As you know, I make a point of buying vegetables and fruit at the market not far from where I live. On the one hand it’s a really good excuse to go out and get a break from studying, but on the other hand I really have to speak to people. I remember from my Erasmus days when we were taught how to ask for “2 etti di prosciutto” or “mezzo chilo di patate” in the Italian language course – but we never got to actually use it, as in most supermarkets you just grab your stuff and pay. At most they ask you if you want a carrier bag.
Anyway, I like going to the market. Especially on sunny days like today. I bought the most gorgeous Sicilian blood oranges and when I came home I exactly knew what I’d do with them: Orange-Chocolate-Sunshine-Cookies!
I baked the whole afternoon and the flat smelt amazing! And when I eventually got back to my desk (after all there’s some nasty exams waiting for me) I had some very sweet company!
Being aware, that it’s probably one of the last days Isa and me will be off together for quite a while (Isa found a job at a restaurant, which basically means no weekends off and I’ll start my proper office-hour job next week), we decided to make the most of the sunny day and went out for a lovely walk in Hampstead Heath park.
Now, I have a bit of a complicated relationship with Hampstead Heath. We went there to see the fireworks at New Years Eve 2013/14 (omg, how time flies!) and I fell in love with the park and the view from Parliament Hill (well, as much as you can in a rainy night surrounded by thousands of people). Anyway, there and then I adopted the resolution to come back and explore the seemingly marvellous park. Well… needless to say that I didn’t. And to make matters worse, for more than half a year, when I was still working at Finchley Road, I passed it every day on my way to work. And it was tempting me and reminding me how easy it’d be to just go there on a day off and that I just couldn’t manage to do so.
But I finally last summer, we did go there; on the hottest day of the year. And I talked Gonzo into going for a swim in one of the muddy ponds! It was a lovely day and we actually managed to go for a walk and enjoy the daylight view from the hill. It was gorgeous and I was so happy that we finally came back!
There, now you know how it took me about a year and a half to do a simple thing as visiting a park. And that’s how Hampstead Heath became somehow a reminder for me: how in London it sometimes can be hard to keep plans and how little it effort it would actually take.
Anyway, Isa and me took the tube to Finchley Road and from there walked through posh Hampstead Village to the park. It’s a really beautiful area, but you can basically smell the money as you walk through; big old houses, CCTV cameras on the fences and expensive-looking cars (not that I really have an idea) in the streets.
The park itself is, as described in length above, is absolutely lovely and we truly enjoyed the walk. But even though it was a sunny day, it was very windy and we both got cold and hungry, so we decided to have an emergency-merienda. We had a not-too bad cup of tea and sad defrosted slice of cake in the uncharitable park cafe. But it did the trick and we went on to the top of the hill and around the pond. Eventually we rewarded ourselves with some very nice carrot cake at the bakery across the street.
And all is well, that ends well.
Or: if the cake is good, the day is good! 🙂