All posts filed under: Life

Coming home

Sometimes all you need is a Saturday afternoon – the sky an egg wash blue, bare trees crackling against the softness of it, like great lightning bolts. A bedbound husband, a coffee fast going cold and a cake in the oven. 40 minutes to spare. 40 minutes to tell a story. I want to tell you all about Lecce and the honeyed streets. The way the stone was as warm and rich as a pat of butter. We spent 12 months there – the most permanent home Dom and I have known for a long time. Our apartment was on the seam of the old town. In the first few months, I would quicken my step to get through Porta Rudiae, into the heart of the city. But by the end of the year, the orbits shifted and this messy hem of flat-roofed buildings and cracked pavements fizzled into focus. Within a 5 minute walk, we had everything we needed: three pizzerias, four cafes, three greengrocers, two fishmongers, a butcher, and a bakery that only Read More

Memories of spring

I’ve written a poem, and as that’s something I rarely do, I thought I’d share it here. In the midst of this parched and listless summer, it’s a reminder of the soft, dewy spring. While I’m here, let me say that everything is good, even if the endless sun has found me impatiently hopping from foot to foot, watching the clouds for rain. We’ve been busy. In the past month we’ve been to Venice (to talk to a man about a wedding), and the Lake District (to eat a 10 course tasting menu of dreams). And in two weeks we’re going to the South of France. It’s been a good summer. Memories of a Spring Each week I watch the quiet journey of spring along the A-roads leading from the North West to the east East. The furthest east that you can go. The place where elderflower grows too fast, blooming and bursting and heavy with scent, foaming from the side of the road, always drying up too quick to make cordial. Next year, next Read More

Saying goodbye

On our final night in Venice, we paid one last visit to Osteria Ruga di Jaffa. The owner, Alvise, gave us a bottle of sumptuous olive oil as a goodbye gift, sparking a discussion from the men at the bar about the best way to use such a treasure. Their parting words: “just please, please don’t cook with it”. We then took a walk along Riva degli Schiavoni towards the Giardini, stopping along the way to talk about how it feels to be leaving; both of us staring blindly at the iridescent sheen of Saint Mark’s, having seen its domes from this vantage point so many times before. From Via Garibaldi, we burrowed into Venice, following a half-remembered route home. The bells tolled midnight. Dom said that perhaps he could live here forever – I replied that I need to leave and then come back to know that for sure. I thought about that again the other day, while eating my lunch on a bench in Bungay and looking out over the flooded marshes: The best thing about leaving, Read More