I haven't found the words I need to express the horror of the emotions we're all feeling here in London about the Grenfell Tower tragedy. It does symbolise, to the ultimate degree, a lot of what is wrong in the UK's social set-up today, but I don't think I can add anything sensible to the argument or assessment or comfort. Even consoling music feels inappropriate at the moment.
Life has to go on, so I'm simply going to offer you my own recipe for a refreshing drink on a very hot afternoon.
JDCMB Summer Cooler
Ingredients (to serve 4):
Fresh mint leaves
Petals of 1 smallish pink rose
2 pink grapefruit
Put the mint leaves and rose petals in a teapot and pour on boiling water. Leave to steep. Squeeze the grapefruit and strain the juice into a jug (unless you like "bits", in which case don't strain it). When the mint and rose tea has cooled, mix it with the juice - test the flavour until the balance of quantities is as you like. Pour into glasses and sweeten with a soupçon of vanilla paste (I use about a 1/4 teaspoon per glass). You could use honey instead if you prefer more sweetness and less vanilla. Pile in some ice. Garnish with a spring of fresh mint and a few rose petals.
If you fancy an alcoholic version, add a splash of Pimms. Alternatively - well, I haven't yet tried adding prosecco, but one suspects that would be unlikely to do any damage to it.
Enjoy in the sunshine. Accompany with fresh summery music such as Ravel's G major piano concerto, Fauré's Ballade - or the final, tonight, of the Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, which promises to be very exciting indeed.
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