Yesterday after a little miscommunication I caught up with two very special friends, people who I’ve known their whole lives on their very first overseas adventure.
Taking them from Tower Bridge along the Thames past Globe theatre, over the Millennium bridge that stands outside the Tate with them sitting on St Paul’s steps for a photo before returning to the pathway cut alongside the river we made our way to Southbank, underneath the London eye then across Westminster Bridge to hear the chime of Big Ben before walking towards Charring Cross and standing in Trafalgar Square with a lot of other people who had only hours earlier protested for the Fifth of November.
We ended up finishing with drinks and dessert and soon I was saying goodby and on my way navigating the streets home in the icy temperatures of the early morning hours with birds chirping. Our night spent walking mainly to give them a glimpse of as much London as we could fit into the few precious hours they had before going on their way to their next destination with fireworks banging in the clear evening air somewhere out of sight.
Having now had the chance to catch up with a handful of people who I knew back in my homeland has been one of the biggest surprises of coming here. Seeing them again and having our connection be just as bold with honesty and laughter making it feel very unreal that 1) We’re seeing each other here, and 2) Surely, it hasn’t been a year-and-a-half since we last saw each other? has made this journey all the more worth it.
Playing a tour guide and a tourist in one hand while navigating the tube system and making memories are all apart of travel and while I don’t have a job with so much time to spare it is the greatest magic to get to explore with wide new eyes a place that can so easily be taken for granted when you live, breath and work in a place.
With a lot of sweets lately it was nice to make this salad of perfectly crispy cabbage and croutons with zucchini draped around the dish finished with beans that’ll keep you full and a dressing so easy you could make it with your eyes closed (there is a blender involved so this is not a challenge).
Zucchini Bean Salad
2 slices ciabatta
1 garlic clove, peeled and halved
1 large zucchini, ends removed and peeled
1/3 small red cabbage, finely sliced
1 can cannellini beans, drained
1/4 cup olive oil
Handful fresh mint leaves
Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350F.
Spread the garlic over the ciabatta and brush a little olive oil over the top. Slice a tiny piece of garlic and sprinkle over the bread. Place in the oven with the remaining garlic clove on the side.
Bake for 5 minutes or until lightly golden and toasted. Remove and allow to cool.
Meanwhile, combine the zucchini, red cabbage, cannellini beans and avocado together.
Place the garlic clove, olive oil and mint leaves in a blender and combine.
Finish with the dressing and serve immediately.