October 2018

Can you believe it’s October already guys? Summer has really gone, even a sunny day now has a bit of a chill to it and when I have work early, it’s still really dark, with no hint of a beckoning sunrise.

I seem to be working a lot at the moment so I try making the most of my days off. I might have mentioned before that I’m working on my own library – on a small scale at least – so I am currently on the hunt for an armchair to go by the window. I have a very specific idea of what I want, kind of Sherlock Holmes meets boudoir but so far it has eluded me.

My work pattern has shifted recently, with a lot of it now taking place half or even entirely through the night. I prefer it that way as it is quiet and I can get on with things but it can also mess up my body clock pretty badly and I have now given up trying to do the morning school run on two hours sleep. It simply doesn’t work and I’m lucky my kids for one understand I need my sleep and also think I am around a lot more. I still need to perfect it a little more but it is not as bad as I thought at first.

Friday was another go explore day. Have you ever noticed the pianos that are dotted around St. Pancras station? I must have walked pass them so many times without paying any attention but today, coffee in and time on my hands I listened for the first time to various people play on them, from a little girl plonking away on the piano to the old guy playing some beautiful 30s or 40s tunes.

I was meeting a friend for lunch at the Coppa Club, there are definitely worse views than Tower Bridge to have with your food! Taking a little detour on my walk there, I’d never been to St. Dunstan’s – a garden in the ruins of a church dating back to the 1100. It always amazes me to find little dots of peace and green dotted around this otherwise buzzing city. Going back to lunch though, I was a bit disappointed they didn’t have have their Club burger so I had the chicken instead and it was amazing.

It’s strangely exhausting having a day of leisure but I still managed to swing by this well known Swedish furniture store. They have Christmas in store and oh my God did I love it! It has given me some great ideas which no doubt will make me come back and spend even more money on napkins, vases and other things I obviously desperately need in my life.

You might have guessed this was a weekend without los bambinos and a rare Saturday off too. Of course I was incredibly productive doing pretty much nothing other than drinking cups of tea, eating biscuits and other things that are incredibly good for me and furthering my Netflix education. I manage by now to only feel guilty a tiny bit doing so and so do you. We deserve a break sometimes.

This week has been one of very distinct highs and lows. More lows than highs I should add, rather unfortunately so. But let’s start with the high.

I am now officially the mum of a teenager. My baby is no more – not that he has been one for a long time, he has overtaken me in weight and height already ages ago – but now he is thirteen, I feel incredibly old. I am so proud of the young man he is turning into, he is the kindest, most beautiful soul I have ever known. I really hope the real world will not change him – or at least not too much. Of course he had a party, games and unholy amounts of pizza and fizzy drinks (sorry other mums). He loved it. His friends were happy. The house still stands. Mission accomplished I’d say.

Now to the lows. And they suck big time. The first one came mid week when after struggling for a couple of weeks with some niggling pain in my shoulder I spend most of my time in work throwing in pain killers and still being in agony. So begrudgingly I visited my GP and it was a bit of a blow to hear what he had to say. Arthritis in both shoulder joints, with the trouble causing one currently inflamed.  Now unfortunately I happen to be allergic to anti-inflammatories so bags of frozen peas have to do it together with some pain killers and the other rather unhelpful advise I got was to change jobs. No thanks, I really like what I am doing.

Low No 2. This one hit me right where it hurts. Emotionally. After I mentioned the anticipated date with the Cowboy, I have to admit it probably wasn’t the best idea to try rekindle this particular romance. Things came to a head this week when I had to raise the white flag and tell him it wasn’t working for me the way it was going and he, instead of trying to swing things round, first readily agreed and said bye, but then changed his mind yet again. Particularly rubbish as our trip to Edinburgh is now a little up in the air and I really do not want to go at all as I really don’t want to spend the whole weekend arguing over the same again and again. I am not best pleased about just how deep this has hit me (again) as I thought I would be more prepared to handle it, but obviously I’m not. And I do admit, I again defaulted on my self-induced alcoholic hiatus and had a drink. Still don’t like the stuff much but at least I didn’t have a headache.

So I guess I have to wait and see but I’m getting more and more short-fused. After all, it shouldn’t be asked too much of a guy in his late 30s to behave a little more like a grownup and not constantly throw his toys out of the pram.

After a stint back in work Sunday night which turned out to be a very bad idea, I spend a good part of my week at my GP and the X-Ray department of the hospital to sort out my still not obliging shoulder. The good thing about sitting in various waiting rooms is you have time. Time to read books in my case and I didn’t just get through one, oh no, I even started on No 2. I can highly recommend ‘A history of Britain in 21 Women’ by Jenni Murray, I think it’s extremely well written and a very smooth read. Not so sure yet about my second choice ‘Tom Paine – A political life’ by John Keane but I guess the subject lends itself as lot more to depth and grand words – no offence to Madame Murray!

