Friday, 25 March 2011

Brunching and Blue Skies

The first week M is back he is both ill and jet-lagged. He sleeps and sleeps, blinds drawn, waking occasionally to murmur incoherently. It is like having a shiny new toy that I am not allowed to play with. By Friday evening he is feeling well enough to get up, eat a bowl of spaghetti, watch a DVD.

Saturday he is back to his usual self, and we rise early, jet-lag still present, head to the Southbank in the sunshine. Breakfast at Canteen, sunlight streaming in through the large glass windows, orange juice freshly squeezed, egg yolks golden. We wander by the river, aimlessly, stumble upon a practice session for a free running competition at the National Theatre. Lunch is pea soup, oatcakes, cheese from the Cheese and Wine festival at the Southbank earlier. M goes to watch the rugby, I potter about in the sunshine, happy with the light, the gentle warmth.

Later we meet, when it is dark, wind through the streets of Soho to Yalla Yalla, end up at the larger, newer branch near Oxford Circus, eat smoky Baba Ghanoush with chewy pitta bread, salty pickles from tiny bowls, crunchy Fattoush, feta filled Samboussek. It was delicious, I would recommend.

Sunday morning, jet-lag again, we journey across to Columbia Road flower market, take photographs, buy flowers, anemones, ranunculus, brown paper wrapped. Eat brunch at The Book Club, fat buttermilk pancakes, fruit, syrup. Come home and bake for a work bake sale, brownies, cupcakes, cookies, then invite Anna over for tea because the flowers bought earlier seem too beautiful to languish in the living room alone, they need us to sit around them, with a plate of warm cookies and mugs of tea, playing catch up as their petals open.

A slow, quiet weekend all things considered, but I am grateful that M is back, glad the sun is shining. Glad that we are round again to Friday too - hope you all have a lovely weekend chickpeas!

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Birthday Tea

Sunday 6th March. A birthday afternoon tea. Cucumber sandwiches, cut into fingers, no crust. Egg and cress too. Scones, clotted cream, damson jam, strawberry jam, made with fruit from the garden last summer. Chocolate cupcakes, lemon drizzle, blondies made by a WI friend. Birthday cake, made and iced by Mum, sponge, buttercream, jam, thick white icing, nostalgia on a plate.

Tea, lots of it.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Million Women Rise

Saturday 5th March, Million Women Rise March against violence against women. Speakers corner to Trafalgar Square, our group of Women's Institute girls, homemade banners, flowered headbands, garlands. Shouting, marching, chanting, whistle blowing, dancing to the samba band, celebrating women in advance of the centenary of International Women's Day.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Playing catch up

I am still behind on posts, still behind on catching up with all of your lives. But hopefully going to get things up over the next few days.

M came back today, he is sleeping, hair shower-damp on the pillow, jet-lagged, exhausted, as I type. His parents are on a flight back now too. I am so relieved, and happy that he is back, but it is bittersweet because of the circumstances that have led to his return to London, the devastation and uncertainty that is still out there for so many, the awareness of how suddenly this fragile world can be changed.

Sunday, 13 March 2011


Friday night, in a crowded restaurant, my phone starts buzzing on the table beside me. It is M; he and his parents, who hare in Japan visiting him, are safe. I hadn't been overly worried, I had kept my eye on the live blogs all day Friday, known that communications were down and that he was unlikely to be in touch immediately, was pretty sure their travel itinerary wasn't taking them North. But still, but still, when he called, the relief was there.

I know hundreds, thousands, of others haven't been that lucky, and so, my thoughts are with you.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

100th Anniversary

Happy International Women's Day!

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Cambridge: Colleges and Crocuses

Lovelies, I am so behind in the blog world. On reading, on posting. I am on a fortnight cover placement for work, loving it, but much busier. So, this post is about two weekends ago, the last one in February, not the one just gone.

Cambridge with the family for my grandma's birthday weekend. A hotel with soft double beds, fluffy white dressing gowns and a feast of a breakfast. Roses, freesias, carrot cupcakes. Never Let Me Go at the Arts Picturehouse, S and I, as the final credits rolled, tears streaming down our faces, laughing at our silliness. Thai for dinner, the car headlights glinting across the other side of Parker's Piece. Charity shop whizz rounds and vintage clothes shopping. Catching up with still studying (medic) friends. A walk on The Backs Sunday morning, sky blue, sun bright, air cold. Crocuses, catkins, the river. Back via the market, flowers wrapped in brown paper.

Feeling homesick as I walked back to the train station, weekend over, homesick for a place that hasn't been my home for over two years now.