After the perks of two working weeks ago - posh dinners et al - the weeks since have been a bit of a beige blur, punctuated by lovely, albeit frustratingly brief, weekends.
The weekend before last was a long one for me. I took the Friday off and spent the day lunching with Tor and her fabulous pal May and getting a brilliant paint job on la toes on d'Arblay St. Before heading off for a massage. And then reconvening with the girls for a big glass of prosecco. It was a lovely, lovely day.
|Zarina Bhimji, Shadows and Disturbances, 2007|
|Zarina Bhimji, Memories Were Trapped Inside the Asphalt, 1998-2003|
|Zarina Bhimji, No Border Crossing, 2001-2006|
|Zarina Bhimji, Illegal Sleep, 2007|
The Observer Good Food Guide rates it as one of the best Sunday lunches and apparently Kate Winslet held her (first) wedding reception here. It's not hard to understand why, with it's quirky, crooked charm. We didn't have a booking - the fact that we had to park in the "Overflow Carpark" (and very nearly in the "Muddy Field Carpark") suggested it might be a stretch to get a table.
A table indoors would have meant a three hour wait it transpired - but a table in the garden, in the sunshine, under the gas heater under a beautiful blue sky - that was no problem. We certainly didn't suffer for the cold or for a lack of attention. And the meal was beyond delightful. Mozzarella and mushroom risotto balls, the pinkest, most exquisite meat and warm chocolate and banana cake. All washed down with a big glass of wine. It was so civilised.
Getting back into our little car we retreated to Henley and strolled along the river, willing winter to just be finished already so we can get started on Spring.
while Saturday was a trip to the cinema in Leicester Square. Sunday I had a bit of a meltdown. Not enough alone time, no down time, no headspace, long weeks, longer commutes and a huge case of the guilts about how my slightly psychotic behaviour was impacting on my not-quite-long-but-still-suffering husband. Understanding my state of distress with breath-taking, almost frustrating, simplicity, Lovely Boy took himself off for the afternoon for some Alone Man Time while I went for a long emo-esque walk in the rain along the Thames before sitting in the house and enjoying, nay, loving, the quiet and the space to do..... absolutely nothing.
It's funny how headspace can manifest itself in the need for physical space and I've realised that until we're back in Sydney, where space is in abundance, I'm going to have to find my own space in some form or another regularly to keep me sane. I'm planning to get back in the pool in the first instance and be grateful for my patient understanding husband in the second. Though he does get the house to himself for a couple of hours every evening before I get home so he does ok......
|Andy Goldsworthy-esque trash |
line on the receding Thames tide...
We finally finished our thank you cards, we did loads of washing and yesterday we moseyed up to the River Cafe to meet Tor and her hungry husband for a cheeky limoncello and some ice cream AND some totally illicit, totally thrilling Gwyneth Paltrow spotting. She was lovely and it was so surreal to walk right past her as she chatted easily to the friends of her children in the sunshine. It was like seeing life from another planet up close. Another planet that technically you understand is out there but had never seen tangible, physical, living proof of before, never mind living proof dressed in killer suede ankle boots. It's a testament to the River Cafe's almond ice cream that it too warranted gasps of surprise and delight.
From here we moved on to our pub across the road for more wine and a serious post-Gywneth debrief and from here, back to Lovely Boy's and my abode for not-posh tacos. It was messy but delicious and by 10pm we were washed up, pajamed and in bed.
And today, it's been a late brunch (more pancakes) before lunch before a wander in the sunshine (Spring my friend, please don't be shy....) and an early evening on the sofa watching a film. So very inconsequential but so very, very lovely.