Hello! We are in the middle of July already. Goodness. I am reporting from my house, where I am currently recovering from knee surgery. I had to have my ACL reconstructed after I ruptured it playing netball last year. (The dangers of playing a twisty sport like netball). I’m not allowed to walk too much at the moment although the physios did agree I could take short walks when I get cabin fever and/or the weather is lovely. So far, I’ve made it to the park at the end of my street for some dog therapy, once, and almost to the end of the street to meet A- on his way home from work, also once. Mostly my day is spent resting, elevating, ice-ing, doing physio prescribed knee exercises, and book/journal writing.
I have managed to grow one tiny tomato on my tomato plant so I am on tomato-watch! I wait for it to ripen with a withheld glee. I also started some radishes in a pot on the weekend and they have already sprouted so we are on radish-watch too! I am growing lettuces for cut-and-come-again salad leaves. My living room window turns out to be the perfect place for pot-grown vegetables. Which is good because I am not going to make it to the allotment for a while. But I did get to take my mom last week, pre-surgery, and she helped clear some more of the ground!
I spent the weekend reading Turning: a swimming memoir. I rarely read books this quickly but I love this one. The voice reminded me of Amy Liptrot’s The Outrun, that same questioning of life and living in your late twenties, recovering from love and loss. Turning is about the author (Jessica J. Lee) swimming in the lakes that surround Berlin. She writes, “if I returned to Berlin, I could write myself on to the landscape, on to my own memories of the place. I could layer new meaning on to the lakes“. There is such a poetic resonance for me in this idea, that you can become part of the landscape, but not be lost into it. Of late I have wanted to get out into ‘the wild’ more. Many authors talk about a ‘rewilding’ – learning to be outdoors, amongst nature again. It is why I love the Cornish landscape/seascape so much, because it feels wild and unencumbered there. I suppose this longing is now made worse by my convalescence, the requirement that I stay in, recover in the city. To cope, I seem to be reading nature-based memoirs, many of them about swimming.
Cheryl Strayed on the power of words and writing. An essay for our times.
Swimming spots and nearby distilleries (both whisky and gin). My kind of swimming holes! Next time I venture near these places, I am going to write them into the itinerary.
I love this summer menu combination. If anyone wants to feed me this summer, I’ll happily sit down to this. And these peach pastries. They sound like my ideal summer dessert – peaches, pastry, custard. They’d be good to serve at a dinner party/supper club I think.
A kitchen story.
More musings on the origins of avocado toast and the geopolitics that contribute to it’s worldwide ease of access. I may or may not have made a bacon/avo/tomato sandwich for lunch after reading this.
Art, gardening and public health solutions come together on one happy floating barge-garden. This is such an innovative idea.
Yet another confetti cake to try out. I still haven’t made one.
Two essays on Anna Atkins, here and here. She was a Victorian naturalist and her cyanotypes I find mesmerising.
Some advice on avoiding a summer hangover. Or any hangover, for that matter.
Growing strawberries in Cuba.
It is 200 years ago today that Jane Austen passed away. This website has all the myriad events going on in celebration of her life. I may even crack open a copy of Pride and Prejudice in her honour later.
It’s summer which means Americans (in particular) are talking about all things s’mores. Apart from disagreeing with the choice of biscuit (they should be Marie biscuits. Graham crackers don’t exist in South Africa), I’m all up for a s’more. Particularly after a braai and a few glasses of rosé. So first up, David Lebovitz’s s’mores ice-cream pie. Can I just say oh my! Any takers to come over and mix this up for me? Or you can do Molly Yeh’s mini s’mores cakes or Deb Perelman has s’mores cupcakes…
An account of sailing to the Bahamas.
I finally finished listening to this conversation. It was so wonderful. Near the end of the conversation, Celaya talks about photographs, and one that he has on his desk. He says, “that photograph knew everything that was to come, in the leaning of Carol, the future was there”.
That is all for this week! Have a good one! x