So, I’ve been busy. I’ve only a short while to enjoy being an East Londoner, so I’ve been cramming my days with cycling, cafes, working on the book, picnics, dancing, drinks, cakes and working at The Deli Downstairs. I absolutely adore working there, with the most wonderful group of people ever.
I’ve been gazing out the back into our little courtyard at the Deli, pausing to look at the sun filter through the leaves onto our little tomato seedlings.
I’ve been cycling the long way home around Victoria Park – amongst the picnics and families and hipsters on rollerblades.
I’ve been riding to Hackney City Farm just to walk through Woodland Way, lush and green and a little slice of British countryside in the urban sprawl.
I’ve been eating cod and chips with curry sauce in the park, swing dancing at the old English pub on the corner, dancing for hours at a Michael Franti gig in Islington, and walking through the little independent galleries in the artist warehouses in Hackney Wick.
Watching Japanese films at Hackney Picturehouse, talking to yogis in community cafes in Hackney Downs, and writing my book in the whitewashed-stone-and-wood interior of Violet Bakery, the famed East London American bakery owned by Chez Panisse Alumni Claire Ptak.
Or riding to Shoreditch and sitting in cafes in Brick Lane, eating Rose, Raspberry and Pistachio cake while writing. Every so often I look up, and see the other tables and sofas filled with the most quintessential Londoners – girls in Lennon glasses and denim skirt overalls. Blondes with Japanese-style bob-cropped hair and oversized suede vintage store jackets. Flop-haired ringleted young men in denim jackets with iron on patches, reading dog-eared paperbacks.
I had a saturday off work – so I decided to get some friends together, head down to the famous Broadway Market (started for and by the Hackney community in the 1890s) to pick up some bits and pieces and head over for a picnic in Victoria Park.
It was amazingly sunny, even though it had been raining all week. Everyone was out and about, and the streets and waterways and parks were packed with people soaking up the sun.
Last night I showed my little brother how to make fresh egg pasta by hand. We went a bit crazy kneading the dough, and then rolled it out to make pumpkin, nutmeg and ricotta ravioli. I fried up some fresh sage leaves in a beurre noisette and finished with a dollop of fresh ricotta.
We woke up before the sun this morning, loaded our backpacks into the campervan, and drove off into the dawn towards the harbour. We were heading toward the cook strait ferry, heading with our little Jucy campervan over to the south island of New Zealand to adventure around what has been said to be the most scenic island (after seeing it all, we would have to agree).
Today after checking out the Callington Mill and touring the old flour mill, we drove down to Hobart straight to the Cadbury Factory.