The Little Prince
"If someone loves a flower, of which just one single blossom grows in all the millions and millions of stars, it is enough to make him happy just to look at the stars. He can say to himself: 'Somewhere, my flower is there …'"
It's not easy to write about The Little Prince without slipping into cliché. Beloved by so many, the tale of a stranded pilot and the young prince who has fallen to earth from a tiny asteroid, is referenced so often that it's easy to forget or dismiss its charms.
Reading the book again recently with a child who has never read it before, all associations - and fear of cliché - fall away. Never have Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's watercolour illustrations seemed so sweet, nor the tale's philosophical musings so nuanced. Could this be the greatest love story? That of a small prince and his flower? Many an eight year old with tears (and stars) in their eyes, might argue its case.
At one point in the 1975 documentary portrait of 'Little Edie' and 'Big Edie' Beale by the Maysles brothers, 'Little Edie' describes dropping a favourite scarf off the balcony into the sea of green leaves below, and how she'll never get it back. This sense of loss, of precious things gone forever, clings a little as you watch Grey Gardens. The Beales' house, set as it is in a sort of overgrown fairytale forest, is full of emotion, echoing throughout, but theirs is a strange enchantment and the pervading sense is not one of sadness. Hypnotic and beautiful, the film is an intensely human, dreamlike study of a mother and daughter who have decided to retreat from everyday life.
For more Grey Gardens watch the Maysles' companion piece The Beales of Grey Gardens, and the recently released That Summer, directed by Göran Hugo Olsson.
La Grotta Ices
For a couple of years now a visit to food destination Spa Terminus, an inauspicious row of railway arches in Bermondsey, has been a Saturday morning ritual for those looking for high quality, seasonal produce to fill their cupboards for the week ahead.
There, outside fruit and veg purveyors Punterelle & Co, you'll often find Kitty Travers scooping her fresh, ripe fruit ice creams and sorbets out of the back of the La Grotta Ices Piaggo van. With flavours such as Nectarine and Lemon Verbana, Rhubarb and Angelica, and Kumquat Custard, Kitty's flavour pairings are instant favourites, even as you surreptitiously google 'what is angelica?' whilst waiting in the queue. Choose between a cone, tub or delicate choc ice, or, for those who can't stop thinking about making the trip to Caffè Sicilia Noto after watching the Corrado Assenza episode of Netflix's most recent series of Chef's Table, a scoop of Kitty's granita in a freshly baked Little Bread Pedlar brioche bun might just hit the spot.
Can't make it to Bermondsey? Find tubs at Leila's Shop, General Store and E5 Bakehouse or make your own at home with the new La Grotta Ices recipe book.