Now, I am a little limited as to what I can do, so I try to be good and rest but obviously I am having ants in my pants and it is driving me up the walls. So with the help of my wonderful au pair, I rearranged the lounge in preparation for Christmas (yes I am that sad, although I prefer to call it prepared), decluttered the dining room (read: get rid of piles of paper dumped there by various members of the household and left over a prolonged period of time) and sorted out the garden. All necessary things but utterly boring.

So going out for a nice lunch on Saturday was a ray of sunshine sparkling at the end of the week and given the leaving much to wish for weather we had during the week, the promise of sunshine and getting out of the house did work wonders – for my mood at least not so much for my impaired appendix.

I love going to new places and my friend and I came across the Aster near Victoria. They serve a set brunch menu and oh my, it was fabulous. We were sitting on the first floor and with the sun out the place was flooded with light, just lovely when you spend most of your week inside because it’s grey and dark outside.

One thing that had escaped us though was the ‘Bollocks to Brexit’ demonstration happening in the city that day. You have to forgive my dismissiveness on the subject but as one of the 3 Million, I am still pissed off that I am allowed to pay my taxes here every month but when it comes to something so decisive for my future, I didn’t have the right to cast my vote. I get a little stressed in large crowds, so navigating out of this impressive display of citizens exercising their constitutional rights wasn’t easy.

I purely, accidentally, ended up in Fortnum & Mason’s and felt compelled to purchase a selection of cupcakes and caneles, to even out the previously experienced stress levels – not that it was any less crowded in here. They were an absolute delight to enjoy with the latest installment of the PofC and a little Buck’s Fizz to end the week in style.

This week has not been particularly great. Things are still rather precarious with the Cowboy, we are talking to each other, tried to arrange to meet, but it’s difficult with work and private commitments on both sides. But at least we are talking. I’m still not certain it’s a good idea to keep this going, but with a weekend away booked, it seems a little stupid to jack it in just yet. His mood has mellowed a little since our bust up the other week, so at least that is something. And I’m actually looking forward to our little trip. I’ve never been to Edinburgh before and he can be decent company. Worst case I dump him in some whiskey bar and go off on my own.

The other thing that is really bothering me is my shoulder. I went back to work this week, because I felt a bit like a dick being off for so long and then going on holiday but I really regretted it most of the time as the stupid joint is still playing up almightily and the reality is, wear and tear in joint speech means, ‘face it love, you’re getting old’. Horray. Makes me feel so fabulous. The short term fix for this problem are going to be steroid injections but long term, I will have to have a serious rethink about my career. I love my job but if you are doing something that is not good for your health, you have to love yourself a little bit more. So some in depth reflection will be required over this Christmas period.

Next week, my lovely offspring is going to spend some much needed quality time with their respective dads so I am going to have seven days entirely to myself. So that I don’t feel too lonely and unwanted, I booked a few days away in Budapest with a lovely friend of mine. I have never been to Hungary before and I’m really looking forward to it but I do admit the decisive factor in this has been that the flights are dead cheap. How it works that you can cross most of Europe on a plane for a fraction of what you have to fork out for taking the train from London to Paris is beyond me but I won’t complain too much. I have been to Paris often enough anyway so I can cope not going back just a little while longer.

After the last couple of let down weeks, this one has been a definite pick me up. The beloved offspring had been delivered to their male parents the night before and being ever as organised, I got up at 4am to actually pack my case before jetting off to Budapest early Monday morning. A little regrettable that about a million other people had the same idea of catching an early flight to get away from freezing England. Stressful but nothing a bacon buttie couldn’t fix while waiting to board. I’m still getting used to this flying lark but I am most certainly improving. I’m good in the air, I’m good going down (ish) but the take off just makes my stomach want to say hello to the world – every time. Any helpful hints how to manage that apart from wretching at a worrying degree for a prolonged period of time would be greatly appreciated.

I’m going to give you the run down of this amazing place in another post later on, but suffice to say, I cannot recommend a visit highly enough. If you like architecture, Liszt and food, go there. Actually, just go, it’s really worth it. We were incredibly lucky to have 20 degrees and a need for sunglasses this late in the year. Our four days went pretty quickly and were filled out with walking (a lot!!), drinking (a bit) and eating (very, very much). The flight back was a bit too bumpy for my liking – note to self, next time make sure phone and headphones are both charged so you don’t spend two and a bit hours analysing every single noise the aircraft makes.

Spending Friday incredibly productive (read doing hardly anything at all) it was back to el aeroporto for a little trip to Edinburgh. I’m happy to report that the predicted rain held off and it was surprisingly sunny, but those reported gusts of wind were a little whitewashed. I was nearly blown off my feet more than once. Important lesson learnt this weekend: as a woman when faced with windy conditions it is not wise to wear a hat and a skirt and carry a bag. Unless you are blessed with three arms, which generally speaking isn’t a great look. More walking, eating and drinking was had over the weekend and Sunday night came round way too quickly. There are definitely advantages to living close to an airport if the journey home takes you all but 15 minutes but I dutifully stayed awake with slightly blurry eyes until the Cowboy informed me of his safe arrival home a good hour later.

Much love marvelous people. Candidly yours, TC.

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