Thursday, July 5, 2018

We'll Bring Dinner

Well, our Fourth of July passed without incident. I did hear fireworks last night, from some American neighbors (I'm guessing?), but we made no attempt at any celebration of our own. In fact, we took dinner to a friend in South London who had a heart attack last week -- he had quadruple bypass surgery but seems in good spirits. You should have seen me and Dave, climbing into a cab with a huge pot of vegetable/lentil curry and a wrapped blueberry cobbler and ferrying it across town. (The car, incidentally, cost £30, probably more than the food.) We sat out on his back deck with him, his visiting mother and two of his friends (one of whom grew up in, of all places, my hometown of Tampa!) and enjoyed the soft evening air.

We even got a smidgen of rain last night, enough to dampen the garden, but there's no more on the horizon for the next ten days.

Speaking of the garden, I did a ton of work out there yesterday. We had some more repotting to do, so after a trip to Homebase I repotted five plants and planted one more in the ground. (Digging! Ugh!)

We had some excitement in West Hampstead on Tuesday morning when a huge fire burned some balconies on a brand-new apartment building near the tube station. I was working in the garden and kept hearing sirens -- I wondered what could be happening. Then Dave and I walked to the tube an hour or so later, and the fire crews were still mopping things up. I don't understand why balconies would burn that fiercely. What on earth are those things made of?

(Photos: Getting some sun on a railway bridge near Chalk Farm on Tuesday; a painted panel near the bridge.)


  1. I have spotted the deliberate error. Do I get a prize? You said you went to South London by taxi but then you mentioned ferrying the food so I guess you were on a ferry. By the way, what is the big deal with July 4th?

  2. Why is the man in the centre of the walkway? an artist I presume.
    blueberry cobbler sounds yummy

  3. Yikes. I wouldn't want to be in any of the adjacent buildings with those balconies ablaze!.

    Such a great thing to do - taking a 'food parcel' to an ailing friend.


  4. Sitting out on the deck with your friends eating dinner Dave made sounds scrumptious. And thoughtful. I remember after my husband's open heart surgery, my daughter's boyfriend's sister arrived with an entire delicious meal one Saturday, and all we had to do was eat it. Your friend is probably more grateful than you know. As for the fire, did anyone get hurt? It seems your city needs to rethink its building codes to require less flammable material.

  5. working in the garden seems the best way to not celebrate this year. it rained here all day but stopped by evening. there were some fireworks last night but not nearly the amount I have come to expect out here. perhaps more of my neighbors are just as disgusted with the direction Trump is taking this country as we are. didn't even put out our flag.

  6. I'm with Ellen on the garden thing. I heard some sort of loud pops last night in Lloyd but inside with the AC on I couldn't hear them at all. Which was fine.
    We had Jessie and Vergil out and ate many tasty foods. That was a good celebration.
    On meeting the guy from Tampa- small world, huh?

  7. That's some balcony fire! Of course it had to have been started by someone's barbecue, deducing the location of the flames and time of year.

    Your photo of the bridge is classic Steve Reed. It's that off-side OAP sitting in his lawn chair that gives it its signature "Steve" touch. Nice.

  8. So thoughtful and kind of you to bring dinner and cobbler to a friend. That's the best way to spend the 4th of July. Lots of neighbors shooting off fireworks here last night. It was boom boom boom until almost midnight. Ah well, glad it's the 5th today!

  9. The minute you said you took a cab to south London, I wondered how much that cost. Quite expensive I see.

  10. That balcony fire looks horrific. How frightening after the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

  11. If I'd had a heart attack followed by quadruple bypass surgery I think I'd be in pretty good spirits, too . . . And to have a delicious meal brought in would be both a help and a spirit lifter as well.

    I broke out in a sweat just looking at the shot of the man sitting in the sun! We are having a very hot and humid week here and everyone is just trying to survive until the weather changes.

  12. On re-reading, I realize I should have said, "if I'd SURVIVED a heart attack followed by quadruple bypass surgery" !!!

  13. It's much easier to celebrate if you're in a larger group.

  14. Last night we sat out on the balcony at the "condo" we're staying in (really efficiency apartment) & listened to an EXCELLENT cover band. They were quite eclectic - Fleetwood Mac, Doobie Brothers, Santana, Van Morrison, Tom Petty, and Meghan Trainor of all people, just to name a few. I need to see if I can figure out who it was. Not that we ever go anywhere to listen to live music - but maybe we can rent another condo near their next engagement. Ha! There were some fireworks sprinkled here & there throughout the hills, but it wasn't too obnoxious.

    It really was nice of you guys to deliver food - especially since I know that Dave is an excellent cook.

  15. When my husband was recovering from surgery it was such a great thing when kind friends brought food. That was nice of you two to do that and I'm sure your friends were pleased.

    No celebrating here, although I did cook an indulgent meal that included a large cherry crumble made with fresh cherries I pitted by hand. My fingers are still stained today!

    Lots of neighbors seemed to be shooting off fireworks, but we sat inside with the dogs and watched tv.

  16. Wow, that was an incredibly nice thing to do for your friend. He will always remember that act of kindness, and the memory will make his heart glad ! Very thoughtful.
    There was a balcony fire on my way to Holland park one evening. why? not sure! But it went up like tinder!

  17. Sometimes, spending $30 bucks to bring your friend dinner is the best thing you can do. He will remember your kindness. I hope you enjoyed making it and sharing it.

  18. YP: Can't one "ferry" without being literally ON a ferry?

    Briony: I honestly didn't look too closely at what he was doing -- but yeah, that looked like a sketchbook.

    Alphie: I know! Scary!

    37P: I think the codes DO specify less flammable materials. But as we've discovered with Grenfell, the installations are not always up to par.

    Ellen: Yeah, I wonder if the celebrations were more muted overall this year. Seems like they would be in some parts of the country, and in others they might be extra jubilant!

    Ms Moon: I couldn't believe it. He went to Jesuit! What are the odds?!

    Vivian: Thanks re. the photo! I was thinking barbecue, but the news said no one was home in any of the units when the blaze started. Of course, they could have started the grill and then stepped out for some meat, I suppose.

    Robin: Yes, at least it's past us!

    Sharon: It was a car service, technically, but still -- not cheap!

    Catalyst: I think they definitely have to do some investigation to find out what those balconies are made of.

    Jenny-O: LOL -- I know what you meant. Yeah, I've never understood how some people can sit out in the sun and bake like that.

    Red: Well, that's true, although we weren't really celebrating the Fourth. I'm not sure we even thought about it, honestly!

    Bug: That sounds fun! How excellent to have musical accompaniment!

    Jennifer: I honestly wouldn't have even thought about bringing a meal. But Dave said it was the thing to do, and I guess he was right!

    Linda Sue: Yeah, what's the deal with these balconies?

    E: Oh, I don't begrudge the £30. I wanted to take the tube, but carrying all that food it would have been a nightmare.