Friday, 31 May 2013

The Month of May

May started with glorious blue skies, blossom appearing on the apple tree in our garden, green shoots appearing everywhere, wearing shoes without socks.
Painted toe nails - one of the advantages of being 30+ weeks pregnant is that I have to have a pedicure, there is no way I can reach my toes to paint them!
A delightful christening of godchild number six and catching up with dear friends.
Mother and Pops coming up for the day. First time cooking summer food, pottering in the garden together and enjoying the sunshine.
My last week at work before maternity leave - all happening at just the right time. The final day, cards from different classes and being sung to by the different classes in my team. Receiving some lovely gifts, including a nappy cake and then to Canary Wharf for pizza. Home very tired.
Off to Twin and the Blessings for a lovely day. A BBQ in the garden and practising putting on a baby sling with a doll.
Cooking Warmth the meal I cooked on the weekend we became engaged as a celebration for first day of maternity leave.
Mother and Pops coming up for what should have been a day of gardening, but the persistent rain meant we sorted out the linen for TT.
Meeting up with a dear friend for lunch at Peter Jones and then on to try to get ahead by buying cards and gifts for all the summer birthdays.
Days having a gentle rhythm of reading, eating, napping, preparing for TT, pottering in the garden, doing small jobs.
A very belated birthday pamper day with Twin and Mother at Eastwell Manor. So lovely to have a facial, laze in the rest room, float in the deserted pool, have a foot massage, chat and catch up.
Off into town for friend's birthday meal at Bambou. I was determined to stay for supper and not just the drinks part. This will probably be the last time we go out on a Saturday night together with no babysitter.
Meeting up with new NCT friends for lunch at The Station, then after a brief afternoon nap out to Dalys Wine Bar to catch up with old friends.
A very wet day in Sloane Square, hoping to enjoy looking at Chelsea in Bloom shop windows, instead hiding in Patisserie Valerie with a dear friend and then hopping to The Saatchi Gallery and stumbling across Festival des Metiers a Hermes exhibition.
A final pre baby hair cut and lunch with Mama and Papa Warmth.
Good friends for a takeaway curry - we've finally found a good local takeaway Indian.
Pops' 70th birthday celebrations. Nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews, aunts and immediate family. Thirty in all and the sun shone so magnificently that we spent the whole day outside, suntan lotions necessary.
A lovely Bank Holiday Monday - eating supper outside. Then the next day it rained and rained...
Quickly, or as quickly as I move at the moment, popping to Lambs Conduit Street to Persephone to buy Twin's birthday gift and then deciding I did have time to pop in Ben Penreath, even though I was then late meeting up with dear old colleagues at our favourite restaurant The National Portrait Gallery Restaurant. Lovely to see the views of London in daylight.

Finally finished Restoration by Rose Tremain - quite unlike her other books I've read.  It was a long slow slog. Speeded through Cocktails under the tree of forgetfulness by Alexandra Fuller and The Rain before it Falls by Jonathon Coe. Baked this lemon drizzle cake for NCT ladies day, Hummingbird's Peanut butter and chocolate biscuits. A Ricotta and Lemon Cake, to use up left over ricotta, for Twin and Blessings.

The last day in May Twin and the blessings up and this also means the last month without a bundle of baby in our lives...

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

glowed with flowers

Our final Jane Eyre floral spring quote.

'that bright May shone unclouded over the bright hills and beautiful woodland out of doors. Its garden, too, glowed with flowers: hollyhocks had sprung up tall as trees, lilies had opened, tulips and roses were in bloom; the borders of the little beds were gay with pink thrift and crimson double daisies; the sweetbriars gave out, morning and evening, their scent of spice and apples;' Charlotte Bronte Jane Eyre
I've the first bud creeping on my roses and look forward to a summer of roses and sweet peas.

Friday, 24 May 2013

muffins and meringues

Even without the arrival of TT this summer is a summer of parties. It starts this weekend celebrating Pops' 70th, then at some point TT will arrive, at the end of June Mama and Papa Warmth celebrate their Golden Wedding Anniversary and then the end of July is Granny Warmth's 90th. In between all these large parties are lots of birthdays.

