Sunday, July 20, 2014


We are at the height of summer now. It's sunny nearly every day, with temperatures in the low 80s. I'm even getting a bit of a tan from all my walking, and when we sit inside in the evenings, the sun streams through the back windows and bastes us like Butterball turkeys.

I went down to Tottenham Court Road on Friday to buy a new USB cable for my camera, and I walked back to West Hampstead via Camden Town, about five miles. I got lots of photos and I was like wilted lettuce by the time I got home -- limp and dehydrated. But I learned more about how roads and neighborhoods in this part of the city connect, so that's a good thing. I have a clearer mental map.

Yesterday Dave and I went to the weekly farmer's market near the West Hampstead rail station. We bought two fresh mackerel which we cooked last night using a propane torch -- an amazingly easy and fast technique. Mackerel are such beautiful fish. They look like they're wearing silvery tinfoil zebra skin, like an aquatic Lady Gaga.

We also got tomatoes, which were not as good as I expected, and cherries which Dave turned into an amazing pie. And some other stuff. It's so fun being part of a new community, buying locally and learning about the area businesses and people. I feel like we're extending our roots little by little.

(Photo: The Exmouth Arms, a pub near Euston Station.)


  1. Okay. I love this. You can cook a fish with a propane torch? I absolutely had no idea.
    Your sentence, "And some other stuff," reminded me of the book I love to read to the boys, "The Little Red Hen Makes A Pizza." She keeps going to the store for one specific item and comes home with massive amounts of things, always accompanied by that same sentence. "And some other stuff."
    There are actually youtube videos of people reading this book. I do not recommend them.
    However, someone (a film student?) made a really short video about the book which is pretty funny.
    Good morning. I need more coffee, obviously.

  2. Dave pitted enough cherries to make a pie? holy cow. hang on to that man.

  3. That has to be the most colorful description of a fish I've ever heard. I love it.
    Your 5 mile walk sounds absolutely inspiring especially in London, the place I love to walk the most.

  4. fantastic photo. goes perfectly with the title of the post.

  5. Love your new table, and Olga as Vanna White.

    Your first apartment - Portobello Road, Jude Law down the street, the blue door on the house from Notting Hill - very cool, cinematic. It feels like you really live in London now. Your apartment, just your stuff, in a real, not so cinematic, neighborhood.

    I love the Heath, as I'm sure you can imagine. So magical, as if a bit of Wales was lifted up and dropped up there north of the main part of the city.

    For Ellen Abbott - I use an olive pitter to pit cherries. It's still work but omg so much easier. And yes, you should surely hold on to your marvelous husband.

  6. I'm with ellen abbott -- the first thing I thought about was the pitting. And were they sour cherries or regular? When I lived in NYC, you could get sour cherries once or twice a summer at a farmers' market, but otherwise had to settle for Bing.

  7. Ms Moon: Yes! A blowtorch can apparently be used on a variety of fish, but we saw James Martin cook a mackerel that way, which gave us the idea. Here's a video:
    (The fish part begins at about 3:15)

    Ellen: Actually, I pitted them! Ha! We have a cherry pitter that does the job pretty quickly. (I'll still hang onto him, though. He made the pastry!)

    Sharon: You and I are both walkers, so I know you can relate! Next time you come to London we need to do a walk together!

    Richard: It IS a cool looking pub. I think I will go back! It's down a tiny side street, not easily found.

    Angella: Thanks! :)

    Reya: Yes, this place seems more real, with a more authentic, less touristy neighborhood. It fits our settled-in lives better!

    Elizabeth: I'm not sure! We got them from the farmer's market and I know they were grown in Kent, south of London. They taste sweet, so I suspect they're more like Bing.