Thursday, March 19, 2009


The sun was still high-ish in the sky as Dawn drove me out of the airport parking lot and into the city 36 hours ago, amazing because it was already 7 o'clock.   Toronto glowed a little in the late afternoon light, the snow all melted, and people out in the streets with smiles on their faces, welcoming the warmer weather at last.

Spring is such a time of hope.  I feel grateful to be back here safely and easily (courtesy a great Air Canada direct flight from HongKong).  As Tashi wrote in the comment below my last post, the guys had cleaned the house in the days before I got back, and it was welcoming and airy, with Ian's great version of beef stew simmering and a fresh pot of rice made.  What a lovely welcome!  

The other part of getting back is walking into the office to the greetings (silent but nonetheless demanding!) of piles of mail, mostly bank statements and bills.  Dom did a great job of sorting mail and taking care of immediate bills, but I had a hard time making myself even go into the office, let alone open it all, look at it, and deal with it.  The weather was so great yesterday, my first day back, that I could only make myself take on the mail in the evening, when outdoor temptations were over.  Now it's done.  No catastrophes to report.

And good news: Ann Bramson, our beloved editor at Artisan, has sent us a  contract for a food-focussed book about Burma.  Still have to give it a close read, but I'm so happy to have it here waiting.  It's for very little money, and that's hard, but realistically it's also part of this meltdown era we are living in.  And somehow the smaller money takes a kind of pressure off, so that hopefuly we can feel lighter on our feet as we work on it.

Still waiting to hear if Anne Collins at Random House will also give us a contract for it. 

Meantime, of course, apart from the sleeveless T-shirt weather yesterday, the other lovely thing was to see early spring flowers out here and there, and garlic chives poking up in our small back garden.  I confess to having pinched off a few to sprinkle on my morning rice yesterday, a way of celebrating green and spring and the renewal of life generally.  I topped it of course with a fried egg, more new life!

That reminds me, anyone who lives near a Persian/Iranian grocery should make a point of going right away to see if they have any special Nou-Roz (new year festival, celebrated around the spring equinox) treats for sale, fresh wheat grass or its juice, for example, as well as sweets and fresh herbs.  Check the Flatbreads book, or Seductions of Rice, for recipe ideas...

Now I'll stop rambling to you and try to get back to the rest of my return-home chores (figuring out how to organise and tidy up my digital photos, for example - yikes! - it's intimidating, all the new skills and organizational decisions that lie ahead).  And yes, I'll go on spending as much time as possible in the good spring air and lovely sharp light of March in Toronto.

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