I'm not sure if this is a good time to write a new post. Outside the wind is battering against the windows, scattering the last of the blossom in the afternoon sunshine, cooled by yesterday's rain. I'm feeling a little shattered after just watching the Deer Hunter and unable to focus my mind on anything else. Others had warned me what a harrowing film it is but I still wasn't prepared.
Since my return to Berlin last week I've been lucky to have had plenty of free time to enjoy the late spring in full bloom and bask in the warmth of its rays. An afternoon on the terrace of Café Fleury with Chrissi for coffee and cake, a stroll around Schlosspark Charlottenburg, stopping to read Graham Robb's Parisians underneath a chestnut tree with pink candles and picking up a copy of Henry James' English Hours at Marga Schoeller. Yet there was also sadness knowing that Chrissi and another good friend are moving away soon, that there is so little time left to do and say so much. Like Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung in Wong Kar Wai's In the Mood for Love, I try to prepare myself for their departures and play out the scene in my mind where we say goodbye but deep down I know it isn't really possible.
At café fleury with its gingham tablecloths, patterned cushions and photos of classic French movie scenes.
Keeping cool at Schloss Charlottenburg
In the Schlosspark
Guarding the leaflets outside Marga Schoeller
Yesterday morning, I sat in the living room, reading and also listening to the city wake up through the open window; the footsteps on the gravel, the fragments of distant conversations and the rattling of the tram. I had a desire to sit in the darkened space of the cinema again but decided to cook a Japanese meal in the evening as the delicate beads of raindrops came cascading down. I sometimes wish that things could be as simple and satisfying as the sunlight on the trees or the smell of spices and fresh bread filling the kitchen.
Soba noodles with crispy tofu
85g soba noodles
100g plain organic tofu
1 medium piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 garlic clove
3 spring onions, chopped
80g bamboo shoots (half a jar), drained and cut into thin strips
soya sauce and olive oil for seasoning and frying
1. Begin by cooking the soba noodles in a large saucepan of boiling water for 5-7 minutes, then rinse then in cold water and set aside to drain.
2. Chop the block of tofu up into cubes. Heat some olive oil in a large sized frying pan, add in the tofu and fry on a medium heat until crispy, stirring regularly so it gets evenly brown. Leave to cool.
3. Heat some oil in a wok and stir in the crushed garlic and chopped ginger without letting them brown. Tip in the spring onions and bamboo and stir for a few minutes then add a splash of soya sauce to the wok and leave for another minute or two. Now add the cold soba noodles, stirring them into the vegetables until warm all the way through and finish by adding the tofu.