''...Masked parties, Savage parties, Victorian parties, Greek parties, Wild West parties, Russian parties, Circus parties, parties where one had to dress as somebody else, almost naked parties in St. John's Wood, parties in flats and studios and houses and ships and hotels and nightclubs, in windmills and swimming-baths, tea parties at school where one ate muffins and meringues and tinned crab, parties at Oxford where one drank dark brown sherry and smoked Turkish cigarettes, dull dances in London and comic dances in Scotland and disgusting dances in Paris...' Evelyn Waugh Vile Bodies

What's your favourite kind of party?

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

breathing scents of roses

I've been having such an enjoyable potter in the garden last week and over the weekend. The roses aren't out yet but the buds are there and on Sunday the sky was glorious. I'm excited for the summer ahead.

'The garden was peaceful, breathing scents of roses and stocks. The sky was glorious as if a flight of angels had just passed over, sweeping wings of gold from end to end.' Dorothy Whipple Someone at a distance

How is your garden?

Friday, 17 May 2013

the friendship formed

As our due date gets closer we wonder what sex TT will be, who TT will look like, what their and our hopes and fears will be together.

'... she learned to know him, they learned to know each other, and she discovered with great delight that one does not love one's children just because they are one's children but because of the friendship formed while raising them.' Gabriel Garcia Marrquez Love in the Time of Cholera


Wednesday, 15 May 2013

pink and mauve wildflowers

I think we could safely say we're in late spring, or even early summer, so this passage about Russia in late spring 1910 is timely.

Never had nature been so flamboyant; its vibrant freshness was like a satin-lined jewel box containing a precious stone corroded from within by a black chancre. Copses of beech with silvery trunks and tender green foliage engulfed dilapidated manor houses with roofs collapsing on abandoned rooms and broken windows, shutters torn asunder. The wheat, which was just beginning to turn golden, intermingled with the tall grasses of the steppes and with pink and mauve wildflowers, undulating around half-rotted isbas that crumbled on the edge of the muddy pools below, above which loomed ancient willow trees whose branches dangled into the water, filled with brambles that no one bothered to prune.' Elisabeth Gille Mirador


I love the order and chaos of nature, and thinking about our garden even though it had  been neglected for at least one summer the roses still bloomed, the hydrangeas revealed, the apple tree blossomed and produced fruit nature keeps going it seems.. No matter what else is going on around.

Monday, 13 May 2013

a goodly smell

Today is the first day of my maternity leave, and I'm looking forward to leisurely delicious breakfasts. No more branflakes at 6.30am.

'The breakfast had a goodly smell to it. There were croissants, and two fresh rolls, and twists of very yellow butter, and a jar of honey, and a steaming pot of coffee. There was also a new packet of Toblerone chocolate and three sucettes on sticks, all of them different colours. He ate all the sucettes and half the Toblerone, before he started on his breakfast.' Daphne Du Maurier The Parasites


Thursday, 9 May 2013

hoping soul

So, our due date is one calender month from today....

'The exact science of one molecule transformed into another - that Mabel could not explain, but then again she could not explain how a foetus formed in the womb, cells becoming beating heart and hoping soul.' Eowyn Ivey The snow child


Tuesday, 7 May 2013

subsequent eccentricities

'She wore green sandals, which fact in itself is enough to explain any of the subsequent eccentricities in her conduct. Green as a Cornish sea they were, flat as a Cornish beach at low tide, and decorated on the toes with a chaste cut out design.' Stella Gibbons A young man in rags from Christmas at Cold Comfort Farm

Oh to be walking along a Cornish beach with the sand between my toes today...

Friday, 3 May 2013

April advanced to May

I know we're only three days in but so far May has been glorious. The gardens are coming alive, blossom is everywhere, the skies are blue and there is sunshine. Long may it continue.

'April advanced to May - a bright serene May it was; days of blue sky, placid sunshine, and soft western or southern gales filled up its duration. And now vegetation matured with vigour; Lowood shook loose its tresses, it became all green, all flowers;its great elm, ash, and oak skeletons were restored to to majestic life; woodland plants sprang up profusely in its recesses; unnumbered varieties of moss filled its hollows, and it made a strange ground-sunshine out of the wealth of its wild primrose plants; I have seen their pale gold gleam in overshadowed spots like scatterings of the sweetest lustre. All this I enjoyed often and fully, free, unwatched, and almost alone;' Charlotte Bronte Jane Eyre


Here's wishing you wherever you live a bright serene May