Month: August 2011

Apple and blackberry crumble cake

Step into the August garden And inhale summer’s final breath, Fruits bulging, plump and ripe Alive, but close to death. – Pick the ripe berries as you pass And let their blood stain your hands, Skin sweetened by purple juice Fruits of life, given by the land.  – Watch as summer begins its end And see how the leaves start to die, Green burning into fiery gold Threads of golden sun in August’s last sigh.  –  Feeling in an uncharacteristically poetic mood (it must be the weather, the sun’s out for a change!) I just wrote this little piece about August. I’m certainly no Wordsworth but it just sums up how I feel about this time of year. From the blackberries bejeweling the hedgerows and the furious buzzing of the wasps as they hunt for food; everywhere is ripe with life. However, with ripeness comes the knowledge that soon these things will disintegrate and ultimately, die. In a few weeks the blackberry bushes will dry up and the wasps will give up the fight. However, before you decide that Read More

Beauty in the Bleak

I’m home now after a  magical month spent in Italy. There were so many wonderful moments, a weekend trip to the glistening blue sea of the Ligurian coast and eating Giundujotto chocolates in Turin to name a few. However, there was one day a few weeks ago that I’ll always remember. The morning broke – as most mystical sort of days do – in the midst of a thick mist. Despite the weather, we packed a picnic and began our slow ascent in the car up a mountain path, away from civilization towards sparseness, isolation, bleakness. Climbing higher, higher, higher, infringing the clouds, air becoming thinner until it felt so crisp, so fragile that it could shatter at any moment. That’s what being 2500 metres above sea level does to you. It takes you to the highest mountain passes where not even trees attempt the struggle to live. It’s a world dominated only by marmots, their shrill warning cry tearing through the thin air. At the summit there was a tiny chapel, a handprint of Read More