Sunday, May 22, 2011

Festival, mussels and it's a phase.

Remember that purple sprouting broccoli I picked last week? Well this is where it ended up. Nyummies.
1. We walk down to the Pantiles to see the food festival. It's rammed, and buzzing. There are dozens of stalls,  selling local produce (strawberries, asparagus, cob nuts) and home-made goodies. People are perched on every surface in sun and shade to eat from foil and cardboard trays. We make our way from end to end but are distracted by demonstrations, free samples and -- this being Tunbridge Wells -- people we know (or people who know people we know).

2. While I was pregnant, I often thought longingly of mussels -- that soft orange meat, and the bitter sweet salty seaside taste. A huge fragrant bowl of moules mariniere haunted my dreams; and my hands trembled every time I passed a moules frites blackboard outside a pub. But what with all the excitement, I never got round to eating any after Alec was born. We run into Paul V and Katie. They have saffrony paella. "Have a mussel." Don't mind if I do.

3. Evening is turning into night, and Alec's gums are troubling him. We pack him into the sling and take him round the park, hoping it might settle him. One of the yoga mums is sitting on a bench with a book and a bag of chips. She says that her baby -- she was born on the same day as Alec -- has been grizzling all day, chewing and dribbling and not settling. "I've left my husband in charge for half an hour," she says. We commiserate and say that this too will pass.