Month: June 2013

Scenes of summer.

1. Goodbyes at a favourite coffee shop on my last morning in Bristol. 2. The prettiest house in my hometown. 3. Ellie’s Regent’s Park birthday picnic. 4. A Germanic dinner party. 5. Iced coffee date with my favourite. 6. Roses!                                     7. Kayaking on a rainy Thursday eve.                                      

Endings.

  I spent the longest evening of the year, 21st June, sitting on my bed cosied up under blankets drinking tea and eating a celebratory slice of chocolate cake. It was just what I needed. Earlier that day Emmy, an old Austrian friend and I had traipsed up hills to Brandon Hill and climbed the winding staircase to the top of Cabot Tower with weary legs. We reached the top triumphant and gazed across the city laid out like a blanket before us, the wind and four years at our backs. The streets were drenched in sunshine and the world felt full. My room is empty now. The house is empty too. The streets feel empty and so does Bristol. There are two more days to gallivant about town as I wish, and – my belongings miles away, my room sparse – I feel strangely free and without care. We’ll see where the next days take us… I have a long tradition of over-scheduling my last days in any place. It happened in Regensburg and …

Roses, and roses.

The days have turned sweltering here and I am wilting. So are the roses. My mother’s colleagues presented her with a small rose bush when her mother died and in the seven or eight years since, the roses have grown and climbed and blossomed in the most beautiful manner. Each June they quietly remind me of my boisterous grandmother whose golden hair and blue eyes I inherited. I think it was Gertrude Stein who said, ‘a rose is a rose is a rose’, but what relation this coarse tangle of roses bears to the cellophane-wrapped and de-thorned packets chilled at the supermarket I can’t imagine. Anything that comes with  packet of flower food cannot be a rose in the truest sense. But these roses! True as they come. These roses make me giddy with joy and secretly plotting how to become a florist – just so I might spend all day heady with joy on the mere scent of the things. My vice, if ever there was one. I wonder if they have meetings for that? Dripping …

Lounging

To lounge: defined by the OED as the act of passing time indolently, idly, without care. Apt then that on one of Will’s last nights in Bristol, we escaped to our favourite haunt – Deco Lounge on Cotham Hill – to drink strawberry juice (her), dark ale (him) and hot chocolates (both), to play Scrabble and, of course, to lounge.  Deco Lounge has, this year, become my home away from home – a cosy safe haven of a place, filled with rustic wooden tables and mismatched church pews. They serve brunch all day, as well as the most warm and crispy fish and chips (with peas mushed to perfection), and their hot chocolates are to die for. They serve every comfort food under the sun and I love their glass cabinet full of old books and eclectic monochrome photographs punctuating spare spaces on the wall. Mostly though, I like the place for its welcoming, homely atmosphere. For the fact you can play Scrabble with your best friend late into the night. For the dark, cool entrance …