Our first asparagus harvest: worth the wait

Our first asparagus harvest: worth the wait

Two years ago, at the end of what we were told had been the coldest March for fifty years, I cleared a layer of frozen snow on our allotment and planted fifteen asparagus crowns that we had ordered from the Royal Horticultural Society, but which arrived just as a blizzard moved in. After a week, with the crowns in danger of drying out, I took a gamble and, in bitterly cold weather, planted them out. Continue reading “Our first asparagus harvest: worth the wait”

Another fine salade Nicoise

Another fine salade Nicoise

When we last visited Nice – on the occasion, last September, of my 65th birthday – I posted a celebration of the city under the title A new state pensioner’s salade Nicoise.  We’re just back from another few days in Nice, so here’s another mixture of flavours and colours that recall our short break.  There are strong opinions as to what should or should not go into a Salade Nicoise – residents of Nice are horrified at the English tendency to add potatoes, and tinned tuna or anchovies are (surprisingly) acceptable, but both together are not. Furthermore, they don’t use French beans as we tend to: a classic Salade Nicoise should be made with fresh fava beans.

Which is merely a preamble to this eclectic selection of memories of the four days we spent in Nice.  We had found an apartment at the top of the Old Town (the very top, in fact: our building was actually located just inside the wall of the Château gardens. From the balcony we had stunning views across the rooftops of the Old Town, and across the bay to the airport. Continue reading “Another fine salade Nicoise”

The Hare With Amber Eyes

The Hare With Amber Eyes

Objects have always been carried, sold, bartered, stolen, retrieved and lost.  People have always given gifts.  It is how you tell their stories that matters.

At primary school, I remember, we would be set a writing exercise such as, a day in the life of a penny.  People would say of  inanimate things that had been around for longer than a child could conceive of: ‘the stories they could tell!’  The Hare With Amber Eyes is a magnificent  work of  memory recovery – a family memoir, but also a voyage into the dark recesses of the twentieth century. Continue reading “The Hare With Amber Eyes”