Monthly Archives: May 2013

Hugh FW’s focaccia

We’ve been stuck in a food rut lately. Turning out the same 10 or so meals on rotation. I know why we do it – once we’ve found something everyone likes it’s too tempting to keep serving it up. It’s getting pretty dull though.

(Our standard family meals at this time of year are: soup & bread; macaroni cheese; sweetcorn fritters; pasta bake; veggie hot dogs; pizza; risotto; potato wedges & dips; tortilla chips & salsa & guacamole; fritatta omelette.)

So, to liven things up a bit, we’ve been trying a new recipe every week or so. This week it was Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s Blue Cheese, Red Onion and Walnut Focaccia from the Guardian (UK newspaper).

Blue cheese, red onion and walnut focaccia

I loved it, it was great with a bit of salad & would make a really substantial meal with a bowl of soup.

The littl’uns cheerfully eat gorgonzola and walnut tortellini so I did think this would be a winner. Sadly being able to actually see the blue cheese (ew! mould!) was a step too far & they don’t want it again so it’s not going to make it into our regular menus. Never mind, there’s plenty of lunches when they’re at school that I can eat it. All the more for me. Yum.


Not a chuffin puffin in sight

I went off on a little morning jaunt to a local seabird breeding ground with the aim of trying to spot me a puffin. I’ve been every year for the past 3 years; not seen one yet but I like to persevere. There are thousands of other breeding birds to entertain even if the puffins don’t make an appearance, plus the prospect of spotting dolphins at sea (none this year but a pod last).

The only downside is it is a bit pungent, but you do get used to the tang of ammonia after a while. The scale of the cliffs gives me the willies every time, I’ve never been a lover of heights and these are huge. Probably not such a good idea to get used to them, it would be all too easy to walk off the edge.

Although there must have been thousands of pairs, there were decidedly fewer birds than previous years. I wonder if the weather is to blame. ¬† We’ve not had a hard winter in our bit of Scotland but the rest of the UK has had it worse than usual and it’s certainly gone on and on and on.

I’m starting to give up hope of ever getting a glimpse of a puffin. There was a sign up in the hide at the end of the cliff path.¬† ’20 puffins seen 9th May – elusive since then’. Oh well, maybe next time.

How big are your hands?

I have absolutely no idea what happened to the last fortnight. I suspect some sort of super-local warping of the space-time continuum. I’m certain all the days happened, in their proper order, for all the things which I was meant to do on each day were, indeed, done; but spare time there was not.

We visited these shaggy beauties on my friends’ farm. I asked all the correct knitterly questions (breed etc) but none of the answers have stayed in my head. For want of a better picture, here are said sheep.


Since making our fingerless gloves, I’ve been pondering on the size of hands. It’s rather easy to find standard size charts for other parts of the body (eg here), but I couldn’t find anything for hands. I’m sure they must exist, just not in my personal library or on the corner of the internet I searched.

I did a completely unscientific analysis of the top 50 free fingerless glove patterns in Ravelry to get a feel for the sizes out there. A surprising number had no size info at all. Many of those that did give an indication of size were one-size-fits-all (women) and where there was a measurement it was 7 inches circumference. In very loose terms, ‘small’ is between 6 and 7 inches , ‘medium’ between 7 and 8 inches and ‘large’ 8 to 8.5 inches.

The most surprising thing (to me) was that I have always thought of my hands as being small. I’m pretty compact overall (others have used words such as ‘short’ or ‘petite’) and my hands seem in proportion to the rest of me; so, I’m small = my hands are small. Turns out they’re decidedly average – 7 inches – so I’m medium, not small after all. Who’d a thunk it. I suspect though that I might have stumpy fingers, but given that I have no standards to compare them to, I can’t be sure.

In the interest of science knitting, I am going to take my trusty tape measure and measure as many hands as I can persuade to be measured. (That’s a whole lot of measuring just in that sentence.) If anyone would like to help me out, I will be recording the following (preferably in centimetres; I am of an age that uses a hotch potch of metric and imperial – lengths are centimetres and metres except for human heights which are feet and inches; distances are miles. I know, it’s illogical but there you go.):

  1. Circumference, on the dominant hand, measured at the widest point, inside the thumb.
  2. Total hand length, from a point level with base of thumb to the tip of the middle finger
  3. Middle finger length
  4. Gusset height, from base of thumb to inside thumb
  5. Gender and age (ages in children, just ‘adult’ will do for the rest of us).

Hand measurements

My personal measurements are:

  1. 18cm (7in)
  2. 16.5cm (6.5in)
  3. 7cm (2.75in)
  4. 7cm (2.75in)
  5. F adult

If you’d like to help out by leaving your measurements in the comments, that’d be great. I promise to share the results.

*I recommend getting a helper. Measuring your own hand is not as easy as you might think*