Kevin Teljeur's weblog – Nobody wants to read what I write once they’ve read what I’ve written. I assuredly will write it. I also post occasionally about coding, bird-feeding, photos of things, cycling, and drawing (once in a while).
Big three hour hike down the Tolka, into Finglas (technically) and then back again. It’s an amazing mucky, hidden treasure, although not without its perils. At this point we ran into some scrambler riders, determined to blast across the stream. They did not. The first one got halfway across, got stuck, and fell over into the stream. They gave up, possibly from embarrassment. Why noöne makes any effort to stop this is always beyond me; they make the trail dangerous and unusable for anyone else.
We decided to take the canoe to school today, best idea ever!
Last Friday, which feels like… Well, I was going to write ‘a week ago’ and that’s pretty close to being true, but actually it feels like much more. Every week that passes feels both like more and less at the same time right now.
Anyway, the morning walks are still a highlight (no, it’s not always like that; this morning, for example, it was grey, wet, and miserable, but without the commitment to truly bad weather), no matter what the weather. If the current situation of having to stay at home is a lot for you, I can recommend a morning walk, not for the exercise, but just for the routine of getting out. It’s good to get out for yourself, if even a little bit.
I know, another sunrise. We take the vistas where and when we can get them. The second image is a tree full of Long-tailed Tits, although I don’t know if you can make them out. They’re tiny. They move from tree to tree in a cloud of endless excitable chirping and twittering, it’s amazing and very joyful to hear. This is only the second time that I’ve ever seen them, and there’s every chance that it’s the same flock as before.
More cyclocross. Those tyres earned their keep today! I went for it, all the mud! It was raining a bit, it was very wet out, I was able to take my usual route by the Tolka, still walked the tricky bit, still need to get confidence. A shorter circuit than usual although I was pretty wrecked by the end. Also, the seatpost is still slipping so I need to figure that out. I saw a Buzzard get mobbed by crows! That was spectacular. Me, at home: Uhh, there’s a speck of dirt on this spoon, all the cutlery must be boil washed in the dishwasher Me, on the trail: Let me sup delicious water from this nipple caked in mud and shit and worse
I’m still getting the hang of this new bird photography technique; my problem at the moment is getting the shutter speed, depth of field and angle right. Obviously, since it is by remote, I have to plan it ahead. Birds being birds, they’re never quite where you want them to be for a photo, and some – but not all – species get frightened by the shutter, so they scarper as soon as they hear something.
So that’s why the remote images are not so sharp. I had this suspicion that perhaps my lens needs calibrating, but other things are sharp, so it probably means that my shutter speed is too low for the rapid movements of birds, or the point of focus isn’t quite where it needs to be in any given photo relative to the subject (the bird in the photo).
I got a new remote for my camera, so that I can operate it from a distance, from any angle. It also means that I can get the camera right up to the birds, and from interesting angles. I’m still figuring out what works; for example, the shutter noise bothers some birds. Magpies don’t like that the camera is there at all (no bad thing – they’ll probably try to steal it).
At last, a photo of a Dunnock. Next up, I’ll try and get a photo of squabbling Goldfinches.
Haha, yes indeed, the biscuit mountain that I’ve been posting photos of recently, it was great, and then I felt that maybe it deserves an explanation. I was reorganising my kitchen and then I discovered that…
I discovered that I have acquired in my kitchen a very large amount of almost non-perishable foods in the form of biscuits, crackers and snacks, things that I like but don’t really eat a lot of, especially now that during most of the week I don’t eat after 3 in the afternoon (I’ll get back to this another time). And this is the sort of thing that creeps up on you; you buy some here, get another of those there, are you running out of this, and so on, until after three and a half years, I have… an awful lot of biscuits and crackers.
I had set out to rearrange where everything is in the kitchen, because stuff (such as flour, which you’ll recall featured heavily in the posts on baking recently) was starting to spread out, to get put into various places. Things were illogically placed. There were boxes of things that I started thinking about, haven’t they been there for a while? A very long while? Aren’t there a lot of these things here? Isn’t that cupboard very full? Is it possible that for a single, middle-aged man, regularly feeding a child, occasionally baking, not eating a huge amount (although probably still slightly too much, but he’s working on it), that this kitchen is stocked for a family of 6 ravenous Baboons?
So that’s when I got into it, digging everything out and sorting through it. I actually planned to do this earlier in the year when I started baking and realised that the kitchen is a bit full for a one-man operation, and not very tidy. If you’re going to have people over in the middle of a Europe-wide pandemic lockdown, you’d want your kitchen to be tidy.
Look, there’s a silver lining here, which is that while it’s clearly and painfully wasteful that I’ve somehow managed to store two crates of biscuits and crackers and whatnot for no good reason, and I can’t just give people half a pack of two year-old biscuits as an act of bone-headed charity, I also… didn’t eat them. That’s right, I am sort of a hero, because I didn’t eat two crates of biscuits, which is amazing. I had that power and used it for good, I didn’t eat them. I just left them to accumulate around my kitchen until now.
