London Notes #7

My breakfast – one banana (not too big); 20g of granola; 70g Greek yogurt; a handful of berries, and a huge mug of strong milky coffee – never varies. But I ate the last banana yesterday and failed to go out for more. No problem, I thought, I’ll get some apples from the tree, make a compote, and voila! I’ll have a banana substitute to last a few days.

Turned out there are bugger all apples left on the tree, but the branches of the plum are the very model of fecundity

From the Tree

so my compote became plum and apple. I’d normally add cinnamon but couldn’t find any in the spice cupboard, so I used Chinese five spice instead. Now I know how to make Hoisin sauce! A little less sugar, and, perhaps, a dash of rice wine and it would do any duck proud; as it was it made a delicious breakfast with crisp buttered toast, and provided an idyllic start to the day. Then the heath started to blaze.

As I left the bathroom after my morning shower I heard the sirens (not unusual here, I can hear them now), and as I entered the bedroom the smell of smoke was quite alarming until I looked out the window. The neighbours rushed out of their house to see what was going on, so I followed their gaze and saw firetrucks and hoses, and men in uniform, and people standing staring. There was even a tractor, glinting red as a Hollywood lip in the sun, pulling a trailer piled with Constablesque hay-bales. It was like the opening scene of a critically acclaimed box office flop. I watched until I realised I was starkers, and by the time I got back to the window all that was left of the drama was a blemish on the heath. We later walked past that blackened patch* on the way to buy bread (and bananas), it was aquiver with crows which looked like strange shadow puppets, black on black, dancing to a secret tune that surely included a banjo. D said they were feasting on fried bugs. I didn’t even notice the blot on the way back, but I assume it was still there. How soon one forgets.

Daily Observation

After yesterday’s faintly frantic attempts to find a suitable place in the house to work, I didn’t even think about writing today. But I live in hope that material is fermenting like mead in my brain’s brewery, and I’ll suddenly start writing like a banshee. Meanwhile, reading** counts as work, doesn’t it?


*I should have taken my camera, but didn’t, sorry.

**We both spent most of the afternoon reading in the garden, it being the first hot day we’ve had since arriving.

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