Summer is racing through...I know I won't catch up with it now. Long days of snoozing and reading were de rigueur in India and now I am working hard and planning for my impending trip to China. I think it's going to be rainy season when I am there.
I really have no idea what to expect.
I think I may love it.
But first I am submerged in a great project in a wonderful school, spending my days with gorgeous bright sparky kids. Double gated securely in the middle of an Essex estate. I am having the time of my life. This is real. Real life. Real lives. Children with no precociousness and grubby shirts. I only see smiles and love, all day long. Kids and teachers. I could skip around the playground. And probably will at the end of term. I feel like the Pied Piper some days with straggles of little jumping Jacks and Jills following me to our studio.
I had such a strange moment this weekend, I came face to face with someone I really admire and completely lost all my speech faculties and felt such an idiot on reflection. The person in question was Jamie Oliver, a famous UK chef who has done so much work to change the way we eat here and made some very admirable efforts towards social change too. I got introduced to him at Feastival which was a great little festival set up by JO, lots of food and music on Clapham Common on a sunny day. If it is on next year, then please go if you are in the UK. Highly recommended. Friendly and interesting and 100% of the profits go to charity. I was there as a guest and very nice it was too.
As the evening came to an end I found myself being introduced to J.O himself and having swigged a couple of cocktails I had been swaggering and bragging about what I would say to him if I got to meet him.
After an introduction I warmly shook his hand and said Jamie, I'd like to thank you for three things, Red Thai Curry with Jasmine Rice in the 30 Minute Cookbook, School Dinners and your Ultimate Christmas Gravy. I also told him about the amazing project I am working on in schools and how I loved the School Dinners campaign and how it joins up to similar practises I share with my own students. Oh we had a proper tete a tete.
In My Dreams.
After being introduced I stood there racking my brains as to how to start a convo without sounding like an idiot, a simpering old woman or a crazy fan. My mouth opened and closed and Jamie, the gentleman that he is, smiled encouragingly and dear reader. I failed. So, on he moved without a backwards glance at what could have been the beginning of a lifelong collaboration in improving the lives of children and my culinary skills.
Can you hear that thwacking sound? That's me, kicking myself.
Jamie, I came across as an idiot with a grin. I am sorry. Can we try again?