Another Sunday spin, on a lovely day and with some interesting route changes forced by the closure of a bridge over the Tolka. Second time here in a day, in the morning I was here with the child and it luckily let me scope out the alternative route on the North side of the Tolka. A little risky, it’s also used by scramblers and isn’t a path, just a de facto trail through the trees, and I don’t know it so well. Look at that, I’ve even re-used a photo from this morning’s walk, because it is the same place! But the light wasn’t as good later on. On the other side of that fence is Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown on one side, and the National Sports Campus on the other. It is a shame in a way that some link-up can’t be done for walkers and cyclists here but security for both places is tight, probably with good reason. So, there it was. The big deal was the combination of the new offroad route and of course the new tyres. The change in the clock really messed with me this year, I couldn’t get my head around it. Also, the […]
So I bought some new mountain bike tyres, an exercise into which I put the usual amount of effort that I do into buying something like this; I started many months ago, I researched, I compared, I agonised, I procrastinated, I reasoned, I weighed, I balanced, I came up with a business case, I came up with a counter-case, I researched, I compared, I agonised all over again, and finally the tyres went out of stock because time moves on and Schwalbe had enough time to rotate their product line and had no fucks to give for my careful research process. But it is coming into Winter now, and the tyres that came with my bike are more suitable for dry conditions. They grip the mud dearly and don’t let go of it, and it makes for interesting times in the mud. And they’re a pain to clean afterwards, for the little cycling that I do (especially now in lockdown, because once again, that is where we are). They arrived on Thursday. The bike is a ’29er’ which means that it has the great bike road bike-sized wheels that the young people like, and I much prefer folding tyres, which […]
Shortbread is the purity of cake; just flour, butter, sugar, heat and long-term cardiovascular trouble requiring medication and surgical intervention.
I set myself an admittedly silly challenge yesterday as a response to an enormously stressful Tuesday, by applying the sane type of approach that gave the world USA President Donald J. Trump and outsourcing my challenge to Twitter. Anyway, the upshot was to get the divorce process moving and bake a cake of some sort, and somewhat surprisingly keeping my job.
It’s a Jaime Oliver recipe, from his Big Book, so I have no link. He probably has it on his website, or a variation of it. It’s lovely, but heavier than depleted Uranium. A small piece of this could sustain an adult for weeks (and that’s what it was originally supposed to do).
In conclusion, by way of outrageous statement, I’m pretty much an incredible guy. If you met me you would be all “wow, this is pretty much an incredible guy” and I would say ”Well, hey” because I already knew it but enjoyed your realisation of it.
Still working on basic fitness. Bursts of power, getting better at judging what I can and can’t do (actually, on a decent bike it’s all possible, if you don’t bottle it). Hampered by my general lack of fitness and my desperate need to take tourist photos of everything, as if you wouldn’t believe that I had actually done all of it. I took one of my more traditional routes, which is either sort of clockwise or in reverse, basically whether I go left or right on entering the park at the Halfway House gate. It makes little difference, really. I marvel at how long it takes to clean my bike afterwards; it could be worse, but the tyres are not good at clearing mud. If you’re on Strava and we’re mutuals on some network, hit me up.
I know, another crumble! Easy to make, and tasty! I improvised a little, a jazz crumble if you will (that works on several levels for an apple crumble by the way, so it’s even more clever than you realise) by adding a thin shortbread base and some frozen junk from the bottom of the freezer (that’s better than it sounds), if a little dry for crumble. The problem that I have is this; I like cake, and now I’ve discovered that I can quickly and easily make a lot of cake that I like, myself. All the time. If I wanted to, I could just eat cake, becomes a metaphor for the decadence of middle-class privilege.
Haven’t been out on the bike in ages, that was good. It was mucky and a bit slippery but good to be out and somehow some skills improved? Maybe just from not knowing what I think I shouldn’t be able to do. Wrecked now, though. I went via the Tolka river trail, which is a slippery, mucky mess at the moment, then to a little wood beside the Fingal golf course, then the canal, to the Phoenix park.
Do you remember when I used to just shitpost here? I would ramble on for a dew paragraphs and then you would wonder what I was at, but I’d get to turn a few breathless phrases here and there. Those were the days. Now, it’s a dumping ground for story videos (where I sort of subvert the medium a bit, but use the WhatsApp/Instagram/Facebook Story feature as my stage, where almost no-one appreciates what I do with it) and bad food blogging (where I make simple food using foolproof recipes and occasionally still manage to create terrible meals). Such is life. I’ll come back to both of these soon and actually write something about it, about why I do it.
So, chicken and mushroom pie, with shortbread pastry. Loosely based on this and this. It was a little dry, but very tasty.