I can always tell when summer has arrived in England by the smell. It’s a particular evocation that hums in the lazy stillness of the evening air – a physical memory, like the way that coconut sun cream always reminds me of summers in France. It’s a hot, salty smell of chips and cigarette smoke and hot tarmac; wet grass, a sticky-sweet splash of spilt cider, the heady tang of lingering perfume.
There is more light in each day, and the sky retains a pale glow at the horizon until past ten at night; it’s faint light through the curtains giving bed time a nostalgic feel of summer school nights. My cooking has become lighter too; colourful salads full of kale and feta, noodles in citrusy broth, nachos piled with beans and sweetcorn and avocado.
On sunny days I go out to get lunch and see tourists wandering around the dockside area where I work, taking photos of the industrial architecture and drinking local beers at folding tables on the pavement. I am reminded that every person’s dream travel destination is someone else’s home town. It’s a nice thought – that we all live within each other’s dreams.
I’ve spent quite a bit of time on trains over the last few weeks. The railway line winds lazily through the countryside, which drips lushly in the rain spattered sunshine. Wildflowers, white and pale lilac freckles, dot the fields that unfold from the tracks, and occasionally we pass a field of vibrant yellow rape that almost glows against the deep blue of the sky.
…every person’s dream travel destination is someone else’s home town. It’s a nice thought – that we all live within each other’s dreams.
Rikki and I got last minute tickets for Parklike festival, and spent a weekend dancing in a field with a lot of 18 year olds in bikinis and body paint. We drank tequila with breakfast and watched Ben Howard and danced to Bob Marley at sunset and ate the biggest fish finger sandwiches I’ve ever seen. It was wonderful.
Time, always relative, seems to be at once crawling and racing past. My parents have been married 29 years this June, and I am the age that my mother was when she had me. This is both terrifying and absurd, and something that I try not to think about too closely. We celebrated their wedding anniversary with food at the Spiced Pear, and my roasted wood pigeon with fresh greens and tiny purple flowers was what I imagine June would look like if it were edible.
I have capital letter BIG NEWS. The best kind of news – drumroll please – flights have been booked. FLIGHT flights – one way, non refundable, other-side-of-the-world flights. We leave January 31st, and I’m so excited I could explode. Plans are still under negotiation, but will be revealed in a post in the very imminent future.
A piece I wrote on trying paan in Varanasi, India, won the Telegraph Travel ‘just back’ competition, and was featured on the travel pages of the Telegraph website as well as winning me £200 of foreign currency!
I was featured on As The Bird Flies blog, after e-mailing the lovely Frankie with some questions about the intricacies of freelancing. You can read my confused ramblings, and her wonderfully wise response, here.