Sunday, July 29, 2007

Just a Friendly Dinner Party

We’re in London right now, staying with our friends J&C in their lovely garden flat. They have full exclusive use of the garden, and turned the mud pit they inherited back in February into a sylvan glade in the middle of Islington. They have resident squirrels, of course (all called Roscoe, because it’s a bit difficult to distinguish between them, much like the squirrels all called Gerard who lived in the garden of our friends G&A in Ann Arbor, who are now our friends in Härnösand, Sweden, and so more about them in the near future), and a visiting black and while cat called Penelope, and even a raggedy little fox called Felix. We attempted to stay with them when we were first in London last June but they were having an unfortunate infestation of bedbugs (picked up in San Francisco, so beware if you’re visiting the Bay Area, because they are the second case we’ve heard of). Our vagabond life this summer would be paradise for bed bugs, so we didn’t even come to the apartment to visit, but rather made them meet us on the neutral territory of Hampstead Heath.

Anyway, bedbugs have been successfully eradicated, so here we are, eating tasty home-cooked food—pasta and veggies and beans our first night, brownies that Ian made for dessert the second night, crepes with Greek yoghurt and apricots and bananas or raspberry jam for breakfast yesterday morning, and so far the piéce de resistance: last night’s dinner of chicken fajitas.

J grew up in Arizona cooking Southwest food, so even in London the fajitas were pretty authentic, and the company—us, them, and five others of their friends—made us feel right at home, as if we, too, had just stopped by for dinner. The generosity of our friends on this trip has been so appreciated—it really makes a huge difference to feel so welcomed and so at home all over this continent. And our clothes have stayed pretty clean.

1 comment:

Ian said...

I agree with everything that Calin said with one exception. C&J do not live in "the middle of Islington." Indeed, it appears from closer examination that they're one block over the Islington border and right and truly live in Hackney. I know that J has painstakingly built his street cred, and living in Hackney is surely evidence of what a tough homie he is.