Sunday, 6 March 2016

A Proper Weekend


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. 


36 comments:

Anonymous said...

You had a lovely weekend without the heavy rain we had here.I´m sure it gave you a lot of energy for the week!
Irune

Christina said...

Your weekend sounds like total bliss. Wishing you a stress free lovely week. x

Michelle said...

What a lovely, wonderful weekend! How sad and sweet are the tokens. We are having a nice rainy day today (actually, it's even hailing now!), after a bright sunny day yesterday. I'm glad you got to enjoy yourself this weekend!

Mereknits said...

Your weekend sounds wonderful, family, friends and breakfast out! That is my favorite meal to go out for, yum!
Have a great week,
Meredith

Jennifer said...

I'm really glad you finally had the kind of weekend you've been wanting. It sounds like everyone had a wonderful time. I changed three beds today, so I'm going to say that balances out all the time I spent crocheting, baking and looking out the window at my flowering trees. You should tell yourself something similar. :)

VeggieMummy said...

Sounds like a fantastic weekend - bookshops, bike rides, seafront walks and some yummy meals - I'm very envious. I remember our Uno phase - I really must dig it out again as we all really enjoyed it. Have a great week and here's to more fun weekends. xx

Librarian said...

A wonderful, weekendy weekend indeed! Mine was pretty good, too; I've left the ironing for today, which isn't a problem because I am working from home today so it won't be a problem to take half an hour out for that.

I imagine the bike ride in the cold was very well fuelled by your great breakfasts :-)

Thank you for telling us about the tokens. How very sad, and how desperate a mother must be to give up her baby.

Vintage Sheet Addict said...

Perfect Gillian...I'm feeling the need for a London visit soon, grown ups only, preferably female grown ups only! ;) xxx

Rubyred said...

What a fab weekend! So sad and moving about the tokens!

driftwood said...

sounds like a wonderful weekend indeed. I didn't do any ironing all weekend either, which backfired a little when I had to iron school uniform at 7.30 this morning, but I enjoyed the weekend so much for not doing it x

Sharon - creativity and family said...

What a lovely weekend. I had never heard about the tokens before but I have just looked it up, what a hard thing it must have been for those mothers to do. I love cinnamon toast, I have also had french toast with bacon and maple syrup and wow, that is amazing!!

Louise said...

What a wonderful weekend :)

Cecily Graham said...

I so enjoyed reading this - what a lovely weekend.

Wainwright and Wright.Co said...

Sounds a perfect weekend. Sometimes you do just have to put all "life stuff" such as ironing, cleaning etc to one side and enjoy the best bits of life, time spent with family and friends. Sometimes we go to Nero's for an early coffee and croissant, we normally go on market day when we can watch the market come to life and we love it! Have a good week!

Anonymous said...

Perfect, perfect, perfect :-) My daughter is an Uno-fiend too. I'm impressed you were all up, dressed and out in time for breakfast by 9am. My teenage boys were still in bed at 11... Sam x

Jo said...

You and me? we could be great mates! We played Uno last night between dinner and waiting for my impossibly rock hard homemade icecream to melt a little. We played outside too, did a little gardening, went to a craft club meet up with the girls and Bloke did bloke things like painting doors and digging drainage channels at dads farm! I made a roast pork dinner on Sunday and everyone said my crackling was the best..It is what weekends are made of. Love to you Gillian. Jo x

Gina said...

Your weekend sounds blissful. Despite having visited the Foundling museum I never knew about the tokens in the pavement.

Ksunshine52 said...

Sounds like a wonderful weekend. Going out to breakfast is one of my favorite things to do as well. And it is a very American thing to do!

Leanne Paxton said...

Hey Gillian,
Those weekends are precious indeed. I'm well impressed that you were up, dressed, out and seated for breakfast by nine.
Leanne xx

Elizabeth said...

Thank you for the information about the fish. I had trouble getting past the picture of it in the ground as I tried to figure out what it was about...but I finally did move on and finish reading your wonderful post :)

Sarah said...

Did you visit the Foundling museum. It is the saddest place. That said your weekend sounds fabulous - the perfect balance which is actually quite difficult to achieve. My husband cooks the best Full English breakfasts and he roasted pork with all the trimmings last night. We don't often have a Sunday roast nowadays so it felt like a special occasion.

Gracie Saylor said...

Well done! :) I enjoyed the report on your weekend, and am especially touched by the fish story, Gillian. May your work week flow along beautifully! xx

Clare said...

Sounds like a wonderful weekend
Clare x

Susan Smith said...

Sounds like a lovely weekend and it was Mother's Day for you, wasn't it? I've not had breakfast out for many years. Seems like Spring is on it's way as the Chaenomeles is very pretty, although no green on the trees where Bella is riding her bike. Have a good week and take care.

Jo@awholeplotoflove said...

It does sound sound like a perfectly blissful weekend xx

CJ said...

What a fabulous weekend, and very well deserved. I absolutely love bookshop lingering as well, that would have been my favourite bit, that and the outside stuff on Sunday. Couldn't be more perfect. CJ xx

Jan Doling said...

Sounds like a great weekend. I echo your thoughts that it would be great if every weekend could be like this last one, we were down in Somerset for the weekend and had a fantastic time. Next weekend it will be back to the usual grind. xx

Lisa said...

I love Southsea. Your breakfast looks like a wonderful way to start Sunday.
And a grown up trip to London is a rare treat to be enjoyed to the max.
Lisa x

mrsrobinson said...

Looks like a dreamy weekend!

Jacqueline said...

Your weekend sound wonderful and I find when it's that good you don't mind stopping to do a little shopping for essentials. After all, life could become quite hellish throughout the following week without something to eat.

KirstenLN said...

There's nothing as dissapointing as a weekend that doesn't feel like one! And nothing as wonderful as a true weekend!!!
I actually make our "dinner plan" for the week and do the grocery shopping either Thursday og Friday in order to improve the chances of getting aproper weekend.
Your weekend sounds really great :-)

Amanda Graham said...

What a lovely weekend. I loved reading about it all. I love big breakfasts out too, although like you, I would definitely have to make an effort and book somewhere :) The foundling tokens story is so sad but I'm glad you shared it :) x

Col | Hello Olive Designs said...

Sounds like a great weekend! My eldest son is competitive too but I have to admit that I am too :-) x

FAST SOS said...

What a Weekend! thanks to you I am now craving macarons lol

Jacqui Wise said...

Sounds like a lovely weekend and I wouldn't have shared those macarons either! Hope you got back on your diet okay. It doesn't hurt to take a short break though. Hope this weekend is a good one too.

Isabelle Hulm said...

I have a soft spot for cafes: The Tenth Hole looks lovely, as do those macarons :-)