Sunday, 25 July 2010

On breaking fast and making roots

I have always admired nomads. Those wondrous soles, with no ties or attachments, who glide through the world with a quiet excitement in their eye and melancholy in their heart. But I am not one of them. I am one of us, one of you. Gliding feels like falling down most of the time to me, despite of its dream-like appeal. I have lately started to lay down roots, making out my own territory.

My parents had travelled thousands of miles from warm and boisterous Ukraine to cool and composed Estonia, on a whim, because they were painfully drawn to the 'otherness' of Tallinn - its cobbled streets, understated beauty of its architecture and unparalleled in communism cafe culture. I did the same, all those years ago, on a really cold November day, I packed up and went - spontaneity doesn't really describe what happened - only to find myself a dozen years later, here, perching on a little pretty patio; savouring the delights from lands far away, as if an observer, watching my roots slowly hushing down..

My little Eden (to be)

We have bought a place - an adorable and slightly wanky flat with a shy little garden that has its own mini Cyprus tree (perhaps I subconsciously got drawn to this place because of all the years I spent in Crimea adoring these giant pointy trees). I have never had a garden before and so got terribly paranoid about the loudly speaking neighbours next door, booming music coming from another house, crows doing their crowing business too noisily too early in the morning. A princess sleeping on a little pea, what can I say...

Breakfast of local goodies

But it did get better the morning that I opened my garden doors, quite early in the morning - everyone around us still seemed asleep - brought a big mug of milky coffee with me and sat down on the steps, just as I was, wearing an oversized man's shirt and clutching my Guardian (which has became 'mine' over the years of living with J...funny how those delicate paws of roots get working...).

The area where we live is full of Greek, Turkish and Eastern-European shops (and they will certainly be a theme of many more of my future posts), and so my brunch that morning was an homage, a toast, to all those people who, just like me, packed up their bags and moved.

Grilled halloumi cheese
Toasted French sourdough bread
Chickpeas with parsley, lemon and Cyprus olive oil
Mixed salad of overgrown tomatoes, cucumbers, dill and parlsey
A few lovingly hot peppers Aci Biber

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