Thank you for indulging my weekend related whingeing last week. I was determined that this one would be as weekend-y as possible, as relaxing and enjoyable as it could be, and it was a beauty. If only all Saturdays and Sundays could be this way.
Friday night started with games of Uno in front of the fire when the kids were in their pyjamas. We like Uno. Bella is mercilessly competitive and takes such delight in beating people, it is a little unnerving to be honest.
Then a tv dinner (spicy pork and broccoli with noodles) and a glass of wine once the kids were in bed.
On Saturday I had arranged long ago to meet up with a dear friend from Leeds in London for the day. It was really lovely. We didn't rush around but just kind of wandered and went where our feet took us. I carried my big camera around in my handbag all day but forgot to use it, taking photos on my phone instead.
|Top from left to right: St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, The British Library exterior and interior.|
Bottom from left to right: The Brunswick Centre, "Tokens" on a pavement in Bloomsbury*, A Routemaster.
After meeting for food in Kings Cross we hopped over the road to the British Library and spent a while looking at the exhibitions inside, then strolled around Bloomsbury, calling into shops and cafes as the mood took us. We chatted a lot and spent a really long time lingering in bookshops, both the one at The British Library and the big Waterstones on Gower Street. I think that may have been the highlight of my day, actually, the bookshop lingering. I don't spend nearly as much time in them as I used to and it was so enjoyable just browsing, picking books up, reading the back, putting them down, admiring the displays, flitting from one shelf to the next, stroking the book jackets, gathering up a small pile in my arms. Not going anywhere near the childrens' section. Heaven.
This morning we went out for breakfast. I had planned it this way - even booking a table for 9am! - otherwise I knew it just would not happen. I love going out for breakfast, I really do, something about it just tickles me so much. Maybe because it's not really a very British thing to do, or it wasn't when I was growing up. We went to a popular, friendly cafe in Southsea called The Tenth Hole.
Angus worked his way through a plate of cinnamon French Toast which was enough for two adults and so gooey and light it was like eating a doughnut.
Then out into the cold for bike rides, a visit to the park and a walk along the seafront.
We saw blossom and birds and smiling families out and about with their bikes or scooters and the tiniest bit of yarn bombing on a tree branch - just things that make a person happy.
(Ok, look, I wont lie - on the way home we did have to stop off at the supermarket to do the weekly shop. Sorry to shatter the illusion. But it didn't take long and the kids were good and I was still floating after my morning out so it didn't feel so bad.)
This afternoon we pottered around the house. I sat down with a book, a cup of tea and one of the macarons I bought yesterday in London and I ate it on my own, not offering the box to anyone else. The rest of the afternoon involved family and food, ending in a big Sunday night roast beef dinner and lemon surprise pudding. I haven't done the ironing and I haven't supervised homework and the world hasn't ended yet.
I feel I should mention my diet here. It's been going tremendously well, right up until 6 pm on Friday night. I'll be back on it tomorrow. Weekends like this are for cake and wine.
* The small metal fish, pictured above, is part of a series of metal "tokens" embedded into the pavement of Marchmont Street in Bloomsbury by artist John Aldus. They are replicas of small items (coins, trinkets etc) that mothers would leave with their babies at the Foundling Hospital in Bloomsbury, in the hope that when they were (rarely) reunited with their child in better times, the token would enable mother to identify child. You can view the original tokens at the nearby Foundling Museum. If you ever find yourself in the area do take a moment to look down at the pavement and notice the tokens, they are beautiful in their simplicity and incredibly moving.