Freshly dug garlic bulbs hanging up to dry in my sister's poly-tunnel today.
I took my friend who is staying with me to visit her. We share an African history. She and her family lived in the same road as mine in Lusaka, Zambia, when I was a schoolgirl. I used to brave the gauntlet of the dogs barking in our neighbour gardens to go and play with her in the long hot afternoons. Our mothers were friends. She now lives in Harare in Zimbabwe.
For the last two days I have been immersed in another dimension laced with memories of our past and filled out with the details - the stories and the changes - of our more recent lives.
Tonight I cooked supper for us of grilled asparagus and boiled eggs, butter drenched Jersey Royal new potatoes and a deep bowl of sliced fried green garlic - a whole bulb - and a mush of cherry tomatoes coated in fresh feathery dill.
We ate it outside on the patio, next to the red geraniums, till a duvet of cloud smothered the sun and it turned chilly in the shade.
It's only the second time I have had a visitor staying in the house since Robin died. I realise how I have grown used to living on my own, got used to my own routines especially at the beginning and end of the day.... like wrapping an old comfy cardigan round myself.....and however much I love them and their company, which I do, it takes some digging deep into my reserves to accommodate and include the whole breathing soul of an other into the cocoon of my newly single space.
A tray of Smoked Garlic at the Exeter Food Festival a few weeks ago.