The Furred Man – Half Baked

To celebrate biscuit week on the Great British Bake Off, Auguste and I have been doing some cooking that didn’t involve putting things in jars. Rather than write about it himself, Auguste asked Mr Snail to do the honours…


Wine and Bear ItOn your marks… get set… DRINK! Er, I mean BAKE!

Here in the UK, we have one of those pseudo-reality shows that deals with the deeply philosophical subject of baking. Such is the fervour for the Great British Bake Off (hereafter to be known as GBBO) that one of its judges, Mary Berry (whose daughter I once wrote a database for), is to become Queen of Britain should the current monarch pass away.

Auguste was so inspired by the opening episode last week that he went straight into the kitchen and drank a bottle of cooking sherry before anyone knew what was happening. Once we sobered him up, he ‘helped’ the Snail make some delicious Millionaire’s Shortbread. Here’s the evidence:

Mixing it upMixing it up

Making the baseMaking the base

Base Jumping (er, Food Hygiene issue, surely?)Base Jumping (er, Food Hygiene issue, surely?)

Eating the Condensed Milk - Auguste!!Eating the Condensed Milk – Auguste!!

Checking the RecipeChecking the Recipe

Pouring on the CaramelPouring on the Caramel

Mmm... chocolateMmm… chocolate

The Final Product - delicious!The Final…

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Midnight sunsets and fantastic fjords

Mr Snail, Auguste* and I have returned from spending 12 days on a boat travelling from Bergen to Kirkenes and back: not exactly a cruise, but a voyage on one of the ships in the Hurtigruten fleet, that constantly sail up and down the Norwegian coast, ferrying cars, local passengers and cargo as well as visitors like us enjoying the wonderful country.

So, without further ado, a small glimpse of what we saw:


* A bear who has come to live and travel with us… but that’s a story for Mr Snail to tell

When in Norway…

You may have noticed my absence – no blog posts for a couple of weeks. Originally I intended to write whilst I was on holiday, but the scenery and the knitting and crochet was all too tempting and so I spent my time gazing at passing fjords, knitting socks (three in total), crocheting a hat and scarf for Auguste, crocheting the beginning of a long-planned lap blanket, eating amazing food and strolling round a variety of coastal towns along the coast of Norway. Mr Snail kept those of you who follow his blog or Twitter feed updated occasionally, but mostly the computer remained only a slight distraction.

A small haul of Norwegian sock wool

A small haul of Norwegian sock wool

I was delighted to return to a country where knitting is such a normal part of life. On board ship I was able to observe the knitting of socks, hats, mittens and larger garments. I only saw one other person with a crochet hook, and all the knitters were using either circular or double-pointed needles. My Norwegian being non-existent, I didn’t feel comfortable approaching anyone to talk yarn, but I was delighted to discover from the lady in a fabulous wool shop in Tromsø that Norwegian yarn is much more readily available than when we visited in 2013. As in the UK, there is increasing recognition that local yarn should be valued. So, unlike last time, I was able to purchase some REAL Norwegian sock yarn… and delighted to be told that the shop will happily send me more if I didn’t buy enough. They do have a website, although it’s only partially translated into English – for which there were many apologies and a promise of improvement over the summer (oh, the shame of being an Anglophone and living in a world where there is some sort of expectation that everyone will pander to us). I now just have to find a traditional sock pattern that I like to have a go at.

Here are some examples of yarny activity on board:

So Auguste and I just had to join in…

I’ll share my accomplishments in a future post.

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