This is the big back to school week and oh boy, do I have a good one for you to start with. As of now, I have three kids in three different schools. Being German of course I have unparalleled organisation skills and have been preparing for weeks if not months for this day so nothing is left to chance. Haha, if only.
So we are perfectly organised for the respective start days, when I happen to bump into another mum who vaguely remembers that there was a different start day for Son B than the other two and of course after investigating further, this is correct. The same is the case for Son C, about which Facebook kindly tells me. Total fail on my part. So A, B and C all go off to school on the same day. And breathe. So I think. Until Son A calls me 20 minutes later asking when I’m home. Turns out he was a day too early. At least he made a good impression being so eager to get back I guess. I need to refresh those blonde tresses of mine with urgency. They need to more aptly reflect my mental abilities.
The kids go to their dads this weekend so I get some time to myself and I decided to pamper myself a little. Believe it or not I never had my nails done before and it’s about time I did. I am stupidly excited and the lovely lady doing them (who happens to be a colleague of mine) finds it quite funny. I love them but I am about as apt as Drac now using my phone and managing a variety of other daily things. She very kindly shortened them for me a few days later and probably saved my life doing so otherwise I would have caused myself serious damage in some way.
Sunday is another day off with no kids so I am getting my backside off the sofa. I’m following a hashtag called secretlondon on Instagram and I keep adding things to my already never ending list of places I want to see in the city. I’m meeting a friend late in the morning for a maple latte and a s’mores muffin then we are off to the Hill and Pergola Garden in Hampstead Heath. I can’t believe sometimes that I have been living around London for over a decade now and still most of its beauty and hidden gems like this one escape me. And a hidden gem this certainly is. We missed the blooming roses as it’s too late in the year for that but it’s still incredibly gorgeous. The weather isn’t too shabby either so we are strolling around taking pics of ourselves – hello Instagram! – before heading for a late lunch in a little art deco cafe. Just pure Sunday bliss. I need more of those.
I need a holiday. Or more something resembling respite. I can’t remember the last time I had a week when I was more out than at home. As a result I resemble a cranky toddler about to throw a tantrum rather than the sophisticated middle aged woman I normally am. Its currently 2.45 on Sunday morning and I’m on the night tube back from Brixton. So I’m using my time wisely to recap. Sleep is impossible anyway it’s rammed and the noise level is resembling a busy pub.
Before you think ‘Lady don’t you have kids at home’, let me assure you this is not my standard week. On Tuesday, I had a night out in London to bid good bye to my lovely Thigh Girl who is leaving me temporarily to study up North. So me and another friend took her out for dinner at Homage and then for cocktails in Shoreditch at the Jailhouse Bar. I think I might have set a standard at Son B’s new school, collecting him from his rugby training in an evening dress and high heels. Let’s hope I can stick with that. We had a fabulous time, I’m going to miss this chick so much but she is going to stay with me for Christmas so we will have plenty of time to catch up then. And obviously there is a road trip or two in order to ensure she is setting in alright.
Thursday, I had my very much anticipated date. Now, to be entirely honest, I have no bloody clue how this is going to play out, but I’m glad I took the risk. It was a lovely evening, a little weird, but good overall. I shall leave it at that. We’ve been here before and that didn’t work out too well. On Friday I had to quickly pop into the pub for leaving drinks with already above mentioned Thigh Girl. I was already dead on my feet then, but when friendship duty calls, what can you do?
Saturday. Getting up at 4.30am to go to work when you plan on going out in the evening isn’t the best thing but hey what can you do. The plan was a visit to an R&B event at the Electric in Brixton. I’d never been in this place and its architecture is absolutely amazing. My lovely friend I’m with was so full of energy and busting some amazing moves on the dancefloor, whilst I just very coolly do some bar stool dancing. As in I’m not getting my ass off that stool. The atmosphere was fantastic and this is definitely on again, when I have more control over my social life and don’t book myself too much stuff into one week and end up just wanting a duvet on the sofa. Stupid me really.
I got home some time around 4am and Sunday is spend doing home work, house work and cooking. Boring stuff we all have to do but rather not. It’s a rule in our house that on the Sundays the kids are home, a Sunday roast with all the trimmings is a must. And of course I oblige. I’m going to bed now. And not wake up for three days probably.
Well this week has been a bit of a washout to say the least. After all the fun and games of last week I got a solemn reminder that I seem to be getting older.
