Esme starts Big School next week. This means that she won’t be with us on Mondays. To mark the momentous occasion and as a rite of passage we are looking after her for two days when she gets to be spoilt. Tuesday’s treats were the computer, a movie, lunch in Belgique in Epping and a painting session which she then exhibited in our hall. The day was rounded off with a strawberry bavois from Belgique.
Wednesday’s treats were Hambleys toy shop in Regents Street, lunch with Uncle Thom in the Living Room, a trip in the London Eye and a visit to Adrian Eckersley’s art exhibition in 54, The Gallery, Shepherd Market (where I bought a print). It says much that Esme is still a little girl and that, despite the sophistication of the treats, her best fun were the swings and roundabouts on South Bank.
Today was the private viewing of Louisa’s art exhibition at the Loughton Library. About 70 or more people came – family and friends and the mums and dads of all the babies whose portraits she had painted. Rog and Jan came up for the day from Ewhurst.
Afterwards we went to Cafe Rouge.
Nathan was kind enough to go into work on this Bank Holiday Sunday and collect the LG Flatron tv/monitors that we had bought, so I had fun setting it up and connecting to the mac book and reviving the old home-built computer.
The whole family meet up for a week in Southwold. We have done this for five years running but this will be the last time at Bittern House as Amorelle is selling. Her asking price is £575,000.
On the way up we stop for lunch, as usual, at the Sun Inn in Dedham – opposite one of the many churches Constable painted. The chef is Italian and I have the fabulous Italian ox liver.
Other pub lunches we enjoy are at The Anchor, in Walberswick, where Danae and Nathan had their post-wedding lunch, The Plough and Sail, in Snape Maltings, where I had a delicious Cromer crab salad and pavlova, and the King’s Head in Orford, which is a lovely family pub and does a tasty sausages and mash as well as a wonderful fish and chips.
Below is the view from our bedroom window in Bittern House.
Some of the things we did in Southwold:
* went on the beach
* ate fish and chips
* drank beer at The Sole Bay
* went to see the circus
* went on the ferry to Walberswick
* saw Rumpelstiltskin at the Jean Freud theatre
* saw the castle at Orford
Mostly the weather was warm and sunny but windy and it rained a bit.
Today being Monday is when we look after the littleLeamans and, sadly, it’ll be Esme’s last Monday as in September she’ll be at Big School. Already she talks of Rocco and Tove as the “little kids.” So, having clinched a double-glazing deal with Graham, we set off to Hayes Hill Farm to celebrate both the new windows and Esme’s coming of age. Hayes Hill Farm was once Sheila’s family farm and her great grandparents had 24 children and they all lived in the tiny farmhouse. Sheila’s family also at other times occupied Woodside, Holyfield Hall Farm and Fisher’s Green Farm – all nearby. This story did not however cut any ice with the reception and I duly paid £28 entrance fees.
Me, Sheila, Graham and Cheryl went to the Red House in Bexleyheath which was William Morris’s home. There was not much to see as the building was stripped of it’s contents after WM left. The house and gardens are amazingly set in a typical suburban road with mile after mile of semi-detached houses. Visits to such places I feel are marred by the trend of people using audio headsets to guide them around. It is bizarre watching silent zombies shuffling and shambling from place to place completely oblivious to the ambience around them. Earlier we ate at a pub, the Kings Arms, offering Sunday roasts at £5. The meals we had were delicious, superbly cooked and heaps of food. As we left, tripping over zimmer frames, we realised the place was packed with scores of OAPs, greedily gobbling down their food, obviously well aware of a bargain.
Ooops! Of course, we are also OAPs.
Today this blog was born.
I know I had started this blog on an earlier date but it is only today I have begun to realise what I can do with it.
We went to Rainham Marshes for the 10th anniversary of the installation in the Thames of The Diver on 23rd. August 2000. Lucy and Julian both spoke about their father and his work, at the library in Rainham Village, beforehand. The Diver is the only statue int the Thames and is number 38 on the Boris Johnson Mayor of London list of 100 must-see experiences of London.
Julian also announced Louisa’s news of the new baby.