Saturday, 14 May 2016

A Week in London from drinking rosé to selling ice lollies

Having just read Sasha at LibertyLondonGirl’s, lovely email update - titled: A Week in London, from drinking rose to licking popsicles, which cheered me up no end, I got to thinking about my past week, which also involved rosé and ice lollies.

Monday after dropping Erbie off at school, I escaped to my allotment with a flask of tea and some digging shorts secreted in my French shopping basket. The sun was shining and the allotment was an oasis of calm. There is always, always something to busy oneself with, especially at this time of year. I set myself to clearing weeds, adding compost and digging over a small patch, which I then planted up with sunflower seedlings and peas. I added some topsoil to the freesias I planted in the greenhouse, I’m anticipating their heady scent filling the space. I spread a rug on the grass and drank tea whilst listening to the distant noise of children at playtime. Properly recharged for the week ahead, I redressed for the school run and picked myself a bunch of black tulips with some contrasting grey artichoke foliage. 

A friend asks me to collect her child as she has a vet emergency, I bump into another friend who has been contracting and off the school circuit, it turns out to be her boy’s birthday, I end up taking the 3 boys to their house whilst she takes her little one swimming. This is excellent as they have a large garden and the birthday boy is made up not to have to tag along with his little sister. They play football in the garden but suddenly someone puts their hand on a bee and gets stung. Tears, lots of screaming, I get the sting out, and try to google ‘bee stings’ then call his mum to check he is not allergic; the boys console and make each other laugh, I let them play a shark game on the iPad. My friend and her daughter return and I accept a rather lovely glass of chilled rosé while I watch her finish icing a fabulous blue birthday cake with a Jaws-like shark atop. 

In the shower later I realised I had acquired a ridiculous digging tan on my back, complete with bra strap marks. 
Black tulip
Black tulips under my fig tree.
Ridiculous digging tan
On Tuesday The GR woke with a face full of cold sores and a temper to compliment, he spent most of the day barking at me whilst I took him for a walk around the local wood and down to Crouch End, I buy a variegated ivy for the bathroom as I recall reading somewhere that ivy helps remove air-born faecal matter. We were due to visit TheBelleMere after school for a BBQ, however due to ill feeling on TheGRs part about an unfulfilled promise I visited alone with a bottle of wine. I listened to TheBelleMere bemoan the tax office; having recently gifted a lot of money to various causes she discovered this would not lower the amount of tax taken from her pensions at source. I attempted a positive stance and arranged to visit on Friday morning when temper and wine were not in the mix.

Crouch End
Variegated ivy with whale.
Wednesday - I went into town to work at The Hospital Club in Covent Garden. Collected Erbie from school and took him swimming. We get a lift with a lovely mum who takes her 2 children to the same pool. Erbie has just started and is the oldest in his group (for the first time at anything) and it is really boosting his confidence, which he needs, lamb chop. They splash around in various ability levels and five teachers in the water whilst we watch from the viewing gallery. I frequently get too hot but refuse to keep taking off and on my outer layer so remain very still and focused on Erbie who looks up and waves frequently sticking his thumbs up. Changing room, shower, lots of children, vending machine, popcorn, car, traffic, knock knock jokes about poo from the three in the back, roadworks, home. TheGR placates himself with some rather good television, Silicon Valley, Gomorrah and Game of Thrones. I have an early night.

Thursday, shorts to school, not me - Erbie. I collect cold sore medication from the doctor for TheGR. After school, myself and another mum take our boys to visit their school friend in Great Ormond Street hospital. He is recovering from a second operation to rectify a rather botched op on a burst appendix carried out by another hospital. He has been very poorly for weeks, however today he is up, smiling and eating, the perkiest I’ve seen him since the beginning*. The relief from his mum is palpable. She tells us that coming to Great Ormond Street from the previous hospital was like going from a tent to a 5star hotel.
*They are allowed to go home later and he continues to improve

Erbie and I walk back through Queen’s Square past throngs of workers enjoying a drink in the sun, we wiggle down the side of Russell and Bedford Square (where Erbie had his 1st birthday) have a quick look in Tiger on Tottenham Court Road and then jump on a bus home. TheGR is in a rage, barks more and also takes considerable umbrage to my taking Erbie to Great Ormond Street. I go to bed.

Erbie, Bedford Square
Erbie, Bedford Square, London
Friday. Erbie does not wake until 8.55am, school starts at 8.50am, I deliberately let him sleep-in as this is only the third time it has happened. I write ‘late’ in the school book and take Erbie down to his classroom, the teacher beckons me in and explains that the class are all making individual cards for their poorly friend and that Erbie can deliver them. I let them all know that he came home last night and is now properly on the mend. I go to visit the Belle Mere picking up almond croissants and some freshly ground coffee from W. Martyn. She refuses my hello kiss and mutters something about me buying coffee as I don’t like hers. - ‘No, it’s a gift.’

I listen to TheBelleMere rage about her ex-husband and how unfair life is, she tells me about a visualising scenario where she once put someone in a leaky boat and tied a weight to them and watched them sink in the middle of a deep lake. After a couple of hours I help her complete the unfulfilled promise on the computer. It dawns on me why TheGR’s default stress button might be anger.

I go home, TheGRs cold-sore medication is working and his mood is lifting. I do another load of clothes washing and whiz the hoover around. At 2pm myself and another mum go to a superstore and buy up a substantial amount of ice lollies to sell in the playground for ‘lolly Friday’. There is much calculator use and recounting of boxes, I know only two types out of the many innocent looking fruit lollies are actually dairy-free. We sort them all into cool boxes and stick them in the back of the car; school, trestle tables, float, mad ice lolly sale, we make a profit for the school and the kids play until we finish. Erbie has his birthday mate coming over to play, we give him some bicycle accessories we bought in Tiger and walk him home after tea, posting the class cards through poorly boy’s door on the way. I pick up a bottle of Prosecco and invite myself in!

Back home after Erbie goes to bed, TheGR and I share a bottle of wine and make a playlist on Spotify of the sixty or so songs he has learnt over the past few years on his guitar. It is very eclectic, from Am I A Man or Am I A Muppet to A Boy Named Sue by Johnny Cash. I can’t keep my eyes open any longer and go to bed without TheGR who tells me I deserve a medal.

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