that four risings may be required. Oh, my. I need my breakfast. Not to mention a cup of coffee. I have some Alta Rica instant but it just does not cut the mustard, so I’m going to unearth the grinder and a cafetière.

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