These promising blooms

Although I have heard the word “summer” bandied around, as someone borne and mostly bred in subtropical climates, my perspective on the season that currently surrounds London resembles nothing to me but a long-awaited spring.

2013-04-17 08.54.04

Even when I was still wearing my black peacoat in to one of my jobs a month ago, days after an early April snowfall, stubborn signs of the season to come were showing in the form of hardy (perhaps confused) daffodils and intrepid cherry blossoms–early arrivals in an urban environment sluggishly shaking off the long, cold winter.

Petals from the cherry trees replace the snow on the sidewalks and streets of Stoke Newington, creating little pink and white piles resembling small snowbanks as the winds shake the branches and the young, green leaves begin to emerge.

More_of_Stoke_Newington_in_Bloom_at_Clissold_Crescent___Albion_Road._Note_the_petals_on_the_pavement.After the sight of black, barren branches and layers of white and grey snow, the colours that have appeared are a welcome change, even if the temperatures are still flirting with scarf weather at times.

cherry blossoms in may

clissold crescent blooms

yellow april blooms

It’s easy to go about one’s day ignoring the wonder of natural, seasonal phenomena. Although the bright promise of spring won’t vanish the usual day-to-day woes of financial issues, personal problems, busy schedules and strained contacts, it does seem to underscore the idea of possibility–that whatever hardships and struggles one may be going through will eventually be resolved.

Even if you’ve got to put your back into now and again.

In other news, I’ve been busy dabbling in a bunch of stuff. I’ve got an article in the programme of an upcoming food festival in Walthamstow. You can read it here. It’s an article on Sarah Hardy, possibly the most inspiring person in cake and confectionary right now. Thanks to Kerrie of Edible Feasts for setting that interview up, who is another inspiring woman in the East London food world.

I have a new job, had an old job, and have another new-old job. It’s a long story. Let’s hope I remember which one to go to on what day.

I’ve been reading a lot. In fact, I read my first novel in years recently, Swamplandia!

Swamplandia!

It was very good, but it left me feeling quite sad at the end, so I’m back to raiding my stash of non-fiction books, currently alternating between the interesting essays of London: From Punk to Blair and the beer nerd’s world of Brewed Awakening, which I’ve been enjoying, but sometimes, I feel like I need a day off from the beer world every now and again.

brewed awakening

If you see me in a bookshop, please gently guide me out of it, as I tend to spend my money disproportionately on books and beer. In fact, I shouldn’t even spend money on beer, as I’ve got the odd bottle or three kicking around in my cupboards and room, either from a short stint at a beer importer or from previous wild beer-buying sprees. I have bottles of porters and stouts I’ll probably have to wind up using in a cake, because there’s no way I can drink them all without my belly feeling weighed down. Oh yeah, and the whole inebriation thing.

Oh, cake! Theoretically I can make such things now, as the kitchen in the house I’m in has been upgraded by the handy Papa Stokey. There’s even a full-sized oven that works. Well, I haven’t tried using it yet, but it’s supposed to work, anyway. Hopefully I can get back into baking again soon. I used to be fairly handy at baking, but we’ll see.

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