Sunday, June 11, 2006
How weekends should be.
This weekend has been well played out. It's not been one of the greats where you wake up next to a beautiful woman and find out you really do have a lot on common, or the one where I ended up going to Glastonbury on my own, but it's still very good.
On Saturday I woke up early, so I cycled up to Hampstead Heath to climb the hills a couple of times and do a proper work out. Mid-way through my adventure I decided to go on stroll to the bits where cyclists couldn't go. I explored all sorts of exciting woodland paths where the shadows from the trees dapple you like a tiger and finally came to rest next to a bench with a lovely view of the heath. I sat down and admired the view while pondering all the things that are currently making me stressed. It was lovely to spend an hour or so just thinking with no pressure to be somewhere else. I value my alone time with nature and this was some real quality time.
After this I cycled back to the flat to drop off my bike before strolling to the shops to get the weeks food. As is now my morning ritual I stopped in a cafÃ© for a Salt Beef Bagel and a coffee before I went to the supermarket. I've been day-dreaming about cooking again, proper cooking for a week now so all the bits and bobs I picked up were ingredients, proper raw ingredients ready to be crafted into food.
When I went out with L and A we were talking about cooking, I love to cook for people. It's one of my favourite expressions of affection. It is one of the places I feel most at home, in a kitchen making something complicated with passion while I listen to loud classical music and take ever increasing swigs of wine from an oversized glass. It's at it's best when there is someone else there to make sample the sauces and give their opinion on what you are making.Luckilyy my female friends are more than happy to forefill this role when I am between girlfriends.
At midday on Saturday my flatmate took me to see the England game in Canary Wharf. It was rammed and very loud. I'm not really a football fan, I don't really watch any sports but this was an experience. The roar when the first goal was scored was very special. It was jolly hot and you could almost hear people's skin crisping in the sun. In the second half a lady gave me a hug and a kiss before she realised she didn't know me, it was quite amusing and she went bright red.
After the match was over the mass of people milling around reminded me of a zombie film, slightly blank faces shambling with a very detectable undercurrent of violence. Some chaps were kicking in a sign for some reason only known to them. I think they liked the loud bang it made.
It was nice to get back to the flat, and I set about making a pizzas. The dough turned out beautifully and the whole thing was very successful. I have enough to last me several days and there is nothing like pounding dough to get rid of any anger you might have going spare.
Most of Sunday was taken up with visiting my nice Aunt. The trip across London wasn't great, it was at the hottest part of the day and engineering works forced me to take two very hot buses.Luckilyy the event was wonderful when I arrived. My Aunt had invited an interesting selection of people, half of whom were psycoanalysts. We drank chilled white wine before going through to the garden to eat. The table was set out in the shade of a huge tree but hats were still provided for those who might want them.
The meal was fabulous, today was a day for chilled soup. After the meal we scampered about the garden trying to track down thetortoisee, he has been in the family for more than 30 years so generations of cousins have read him stories and told him their secrets. I found the little chap in one of the bushes and we gave him a bath with the hose which he really enjoyed. I think Hunt the Tortoise is a perfect post lunch activity while you wait for the coffee to brew.
The Tortoise now cooled andhappilyy charging around the lawns, and us armed with coffee we retired to the drawing room where one of the guests played Beethoven for us on the grand piano, explaining the pieces before-hand so we could understand then better. It was a perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
I even got a lift back to the flat with one of the guests so managed to avoid the tube, which rounded things off nicely.