Most unusually, I attacked Monday morning with great vigour, sitting prepped at my desk by 9 am. But of course, as with all plans, I was easily waylaid. By 10 am my concentration had been shot by four different couriers delivering parcels both expected and unexpected.
One box contains a gas powered pizza oven which has very kindly been sent to me for review by its makers Ooni. It is is so huge and so heavy that I am not sure how I will get it out to the back garden, so I started clearing the hallway for its passage.
Upon taking out the recycling which had been sitting there for a few days, I noticed that each black wheelie bins was not fully closed. Lifting the lids, I discovered that the upstairs tenants, whose lease was relinquished last week, had thrown away umpteen cans of food, and unused toiletries, clothes, kitchen equipment and more.
I was livid. Who the fuck throws away food in a global crisis?
Gloved up, I retrieved everything from the bins, putting the cans and new toiletries on one side to bleach for the food bank, and leaving everything else on the garden wall so passersby could help themselves. When I went out this evening to take Lettice on her daily walk, nearly everything has gone: the clothes, the Christmas decorations, the mugs, cocktail glasses and photo frames.
I still find it very hard to process that someone would have so much privilege and so little emotional intelligence to think it acceptable to just throw tins of food into the trash in a time of great food shortage and huge need.
Good things that happened today to cheer me up after my near apoplexy were: finding this photo of me and my cousin, as a baby with my aunt. I remember this very clearly: I think the dress was a Liberty print, home made and smocked by my grandmother. I bought the hat at a village hall jumble sale and insisted on wearing it everywhere, thinking myself the last work in chic. I was seven.
(Sadie hates this photo – I love it – she looks like a potato. A super adorable potato. Happily she was a beautiful child, and is now a very pretty adult.)
Lunch was some of last night’s tomato sauce – my pasta dishes were transformed when I learnt to eschew the English method of dumping the sauce on top of the pasta, and instead returning the drained pasta to the pan, tipping in the sauce and a ladle of the reserved pasta cooking water to cook together for a few minutes.
It’s getting warm enough to eat in the garden: I set up shop on my sun lounger with Lettice basking in the heat next to me. One of the biggest pleasures of the warmer weather is being able to hang out my washing instead of draping it over the radiators in the house.
I had to go into the NISA on Queens Crescent to buy some Dairy Milk to make the chocolate ice cream that I have promised both Ayla’s children, and my sister, and picked up this Romanian 000 extra fine flour for just a pound. (The owners are clearly buying whatever is in stock at the wholesalers, and I love them for it. I’m hoping it will be akin to Italian 00, and good for pizza and pasta. (Anyone know?)
Because I was on Queens Crescent, we chose Hampstead Heath for our evening sanity walk. The wild garlic is now flowering but, much to my sadness, I can’t pick it – one of the most important foraging rules is not to pick from under trees in highly trafficked areas as it’s where dogs wee.