It’s rush hour. It must be as I can just hear a motor bike in the distance over the deep silence that is the beginning of a summer’s day. This is the summer moment that I wait for throughout the year. It’s just before 7.00 and there is a palpable peace in the air. Days like today are to be enjoyed bite by delicious bite. It’s going to be hot and the stone house is cool. There’s a tray of white peaches which are slowly ripening in the warmth of the sun that comes through the low, south facing window. The fishmonger has filleted a dozen fresh sardines and I’ve prepared fresh breadcrumbs, mixed with flaked almonds and lemon zest, with which to stuff them in addition to some pine nuts and parsley. A softly running Coulommiers cheese, protected by a fly dome, is waiting patiently to give us more pleasure. Al is one of those very rare house guests who have the good grace only to pass by on perfect summer days and to leave before one tires of them.