Elderflower blooms ripe for the picking. On two evenings, I took my basket and headed to the meadows in Ravenscourt Park. On a gloomy Saturday, I made three jars of cordial and felt very pleased to gift one to my lovely auntie and uncle when invited for lunch. Oh, how I lapped up the stories recounted over said lunch, weaving the threads of family history with the present. We talk about the past so often with my grandparents and yet I never tire of it, and it seems there are always new stories to tell. My grandad told us about his fondness for his father-in-law (“a wise old fella”) and his similarly enthusiastic affection for kippers – in the army mess, just after the war, he’d hoover up his unit’s kippers, gleefully smacking his lips, happy to be the troop’s fish-adoring dustbin. I’ve been making jam by the bucketload, bottling summer the best way I can. I find it such a fleeting, intense season – there is so much to do, to see, to pick, to bloom. I made rhubarb, strawberry and rose petal preserve and it’s perfect – sweet, but not too sweet, just the right amount of zing. Stirred into yogurt with a sprinkling of almonds, it is the season encapsulated. Vegan stroganoff at our favourite veggie restaurant in town. The Guardian’s daily election podcast (vote Labour, vote Labour!) The chilli jam-Cheddar cheese-sourdough snacking habit I seem to have developed. Oops.
(Written the week commencing 29th May 2016. I’m rather useless at posting these bright spots on time…)