The apartment empties
With the humid summer days come changes to the apartment. Ulli is away on holiday in the Îles de la Madeliene before she returns to Germany next week, and Ryan has begun to steady process of moving out. Without a car, this is done in fits and starts using the bus. Each time I come home something has been boxed and/or removed. The process has been anticipated for some time, but it’s still a surprise to walk into a room and to see that a computer has vanished (don’t worry Charlotte, it was his, not yours…).
On Sunday night, however, the wooden floors of the old apartment creaked and complained as a few more pairs of (human) feet came together for dinner. This weekend I had the pleasure of hosting Abby, a friend from New York who was in town to launch her new book at a local comic book store. She brought a friend who knew the city, and my evenings were enlighted with their stories of what they had found while they were around town. Ryan was back for the evening, enhancing the atmosphere with his compulsive summertime half-nakedness. To finish the scene, Laura was over with a nicely chilled rosé.
The menu reflected the high humidity: asparagus fried in butter and garlic leaves on cream cheese bagels; spinach and avocado salad, tomato and boccacini salad, and a big chilled bowl of berries, kiwi and apple salad with ice cream for desert. I now understand the secret to summer time cooking: do things that can be made and eaten without too much effort or without using artificial heat when there’s already 75% humidity.
With a cold tall gin and tonic, and with some careful shielding of my burn allowed me to savour the end of the hot afternoon out on the balcony. Ryan caught the rays, Laura lamented not having achieved anything, and I just savoured being there. I’ll miss this place when I’m gone, but the gradual departure of the people I have begun to associate with this place is preparing me for the inevitable. It’s time to think about my departure, and more importantly, about my return to another place.