There are days when sugary, buttery baking is the only thing to do.
Today, having finished (at last!) the painting of the shower room, I was about to take the dogs out. But it was raining, and as Tosca and I dislike walking in the rain, I delayed a little, and baked a couple of dark, treacley, gingerbread loaves instead. They will take a day or two to mature and develop their depth of flavour; one is destined for a friend later in the week. (I noticed that for such a tried and true recipe, they were a little overdone - I'm beginning to ask questions these days about my oven...)
Leaving them to cool, the house spicily fragrant and cosy, and the rain having stopped, off we went. Flossie bounced and whirled, practically on springs after enduring the torments of the delay; it took several attempts and an exasperatedly raised voice to get her to sit still enough to clip her lead onto her collar and to save Tosca from being trampled into a doormat.
Twenty yards down the road, a fine drizzle began. Tosca rolled her eyes meaningfully at me; Flossie galumphed joyfully onwards. We pressed on. We're British; we can withstand drizzle. You're a Yorkshire Terrier, for goodness' sake, Tosca - you should understand rain! I didn't go back to change my down-filled coat for a waterproof one. Big mistake.
By the time we reached the park, the drizzle had turned to serious, driving rain, with one especially heavy downpour driving us to shelter under a tree for a few minutes. Tosca huddled with me, looking like a drowned rat; Flossie bounced about, wondering why we had paused, taking the opportunity to dash back to one of her favourite muddy pools for a good slosh about. I could feel water seeping through the shoulders of my down coat. Cold wet feathers - not insulating!
By the time we reached home, a bedraggled Tosca having kept up an unusually-smart trot throughout, I was soaked to my underwear. Flossie remained oblivious to all and any weather.
Once restored to warmth and shelter, me in dry clothes and the girls fortified with a brisk towelling and a chew with which to settle into their baskets, I thought "Where's my fortifying chew?"
So I baked some. Chocolate chunk almond cookies. Very nice too.
Eating several with a cup of tea is mandatory when you have been very cold and your feathers are wet. You knew that, didn't you?