1. Starting to pick green leafy things from the garden - goodness that mizuna is prolific. The borage is all in flower and so are the broad beans. The rhubarb is doing well, the tomatoes are in and the chilli plant has its first flower.
2. Reading weighty tomes with titles like 'The Sociology of the Meal', 'The Cultural Politics of Food and Eating' and 'Consuming Passions. Food in the Age of Anxiety' for the anthropology class I have enrolled in this semester. All very interesting even though there are rather a lot of multi -syllable words to get through. And reading keeps me away from writing - have yet to find a way of being able to do both at once.
3. Making bread. Have decided to stick with the Dan Leppard idea of baking the loaf in a covered container so that it generates its own steam - so far so good.
At the risk of sounding like a grumpy old person.......the other weekend we ate out a a newish venue in nearby Newtown, much reviewed and highly regarded. First gripe - the policy is not to take bookings. I know there are probably very good reasons for this approach but for us it meant going there at 6pm on a Saturday rather than risk having to wait around outside in the cold (in a part of town where there isn't much else to do) and/or fill up at the bar on drinks we didn't really want or need. As it happened we got a table straight away.
Second gripe - the tables were so close together that I was actually sitting closer to the strange next to me on the bench seat than I was to the person I was sharing dinner with. It wasn't possible to move from my seat without (and I quote) 'having to hang your arse over someone's dinner'.
The food and the service were fine - an interesting menu, attentive staff - but, gripe number three, the noise level was almost unbearable. The quasi-industrial decor with all those hard surfaces is not conducive to private conversation. It was hard to hear the waiter, it was hard to hear my partner across the table, it was even hard to hear everything that the stranger next to me was saying to her partner. In fact all the noise made it hard to concentrate on the food and even though the duck with cumquats was delicious we couldn't finish it fast enough so that we could get out of there. Rounded off the evening at home with a slice of homemade cake and a cup of tea watching an old James Bond movie on the telly and still got to bed before midnight.