Saturday, and our first day of (not) being in Germany. The weather is fine, with just enough humidity and spots of rain to feel authentically as though we could indeed be in the Black Forest.
The point of travelling there on Friday was to be able to enjoy the nearby local food market. A joyous affair of almost only food, with the occasional stall selling plants ornamental and edible and some garden decorations. Almost all of what is there is locally grown, though there are a few food producers who come from further afield. We particularly enjoy the stall selling ‘mountain cheese’. There are a few smallholders who come with whatever they’ve been able to pick or make that week – often elderly people who’ve baked a few tarts or made a batch of jam to sell alongside their fruit, vegetables and honey.
A particular pleasure of going to the market is to join the people having a leisurely coffee (and perhaps a wee treat to accompany it) outside one of the cafes. Of course we have a favourite – two in fact: one for market days, when part of the enjoyment is to watch the people passing by; and another for other days, when we enjoy a great coffee in an enthusiast coffee shop (improved by the strong aroma from their roaster).
Today we managed to replicate that with our first visit to Bath Farmers’ Market since lockdown. It was indeed a treat. The market has reconfigured itself with a one-way system designed to feel (and be) safe; all the stallholders are now contactless for payment; and we bought a few staple purchases there plus a holiday treat of an assortment of unusual tomatoes from the Isle of Wight. These will replace those we would have bought at the market in Germany, for our almost daily tomato salads. Far too early for any tomatoes from my allotment, but a promise of good things to come.
On the way home we detoured to a favourite coffee shop along the river, now open for takeaway only, and sat with our coffees and a shared treat in the nearby park. There were people to watch, and knitting to do, and we chatted happily until we parted ways – him to walk straight home, and me to continue my normal walk along the river. Same same but different – it’s surprising how different a regular walk can feel when you reverse it. You suddenly see different things, or notice that things look different when seen from an unfamiliar angle.
The rest of the day passed in a mix of sitting in the garden knitting, catching up with Gardeners World (and knitting), and a little light cooking.
The cooking included finally getting round to making some fresh pasta. I was astonished to realise how very easy it is to make. Slightly less easy was the knack of using the pasta roller to make tagliatelli – or rather, easy to use and make it, not so easy to transfer it to the rack for drying without it all sticking to itself. But – practice will make perfect. The real test is in the eating, and this was delicious. So practice I shall. And if you have any handy tips, do pass them my way.
The actual moment of the summer solstice is, I read, about 5 minutes from now, at 21:43. I’m finding it hard to take in that from now the days begin to draw in. I hope that when you read this, you will have had a good solstice day, and more good days to come. Until tomorrow xx