It is a bit bonkers to write up last weekend, when we're about to hit the next one. But I'm sitting in my garden, and it's one of those gorgeous late September golden sunny days. So I'm feeling that I need to capture here as many happy Chiswick times as possible.
It's my way of trying to remember that it's the small moments that make up a family life, rather than the big earth-shattering events. It's good discipline for me to remember this – I feel so angsty sometimes, worrying about the big picture (what should I do with my life? No, really do with my life. Should we move back ooop North. Should we travel the world on a family gap year, or two, or several). That I need to remember to slow down and
plant smell the roses.
So last Friday was a special day in a selfish way as it was my birthday! I was very spoilt – home made drawings from Chiswick Boy, gooey card from Chiswick Man, and lots of lovely packages, with the little treats (paperbacks, shiny new notepads begging to be filled with notes) that we don't buy ourselves enough of.
My mum was also down for the weekend. Now I need to tell you here how hideously spoilt and loved I am – because every year my mum has given me one present for every year of my life. This was cute when I was 16, but now is outrageously epic now that I'm older than 16.
There's so much wrapping paper knocking about after family birthdays that it looks like Christmas morning. And I never wane of the thrill of opening a package.
I took mum to lunch at Cote Brasserie. We'd dilly dallied and by the time we got there were in one of those famished states. “Please, please,” I begged the waiter dramatically – “Bring us a bowl of olives before we order or we'll pass out.” He smiled with good humour and the olives appeared pronto.
The acoustics in Cote are clattering – and it was chocablock full, so there was lots of noise from the other tables. But that's part of the fun of eating out isn't it? Somebody was having a 70th birthday there and that's always lovely to see a big multi-generation family out for lunch.
I love going to lunch. It's a much nicer experience than going out for dinner – much less formal, and I feel you can take so much longer over your food. I had an entire roasted camembert for my main, and a flatbread with anchovies etc on for my starter.
Mum had the eggs benedict for a starter and the steak for main.
In the evening it was the 'making a cake' – Chiswick Man, Chiswick Boy and a school friend all in the kitchen, with the sounds of Chiswick Man just about holding it together. I think there was a lot of spoon licking and dropping going on, and every so often a sheepish looking boy would come out, having been banished to the bathroom to wash their hands again.
The cake was gorgeous. We played silly musical statues, and it was lovely.
Then I'd meant to go to the Kidsorted event on the Saturday but we all felt coldy :-( so ended up mooching about the house all Saturday feeling under the weather.
But Chiswick Man fired up the BBQ in the evening and we had one of those splendid September evenings I spoke about at the beginning. September has the added advantage of getting dark a bit earlier – so we could light the nightlights and chat by candle light, with the heady scent of flowers. And the roar of traffic from the road outside. That's the glorious mix of London for you.
What's on the cards for you this weekend? I'm looking forward to the Devonshire Road Street Party. And I'm hoping to pop in to the Chiswick Book Festival. Have a good one :-)
PS This weekend of course we'll still be praying and hoping that Alice is found safe and well. #findalice