Imagine that! I took a photo of something I did, and posted it everywhere other than here! Self-defeating! With the caption ’I’m a Renaissance man, y’all! I’m into all of it!’ which is outrageous but I was feeling productive and outrageous after having posted photos of my cake, which is the pinnacle of achievement for me this year. I’m not that good with a sewing machine, but I do enjoy working with it. It’s a skill that I suspect is not in such wide use.

Masks. I’m making masks, having calculated that I need cotton of two different thread densities in order for it to work better, so I bought good pillowcases from IKEA and dismantled them. That’s probably an expensive crime, but anyway, it is done.

I’ve even tagged this post with ‘hubris’, so, self-awareness. I’ve grown as a person.

I went there, and I brought it. Behold!

I just love the textures. It’s like the surface of the moon or something.

It tastes magical, and I’m a harsh critic of my own efforts. I don’t know if I’ll do it again soon though, this is pure badness. Here’s the recipe I worked from: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/ultimate-lemon-meringue-pie – it didn’t go so well last week and I was dubious, but this week I bought a hand mixer and better sugar, and it all went lot better.

Yeah, no, I didn’t eat all that myself, we both had some, and then I sent off a big slice with Smalls so she could get some dessert out of it. I still have some! Sadly, the number of you that are ever going to get to taste this stuff is vanishingly small, and you already know who you are…

By the way, this is all somewhat tongue-in-cheek. It did go well, and it does taste great, but I’m no match for even the most modestly skilled baker. I’m learning and following instructions meant for idiots. I’m just pleased that I didn’t kill anyone.

It is Rowan berry season, which can only mean one thing; masses of Starlings facing off against the mighty Thrushes, who jealously defend their chosen trees from other birds. The Blackbirds get in on it too. Even the Magpies stay clear of this mess. I had noticed the Thrushes starting to gather some weeks ago, although the berries were far from ripe. But they knew. Photos from last week:

An upshot was that I discovered that the Starlings could, after all, get into the feeder cage without too much difficulty, although I noticed one anxious youngster hopping around outside, wondering how the adult got in so easily.

Also, I got new feeders. I gave up on the bottle conversion strategy. It’s never going to compare to a proper feeder, even a small cheap one. One of them is a Nyger seed feeder…

…which promptly brought Goldfinches into the garden. Beautiful little violent thugs. They’re not interested in anything else, even peanuts. One paid a visit a month or two ago for a minute, but that was it. Nyger seed, however, is for them like peanuts for every other bird. They’re constantly squabbling over the two stations now.

The other feeder empties very quickly, but… I don’t think that the Tits are eating all of it. I suspect that there will be a very thick lawn there before long.

It’s a bad habit, posting long after the fact. It was a relatively busy Friday (I forgot) and Saturday and today were pretty busy. Friday was a wet morning’s walk around the park, but as always, good to get out.

I was playing around with the exposure settings in the first four photos; the camera tends to make bright photos even in darker settings, so I manually compensated. The first two are underexposed, it wasn’t quite that dark.

It doesn’t look like much, but this is my first attempt at BBC’s Lemon Meringue Pie, which I wanted to take a crack at to impress my daughter. I’m starting to think that the BBC recipe site isn’t all that; the stuff is ok, but it seems to not quite work out and involves incredible amounts of butter and sugar, and frequently too much of one thing or another. Maybe that site is a sort of Wikipedia for recipes, with the veneer of respectability afforded by the BBC logo at the top, but without the quality control and self-defeating right-wing agenda of the rest of the organisation.

Obviously, I’m a master baker so I can criticise ignorantly all the things. But this is, so far, what baking looks like to me. Different ratios of butter and sugar, occasionally some eggs and/or flour, and twenty minutes in the oven. This doesn’t end well from a health perspective. I will bake, I will eat, there will be a visit to a GP, and there will be stern advice and a prescription for Statins.

In all fairness to me, it does look good out of the tin. A few months ago, I’d have been somewhat forlornly adding ‘Does anyone want some?’, but not any more. Go, and bake your own one. Let me know how it goes for you.