Fire up the de Lorean….

Flossy, our grandaughter, at the Mad Hatter's Tea party.

Flossy, one of our granddaughters, behind a teapot

We arrived home without the expected three explosive flashes that accompany the moment of return from voyages back to the future. The sharp intake of breath as we entered our glacial stone house created more of a whimper than a bang. Each rare visit to London, aside from the delight and pleasure of seeing our family and friends, leaves me with distinctly ambivalent emotions. The experience is akin to an encounter with an old flame, after the passage of many years. An accumulation of thick slap hiding the running repairs is suddenly apparent, whilst simultaneously there is the realisation that time has erased all signs of the original attraction leaving only shared memory. Being no longer a part of London, I have ceased to accord her enough tolerance and have become openly and unfairly critical of all of her shortcomings. I now believe that not only can the boy be taken out of London, but that London can most certainly be taken out of the boy. Chalk and cheese are as a mirror image of each other in comparison with London and La Moussiere, where I now feel at home and at peace. However, despite my splenetic reactions, the de Lorean expedition was deeply fruitful, and in so many ways. Rather than the plethora of “artisan” shops, that offer food at the price of a pair of handmade shoes ( and often as digestible), I am irresistibly drawn to the wonderful produce in the ubiquitous Middle Eastern shops. Piles of pomegranates, fat bunches of fresh green herbs, tiny cucumbers, merguez sausages, piles of perfectly trimmed pink lamb chops, row upon row of every sort of dried fruit, nut or spice, flatbreads, fatbreads, honey dribbling cakes, volcanic harissa, argan oil, bargain oil, sumac and z’atar – just Aladdinesque. I would stuff sacks and suitcases full of the stuff to take back home, but it would need a king’s ransom to ferry it back and I just can’t countenance giving even a goat’s ransom, let alone a king’s, to the greedy Irishman with an aeroplane. Roads, like Golborne Road, have changed beyond recognition and so much for the better. Seeing Moroccan street food in London looks and smells wonderful although it’s probably been there for years, but I didn’t notice it as I was busy spending everything that I didn’t really have in very expensive places selling very ordinary fare. Racks of mint condition, second hand brown herringbone tweed jackets also caught my eye but, as I was pillion passenger on my son’s pannierless motorbike, they stayed there. Having fresh raspberries and blueberries for breakfast on any day of the year. Spending a day with my son, at his studio, plying the trade that he learnt with me.

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Spending time with an old friend that I haven’t seen since I was 20 years old, and finding that we picked up the conversation where we left off last time. Sunday lunch in a restaurant with family, although I think Jamie Oliver might rethink the school dinner look at Union Jacks. Being with my son, his wife Julia and their children Sonny and Flossy. Altogether worth firing up the de Lorean yet again.

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About Food,Photography & France

Photographer and film maker living in France. After a long career in London, my wife and I have settled in the Vendee, where we run residential digital photography courses with a strong gastronomic flavour.
This entry was posted in 2013, Almonds, Baking, blueberries, Childhood, cous cous, Digital photography, Emotion, Excellence, Expectation, Flatbread, food, Food and Photography, Food photographer, France, friendship, Harissa, harmony, Herbs and Spices, Honey, Nuts, Olive oil, Photography, photography course, Photography holiday, raspberries, Shopping, Sunday, Uncategorized, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

46 Responses to Fire up the de Lorean….

  1. The Middle Eastern shops sound fantastic! Interesting look inside of a food photography studio.

  2. spree says:

    What a lovely, evocative piece Roger! Such wonderful visuals! I loved seeing your son, plying his art in the fashion he learned largely at your side. And Flossy, oh my, that Flossy, what a darling!
    I’ve often wondered if I could be successfully transplanted to one of several places I dream about, as you have done. Perhaps in Europe that’s an easier thing to do, with one’s new home and old home (and family) being not so far apart. Anyway, a lovely read this morning! 🙂

  3. Michelle says:

    What a wonderful post, Roger. Just perfect.

  4. Mad Dog says:

    I had a date with Golborne Road last Friday, but the girl i was meeting cancelled – hopefully it will still be on this week 😉

    • I was knocked out by how excellent everything was. I used to go to the Lisboa every morning on my way to work when I had a studio in West Hampstead in the 80’s.I went there a bit in the 90’s but it sure has changed for the better.

  5. ChgoJohn says:

    No matter how you may try to paint yourself on these webpages, Roger, I bet you melt when your Granddaughter say, “Please.” You’re an old softie, at heart.
    This was a truly wonderful post, Roger, and I’m glad you were able to spend time with your family, regardless of the setting.

  6. I’m in love with Flossy.. her name, that image.. there you go, making me wish to be a Grandma! I’m too young to be one and yet now I long for the day:D How awesome that your son does this for a living, lucky young man.. and luckier still to have learned from the best!! xx

  7. It sounds as though you had the perfect taste of London – just enough before heading back somewhere simpler and quieter. It must have been great to see your son working and oh, the Middle Eastern shops, that’s what I like about visiting my son in London. For a few moments I’m envious that he can buy Algerian flat breads and Palestinian baharat spice mix just a few steps from his home, but then I remember all the other aspects of the big city that he has to put up with!

  8. Ah, to have a place where food styling seemed part of my natural decor…

  9. That was beautiful Roger, as is your family. How lovely to share a special glimpse of the man behind the lens…I think we learned a lot about you today…

  10. Wonderful post. Your granddaughter is adorable.

    How nice that your son has followed in your footsteps. I imagine the process has changed a bit since you were doing that full-time?

  11. It is a gift of living to be able to reevaluate our notions of what is, to see things differently, to evolve. Would that I could return to the town where I grew up and find something redeeming about it. Perhaps I will someday.

    London, on the other hand, I love – its nooks and crannies more than the places I’m ‘supposed’ to go.

    Your granddaughter is lovely. I can almost hear her voice in my head.

  12. Eha says:

    Thank you for sharing a story of love, past, present and ongoing . . . It is good if the journey has brought satisfaction, because ‘you can’t go back, it isn’t there’ . . . And Flossy IS absolutely adorable . . .

  13. cecilia says:

    I love those children with their wild hair and dirty faces and their mouths smacked into a yummy moue (sp) and OH I do know what you mean about meeting an old flame and that turn of your belly as you approach the door and then… oh.. hmm.. but you are so ordinary!!! Laughter!!!
    Is a de Lorean like a Hasselblad.. I don’ t know this camera.. wait I am going to google it. OH! ha ha ha ha – now I bet you are laughing at me! It is a CAR!!! ha ah ah.. what am I LIKE!? Hooting with laughter over here.. ok .. I’ll get my coat.. shutting the door after me! c

  14. Tandy says:

    Sounds all in all like a great visit 🙂

  15. Love it. I understand about London. I lived there 20 years ago and went back for a few days on my honeymoon. Threw me how much it changed. Wasn’t the same at all.

  16. Just another great post!

  17. Jeanette says:

    Fantastic!!! Thank you so much for sharing your holiday and your family! London is a fantastic city — forever changing, and yet still (mysteriously) the same. Your tales of North African markets (and ingredients) made my mouth water:-)

  18. Oh, Roger, nice to change the scenery occasionally. Glad London afforded you some pleasure, after all these years. For someone who hs lived in Covent Garden it must be a strange reunion indeed. Flossy looks wonderful, and the shoot engrossing. Thanks for this.

  19. Karen says:

    Your granddaughter is precious but of course you know that already. If I was in one of those spice shops, I think it would be hard to not want to buy lots and lots. But then reality would set in and I would remember the extra weight charges of the airlines.

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