Monday, 23 April 2012

Rain, rain....

I’ve had a very quiet last 10 days thanks mostly to the free gift of a chest infection that came with my cold two weeks ago. A strongly worded talking to from Mum sent me to the doctor on Monday and I’m now working my way through a heavy dose of antibiotics. Oh the joy. I think because I tend to diagnose hypochondria before anything else I didn’t actually stop to consider my inability to breathe properly and what that might mean. I’m still quite exhausted, wan - in that fabulous Victorian sense of being both weak and white – and going through the tissues, but am stubbornly on the mend. And would be pushing on even if I wasn’t.

Thankfully the weather has co-operated marvellously and provided ideal indoor weather throughout – we’re talking heavy rain with thunder and lightning, single digit temperatures and a bracing wind. Delightful. And they’ve just forecast the coldest May in a hundred years so that should be something to look forward to. Or should I say to look forward to escaping. See you soon New York.

I wish I could say I took this with an arty filter...
The weather has been rubbish since Easter really. The winds and spitting rain on Easter Sunday that accompanied us on our trip to Hatfield House only gave the big, dark manor an even more austere feeling. And last Friday when we went to dinner in Notting Hill it was the chillies in the Pad Thai at the Churchill Arms and not the should-be-balmy-season that warmed our bones.

Hatfield House, Hertfordshire
I’m not sure if I’ve written about the Churchill Arms before. It’s this totally quirky pub in Notting Hill, on the 27 bus route towards Kensington High St and is probably best known for its evolving foliage. At Christmas time it’s covered in small fir trees and lights – in Spring (otherwise known as now despite all evidence to the contrary) it looks like this:

Inside it’s a hoarder’s delight. Everything hangs from everywhere a la higgledy-piggledy – ceramic pots and pewter jugs dangle from the roof; signs, certificates, photographs and strange charts jostle on the walls, skewed perilously, and throughout the bar and into the always-busy Thai restaurant out the back, there’s even more foliage. Heading to the loos feels like an amble through someone’s neglected greenhouse. And because of all this and more, the place is something of an institution and is thus regularly jammed with people. We were there with some freshly betrothed Aussie friends for an overdue catch up and had a grand time talking wedding planning survival strategies between mouthfuls of noodles.

Inside The Churchill Arms
This weekend has also been punctuated by some great meals. On Friday we had Argentinian steak at Buen Ayre on Broadway Market with an extended collection of some of my most favourite Antipodeans and then last night we caught up with Tor and Andy at Wahaca, the ultimate triple treat of great friends, guacamole and salty margaritas.

Today has been blissfully uneventful. I’ve pottered about the house while Lovely Boy’s been out and I have unapologetically enjoyed having the whole house to myself. Space is such a rare commodity in London – headspace, personal space, regular old space space – that lately I’ve been taking every opportunity I can to be home alone. I did occur to me today that next weekend I might take myself off to Regents Park for a picnic with the papers and to find some open space to occupy. But then of course I looked at the forecast. 

No comments: