Giraffes and Pane alle Patate


Lucas’ legs are moving so quickly his body can barely keep up with them. “Chase birdies, chase birdies!” The dove leaps out of reach and then takes off. “More, more” Lucas demands. Lucas grabs hold of Rabbit and hugs him close to his chest.  As we walk home his hands do not leave his chest with Rabbit clenched closely, we climb the three flights of stairs one hand stays firm against his chest as he holds my hand and counts as he ascends the stairs, “1,2,3,4,6,4,6,4,6”, (wan, ton, tree, for, sik, for, sik, for, sik). We arrive at our door and Lucas hears something on the roof, “Baboons, baboons!” he yells. We climb the last flight of stairs and poke our heads out on to the roof, Lucas’s face lights up as he points, “baboon sit there”. I talk to the baboon as he munches on a banana in the corner, “baby baboon” is by the water tank and  “Mummy baboon” has baby baboon on her back. Lucas fearlessly runs over to the water tank and I follow close behind. Suddenly another baboon jumps over the wall. Lucas is giggling away!

A text comes through on my phone. Andrew and the eye team have had to stop on route to their examination centre two hours away as four giraffes were crossing the road!



We are having loads of fun as Lucas’ imagination is rapidly expanding, he makes me loads of virtual cups of tea and even knocked up chicken and beans the other day. The baboons are particularly exciting, especially the one that regularly visits threatening to eat Lucas’ breakfast. The giraffes were real, or so Andrew tells me… It is actually very refreshing that life is not all about tractors and tuk tuks!

We have a pale yellow potato here, like in South America it’s not as watery and very yummy so I’ve been waiting to cook a sweet potato bread for a while and this Italian one with garlic and parsley turned out really yummy, I hope you like it.

Recipe – Pane alle Patate


Biga (pre-ferment)

35g white bread flour

30g water

Pinch dried yeast


Final dough

475g white bread flour

240g water


16g salt

3g dried yeast

350g mashed potato

25g olive oil

20g finely chopped garlic

10g finely chopped flat leaf parsley



1. Make the pre-ferment the night before baking, mix water flour and yeast together into a dough and leave covered overnight in a warm environment 20°C

2.To make the final dough, mix the bread flour and water until a dough and let rest for 15 mins.

3. Add the pre-ferment, salt, yeast and mix with a dough hook on low speed for 15mins or by hand, then add the potato, olive oil, garlic and parsley mix until well combined.

4. Cover and prove for 1 hour in a warm environment

5. Uncover and divide the dough in two, shape into two rounds, sprinkle with flour and cover with cling film for 1 half hours

6.Uncover score a leaf shape with a mid-line score and 4 small diagonal scores either side of the mid-line and place n the oven at 230°C for 30 -40 mins until the loaf is a reddish brown

7. Remove from the oven and transfer to wire racks to cool


Cluster number 16 – a man is being examined at the slit-lamp