I have to get up far too early at the moment; it’s still dark which makes it the middle of the night in my book. Java has become a bit of an early bird and launches herself at me like a little, blonde heat-seeking missile as soon as I come downstairs. I have to let her out quickly because she has work to do. She has taken to ‘rearranging’ the scruffy pile of shoes that hangs out on the doorstep, depositing them thoughtfully and poetically on the grass in front of the house. This morning she outdid herself: She took each shoe and dunked it in the river before laying it out to dry on the grass. Getting ready to leave in a rush is fun when it involves having to retrieve a pair (preferably, although I have on occasion resorted to wearing odd shoes) in my size, which is neither too soaking wet nor chewed to pieces. You might think I’d be inspired to tidy the shoes away, but no. I can’t tell her off because it causes her to develop a very bad limp and disappear for hours.
When Luc gets up I have to ‘talk him down’ with regard to whatever weird dreams he’s fallen victim to during the night. It’s asparagus season, and for some reason eating asparagus in the evening has much the same psychedelic effect on him as a large plate of shrooms. This morning he was quite distraught at how France had suffered despicable referee bias during a France/Spain football match. He was obviously thinking in terms of retribution, because he asked me lots of detailed questions about disposing of bodies in concrete, which is just the ticket when you’re eating your porridge. This is obviously my specialist subject so I was happy to provide him with particulars. A few nights ago, there was a coup d’état in Argentina, which he was called upon to fly over and sort out, taking me along as his interpreter. I’m still worrying about how that would have turned out. Thank goodness for small mercies: Hugo and Léo are far less complicated in the morning because neither of them communicates until after midday.
Watercress contains enormous quantities of vitamin K, but also vitamin C and vitamin A. It contains the minerals manganese, iron and calcium and flavonoids such as beta carotene, zeaxanthin, and lutein. It is a good source of B-complex vitamins.
Ingredients (serves 6)
4 potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 turnips, peeled and chopped
2 onions, peeled and sliced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon olive oil,
Freshly ground black pepper, sea salt,
1 teaspoon paprika
4 bunches of watercress, well rinsed and chopped
600ml organic stock
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, adding the potato, turnip, onion and garlic. Fry until translucent. Add the seasoning, watercress and the stock and simmer for about five minutes. Blend until smooth and serve with crème fraîche.