These days, I feel old and young at the same time. Good old, so don’t worry. I know you’ve been reading my last couple of posts, about childhood friends and the past and missed opportunities, and are probably thinking I must be coming down with a case of the spring blues, but no. I think I may just be fine for now, as boring as that sounds.
It’s spring!!! I know, I know, exclamation marks are rarely necessary in these mildly exciting life stories of mine, but you know what, London in spring is the most extraordinary place, and I’d really need a million billion of these embarrassing little “!” to even begin to do it justice.
Our original Saturday plans (lunch with friends who aren’t really our friends but who we feel like we need to hang out with because we’re all Romanian and they just moved to London and are a bit traumatised by it all) fell through, so after breakfast V. and I got on the slowest bus in all of London if not on the planet, ready for a day of fun and games in Kew Gardens. Our Kew membership cards expire next month and we probably won’t be renewing them if we leave the flat, so I thought we might as well take advantage of our final no-entrance-fee couple of weeks. Conveniently, it’s orchid time in Kew these days, and the magnolia trees and daffodils are in full bloom, so you can imagine I was giddy with excitement.
Of course I’ll never admit this to my badminton nemesis V., but I was still a bit sore after a particularly soul crushing session on Friday. It didn’t stop me though from dragging him around the gardens for the larger part of four hours, as I ran to smell every flower and pose for what must have been a thousand super duper flattering and no doubt very natural looking photos, none of which, lucky you, I’ll be posting here today.
There were tons of people everywhere, families picnicking, kids playing ball or just running around chasing the geese, solitary artists sketching and painting under the magnolia trees, tentative if still long sleeve clad sunbathers sucking in the vitamin D, ice cream eaters, dog walkers and plenty of endless fields and pink petals to go around, so it didn’t really feel crowded at all, and V. and I had a chance to walk around and talk about all the embarrassing things I’d done during the week. Like how on Tuesday, after another traumatising flat viewing (thank God we didn’t take photos of that, you’d be scarred for life!), I just had to have a good old cry in the shower, cursing all flats, flat owners and estate agents in the world. Or like how I was walking to work one morning, reading (!!!) (Looks like I’m now pretty much addicted to exclamation marks, yay!), and a taxi almost ran me over and this random guy had to grab my shoulder and pull me back, a scenario I now experience at least three times a week. And let’s not forget about the time I called my mother to wish her Happy Mother’s Day (we celebrate it earlier in Romania), and she said she’d only be a happy mother once I’m finally married and pregnant with twins, then pretty much hung up on me. Fun. And. Games.
Before we left the garden, we stopped by the shop (Of course! It’s no like we’re saving for a new home or anything.) and I spent what must have felt like forever to V., looking at books, tea towels, handmade soaps and fridge magnets. I found a wonderfully illustrated hardcover edition of The Wind in the Willows, one of my favourite books as a child, which I almost bought, “for our kids”, before V. gave me one of his we-don’t-have-kids-yet-and-by-the-way-you’re-crazy look. I gave up on starting our descendants’ book collection and ended up buying not one, but two cookbooks, both super duper diet friendly or course (salads and chicken, and an exclamation mark!).
We wrapped the afternoon up with a late lunch at Ask Italian (I know, again? But V. was too tired and hungry to walk any further), where I tried to behave and stay true to my five-pounds-skinnier-or-bust plans, so I ordered the Chicken Caesar with a side of, well, water. By no means the Ask salad expert, I had no idea their Caesar is hardly a salad but this orgasmic crunchy crouton melted parmesan affair I soon gobbled up in a very unladylike manner.
With another badminton session coming up today (I lost. Again.), and a couple more next week, plus all the running around from one filthy, crazy expensive flat to the next, I’m not too worried about the thousand calories Chicken Caesar extravaganza though. I’m now off to conclude my lovely weekend with a sink of dirty dishes and half a pack of brussels sprouts I’ll no doubt transform into a Sunday dinner delicacy for one. In the meantime, have a look at some lovely photos V. took yesterday, and if you’d like to check my Weekend Away and Oxford on a Rainy Day posts again, I’ve uploaded some photos (also by V.) there as well.
Wishing you a great, brand new, exclamation mark worthy week!