Apricot Jam

It has been a good summer for fresh fruit from the garden, with peaches at home and apricots and greengages in France, inter alia. The jam made from the apricots is quite outstanding on a slice of pain noir fresh from the market bakery “à quatre pas de notre maison.” Slurp!

Confiture à l’abricot faite à St. Martin au mois de juin

Waking in London

On waking, this time in London, I have two of the greats on my mind, Erasmus and Proust, the former for a titbit characteristic of his inventive wit and of which I have only recently become aware, which merely reveals that I should have made a point of reading footnotes more assiduously:

“He was born Gerrit Gerritszoon. Believing that this name derived from the German word begehren (to desire), he manufactured the name by which he is known by translating “desired” into Latin (desiderius) and Greek (erasmus).”

the latter for his eyes and for the painstakingly inventive character of his relationship with them:

“Je n’oublierai jamais, dans une curieuse ville de Normandie voisine de Balbec, deux charmants hôtels du XVIIIe siècle, qui me sont à beaucoup d’égards chers et vénérables et entre lesquels, quand on la regarde du beau jardin qui descend des perrons vers la rivière, la flèche gothique d’une église qu’ils cachent s’élance, ayant l’air de terminer, de surmonter leurs façades, mais d’une matière si différente, si précieuse, si annelée, si rose, si vernie, qu’on voit bien qu’elle n’en fait pas plus partie que de deux beaux galets unis, entre lesquels elle est prise sur la plage, la flèche purpurine et crénelée de quelque coquillage fuselé en tourelle et glacé d’émail.”

The great and gentle Erasmus: “In like manner I can never sufficiently praise that Pythagoras in a dunghill cock, who being but one had been yet everything, a philosopher, a man, a woman, a king, a private man, a fish, a horse, a frog, and, I believe too, a sponge; and at last concluded that no creature was more miserable than man, for that all other creatures are content with those bounds that nature set them, only man endeavors to exceed them.” from “In Praise of Folly (Dover Thrift Editions)” by Desiderius Erasmus, John Wilson

Cycling on the Île de Ré

 

The spectacle of poppies growing between the rows of vines at St. Clément des Baleines was arresting in its loveliness. On the right is the harbour at Loix, an enchanting place to stop and contemplate the sea before heading into the village for breakfast.

Tea

My rich tea biscuit has just disintegrated on being dunked, which would be unremarkable but for the immediacy of the said disintegration, which occurred long before the two-second threshold. O me miserum!