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18 posts from June 2009

The perfect children’s book (Leute/Blexbolex)

And you can just imagine my pleasure watching S scrutinize Blexbolex's wry illustrations.  If you're looking for the perfect birthday present for a little one (or anyone), swing by pro qm for a copy.

Before & After (Birthday treats)

Note the care with which David has placed the fruit, and the gusto with which S is reaching for yet another wodge. Yesterday was an excellent birthday.

Fruit tree honey at Kollwitzplatz market


While the Saturday market at Kollwitzplatz can feel too overfull to be borne, the Thursday one is is still a treat. I'll meet Clare for waffles and a tea, then chat with the vegetable seller on the best way to prepare rhubarb. Afterwards, I might be drawn in by the olive oil seller's patter, and a few stalls down will be convinced to try the beekeeper's new honeys. He was quite right when he said the Obstblütenhonig, collected and jarred just a few weeks ago, is not to be missed. You taste our radiant April in a mouthful, and, stirred into black tea, the honey makes a humdrum morning divine. Watch out for him tomorrow: he might have a few more jars!

Organic market at Kollwitzplatz (map)
Thursdays from noon to 7pm

Organic ice cream at Pappa e Ciccia


I've long savored Pappa e Ciccia's sweets (they were a front-runner in Berlin's "New York cheesecake" craze) so imagine my excitement when I learned they were opening an organic ice cream shop next door. I was too slow to alert you to the free ice cream last Wednesday, but let me assure you, a scoop of raspberry and basil is well worth the euro it will cost you.

Pappa e Ciccia, Schwedter Str. 18 (map)
Tel + 49 30 616 20801
The ice cream shop is open weekdays 1pm-10pm, weekends noon-10pm.

This summer


The sky was full of an eerie, apocalyptic light when I rushed out just after nine to catch the setting sun on the longest day of the year, and turning homeward I saw a rainbow that seemed to end at our building. At bedtime, the courtyard kept flashing with lightning. What sort of this summer will this be?

The longest day of the year

Since the winter when David read Gatsby aloud to me, chapter by chapter, I have resolved not to miss the summer solstice. (You remember it too? She looked at us all radiantly. “Do you always watch for the longest day of the year and then miss it? I always watch for the longest day in the year and then miss it.” “We ought to plan something,” yawned Miss Baker, sitting down at the table as if she were getting into bed.)

And so we had a picnic today and sat in Weinbergspark listening to a goofy Depeche Mode cover band and eating strawberry tart, amongst other things. My crème patisserie more closely resembled crème anglaise, which was a disappointment, but never mind, the leftover sauce was delicious spooned over a slice of toasted pain au lait: deconstructed French toast, the perfect bedtime snack.

After the grapes

The tiniest of trees, I couldn't resist this spindly stem, the few small grapes still hanging on. Summer just might be beginning: the courtyard is full of small breezes and a golden light.