In true Cinderella style the stroke of midnight on Sunday brought on the first cold of the season. The really nasty kind, where you want to drill a hole between your eyes to get rid of the pressure in your head and generally just want to crawl in a hole and die (not to be mistaken for man flu of course). I managed work somehow. With the help of a lot of drugs.
The next night I happened to need the bathroom at stupid o’clock (hello age related incontinence). For a moment I couldn’t quite remember when exactly I had rented the house out for the latest splatter movie but then realised someone had had a nose bleed. And a massive one at that. Fabulous. The cat looked rather confused at what was going on too. But then he’s mostly clueless. After cleaning up the massacre, Son B wasn’t going to school (that was me cleaning it up not him by the way) so I took a day off work too. I could do with it as well so at least it wasn’t all bad.
Two more days in work were only managed drugged up to the eye balls, then Mr Snot finally started to do one. One started to look forward to the weekend – no children and a day off promised a bit of much needed R & R. Friday I got a chance to pamper myself with a lovely salt body scrub at a local spa, absolutely lush. If you find my appreciation for this silly, let me tell you – for me it is still something extraordinary. After suffering from eczema though both my marriages (so we are talking well over the last decade) and not being able to use anything on my skin without it flaring up in the most horrible way, I now can use anything I wish. For me that is still quite miraculous.
On Saturday, I got my back tattoo finished by the lovely Vicky Kostick. You can check it out on my Instagram. It is absolutely fabulous. Even my mum says so and she isn’t a fan of body ink.
I had great plans for Sunday, having a stroll around London and visiting an exhibition at the Tate Modern but the weather was so disappointing when I got up I decided this was a sign to just have hot chocolate and cake on the sofa and do pretty much nada all day. Which is what I did. Blissful I can tell you. The Tate will still be there another day.
This week has been over in a flash. I’m sure it was only just Monday. I am absolutely convinced Father Time wants to piss us off by making time move a lot faster as we get older. Just to rub it in a little that we are getting closer to the end. Work has been going a bit mad lately, and whilst I do love my job, this week was hard. Really, really hard. I find I have less and less sympathy for childless people telling me how exhausted they are when I had a 50 hour week plus the war zone I call home to deal with.
Still, I managed to throw in a long walk by the river on Tuesday. I love having time to myself during the week; being able to take your time, stroll around with a coffee in your hand, discover something new while everyone around you rushes by. A small luxury, but nonetheless one not be underestimated. A little amusing was being around Monument at lunch time. It’s a quite male dominated environment – at least it was to my eyes – and I had to navigate my way through all those guys having a quick lunch time pint. Moses and the Red Sea comes to mind. Although I am not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing….
I might be outing myself as a geek here, but last year, I became a member of English Heritage. I am a little history nerd anyway and there is nothing wrong with exposing my offspring to a bit of culture and education outside of school every now and then so I consider it a valuable investment. I love my ever growing collection of tour guides of the places I visit, mainly without above mentioned offspring though, I do admit that. This Sunday however, they didn’t get away and we took a little trip into the Essex country side. After treating them to breakfast at a little place called Elder Street Deli – who were ever so sweet making Son C soldiers and eggs for his breakfast – I dragged them to Audley End House. It’s your usual stately home and you could argue once you seen one you seen them all but it’s a lovely place and well worth a visit. We spend a surprisingly long time walking the grounds despite the clouds drawing in; chasing birds and frogs, jumping off walls and peeking behind closed doors.
My guys weren’t too impressed that they had to spend time with me inside as well but they tried accommodating their mom. We learnt a few things too. Washing in those days was actually a chore – I think I would shoot myself if I had to do all of ours that way. The coal gallery has nothing to do with paintings – of which there were a lot prompting Son A to inquire if they were the olden days TV equivalent. After walking through several rooms filled to the brim with books I have to admit my library at home is rather small in comparison and I am jealous. The Braybrookes lost two sons within a week in the Krimean War – a fact Son B found absolutely astonishing and the lovely lady in the nursery rooms spend as long time talking to him about them.
The weather turned a little on the way home and I fought the chill by using the fire for the first time. I love the warm glow it radiates. Autumn is definitely here. Sunday roast tradition was obliged to and the day ended with unusual family harmony. Movie night on the sofa with duvets and ice cream. Not too bad at all.
Much love marvelous people. Candidly yours, TC.