life, in moments

-- January 20th, 2015 --
view from Hutong
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“Oh if life were made of moments Even now and then a bad one–! But if life were only moments, Then you’d never you know had one.” Stephen Sond­heim, Into the Woods Early Jan­u­ary in Lon­don typ­i­cally has very lit­tle to rec­om­mend it: in the first few days there is the das­tardly com­bi­na­tion of jet­lag, unpack­ing, clean­ing up the crunchy Christ­mas tree, more jet­lag.  Avery and I suf­fer par­tic­u­larly as nightowls.  We stay up far too late, span­ning those five hours’ dif­fer­ence we’ve lived with over the hol­i­day, strug­gling to get up at a remotely decent hour. John bravely car­ried on meet­ing at Pot­ters Fields, I yawned through play­ing with my Home-Start babies, we even booked a fancy lunch at a swanky restau­rant in the Shard, the tallest build­ing in Europe.  As you can see above, it was a spec­tac­u­larly gloomy after­noon, even the fab­u­lous view dimmed by rain.  Some­how that grey­ness con­veyed itself to all three of us as we sat at the table try­ing to have fun.  Between courses, Avery’s head dropped slowly to the table. We gave up and came home on the cosy lit­tle South­west train to Barnes in the early twi­light, feel­ing it would be bet­ter just to crawl into a burlap sack with the top tied shut until we got over jet­lag. Finally, we woke up.  Avery got into Oxford, which was a good thing.  And because life never runs on only one track, final work on get­ting “Tonight at 7.30″ out into the world has con­tin­ued unabated.  Get­ting to the end of this gar­gan­tuan task is like herd­ing cats: because my book is most people’s first expe­ri­ence with crowd-funding, and also with elec­tronic books, there have been hun­dreds of inter­ac­tions with peo­ple com­ing to grips with which appli­ca­tion runs the book on which device, how to down­load the book, how to login to Kick­starter to pro­vide their addresses.  Every day my inbox is full of anx­ious queries, eas­ily answered, but a heck of a lot of work. The poor thing, I left it in my bicy­cle bas­ket overnight, in a rain­storm!  Hap­pily it sur­vived intact, a good sign for when it’s opened up on people’s kitchen coun­ters being splat­tered with olive oil and duck fat. rained on book It’s all worth it when I can show the one advance copy I have left, to all my friends.  What a com­plete thrill to take it to St Mary’s for ring­ing prac­tice. mike cookbook What a moment.  My Home-Start fam­ily turned up to hear the bell prac­tice, and the mum picked up the cook­book, exclaim­ing over its beauty.  My ring­ing friends rejoiced with me over Avery’s news, offer­ing their own anec­dotes about Oxford.  It was quite sim­ply the per­fect day, com­bin­ing nearly all my Lon­don worlds — Avery, cook­book, ring­ing, Home-Start — in one place, under one auda­cious blue sky. blue sky We cel­e­brated every­thing with com­fort food.  Is there any­thing more won­der­ful than…