My, it’s hot. Although Londoners always express amazement whatever the weather, it really is amazingly hot. We’ve dragged our sprinkler from the basement to try to alleviate the dryness. The smell of wet grass evokes lovely childhood Indiana memories of my dad watering the tomato garden, and kindly turning the water on the grass for a bit so we could race through it. Wet grass is universal.
Tacy doesn’t mind the heat.
The day has finally arrived: Avery is coming home from Russia this evening, our bags are packed, passports sorted, cat dishes full, and tomorrow we leave for Connecticut!
It’s been a funny time here in London, with everyone I normally see during the year saying in a puzzled way, “Aren’t you usually gone by now?” I’ve spent an extra month with my Home-Start family, watching the babies grow almost visibly on our weekly visits. I’ve never spent this much time with small babies since Avery was one, and it’s incredible to see them acquiring new skills — tracking a passing train with their eyes, holding their own bottles of milk, sitting up with their fat little hands on either side to support themselves. The extra month has been a real joy, and it’s a bit of a wrench to think how they’ll have grown and changed in the coming month that we’ll spend apart.
My fellow bell ringers looked startled to see me at Sunday services yesterday. “You’re still here?” I sweated my way through Grandsire Doubles, ringing the tenor behind to Stedmans, and even calling some changes myself, and getting very flustered calling us back into rounds. “Nervous sweat,” diagnosed Andrew sagely. Then it was onto Chiswick where for the first time ever in my experience, the back door to the ringing chamber was open, to admit a breeze. The atmosphere was so lovely, so ancient and yet so breezily modern, and of-the-moment, that I felt I couldn’t breathe for the beauty.
While Avery’s been away — and nearly silently, without internet of phone most of the time and so tantalizingly without tale-telling — we’ve been busy feeding friends, seeing plays, seeing other friends. We’ve made a couple of superb and delicious discoveries. John always mocks me for getting obsessed with a dish and making it over and over until I get it just right, but sometimes it’s not too difficult to live through the process. Oh, clams.
Vongole e Spaghetti con Pomodori, Olive e Aglio
1.5 kilos/3.5 lb small clams, raw
50ml/1/4 c very good quality extra virgin olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsps butter
2 large handfuls flat-leaf parsley, minced
1 hot Thai…
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