Normal services have now resumed. Well, sort of normal.
Normal in that I am now two weeks back into the swing of London life. Normal in that I am not waking up and attending morning wine tasting sessions and eating 3-courses-plus-a-cheese-plate for lunch. Normal in that I am back in a double bed.
Being back here in London feels very familiar. Familiar faces, familiar smells, familiar tastes of London water… After 10 (I know, can you believe it!) years of living here, I think I can say that London is my city, my home. And with Spring most definitely in the air, I am happy to admit it’s been a lovely homecoming. So many blossoming trees. So many lovely light evenings. The anticipation of Summer is a strong one, waking up the city. There’s so much going on. So many different buzzings and murmurings. New places to visit. New food to eat and drink. Festivals, gigs and exhibitions to see.
It’s so wonderful being back and seeing friends and family. All of whom are very happy to be eaters and tasters. New mouths to feed! A perfect audience.
But as the same time as all this familiarity, it’s feeling very NOT normal too. I feel quite different. While London as I know it might not have changed much in 12 weeks, I feel like I definitely have. My perspectives, my habits, my interests and my thoughts are tending in a different direction to where they were when I was last here. I’m baking bread. I’m cooking every day and loving it and missing it when I’m not in the kitchen.
While I am not getting back to Service Design work immediately, I am keeping myself very busy. For me, April is another month of cooking school but this time my education is in the form of real work experience in kitchens. I figure I’ve gained some momentum and started down a pathway and so if I don’t do this now, I’ll never do it! And there’s nothing like putting all the skills and learning into practise. In fact, many would say this is the best way to improve, to learn and to figure out in what shape and form I want cooking in my life. And I’m lucky enough to have secured two places in two of the most amazing kitchens ever! First up is Violet Bakery in Hackney and second is Ottolenghi’s.
I could not be more excited. My experiences of each will be documented in blog posts all of their own. But the idea that I will be getting up every day to be a chef??!! Check me!
In other news; my sourdough starter is still alive and well and getting to grips with the wild yeasts of London and the even wilder London water. (I’m now making it with boiled water, not just straight from the tap which I think is an improvement on taste and texture)
I’m staying above ground as much as possible; minimal tube rides is a sure fire way to have a happier London life.
It’s great seeing friends and family and I’ve also been lucky enough to have Kate and Chuck from Ballymaloe over here doing their two weeks work experience at Ottolenghis and Nopi. With them we’ve explored some great London foodie places; Maltby Street Market, Nopi and St John’s Bread and Wine. It’s been so great to have them around and debrief after our days in the kitchen and readjustment to life in the real world.
So arguably I’m still in the honeymoon period of being back to London life, but it’s a honeymoon I’ll happily stay in.