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I learnt two new life-skills today.

First, how to tie my shoelaces using the Ian Knot. It’s very quick, and works just as well with anything with loops, such as supermarket or nappy bags.

Second, how to make playdoh. A standard recipe all over the web is:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon food colouring

You mix the flour, salt and cream of tartar together in a big saucepan, then gradually add the liquids and stir continuously over a low heat until it becomes a ball. It looks really liquid and gloopy at first, then suddenly, bam, its playdoh. It’s more squidgy than the stuff you buy, but that just makes it all the better for rolling and cutting and squooching and so on. You can add glitter and other things, but I didn’t today. And apparently it’s bad for pets.

I actually couldn’t find any cream of tartar at the local shop, so substituted the 2 teaspoons cream of tartar with 6 teaspoons vinegar, which works fine but gives it a rather acrid stench. Apparently another substitute for cream of tartar is lemon juice, which might smell rather better. Also you need a lot more than 1 teaspoon food colouring if you’re doing it blue, as I was – more like half a bottle or more.