AN UNEXPECTEDLY MAGICAL THURSDAY
Sometimes you've just gotta go with the swing of it!
Ed is in Finland this week and it is starting to feel like he has been gone forever. Thursday morning didn't start out magical, after slightly less breakfast drama than the last couple of days, I left the kids to watch a bit of CBeebies while I cleared up and did a basket of ironing. The peace didn't last though, and before long Pip was empting a box of tissues and Sally was wingeing about something or other. I'd arranged to meet up with my neighbour for the afternoon - her son and Sally are about the same age and we both have a littler one each too, but I looked around and thought - either we leave the house right now or my temper and my sanity are going to fray rapidly!
I'd taken Ed's watch to be fixed a couple of weeks ago and forgot to pick it up, so with that as our errand target I grabbed a couple of drinks, a few nappies and scooped the kids up into the car. The jewelers I took it to be fixed at is in Henley and happens to be across the road from the Oxfam book shop - and I somehow remembered to grab a few books to donate this time. Sally has many, many, many picture books - some of them are beautiful and we all love, some of them are less beautiful and Sally loves them anyway - but I did manage to find some that I was pretty sure she wasn't going to miss!
I don't know why I forget how much I like Henley. When Ed and I used to live in Wargrave, we used to pop over all the time and it was in Henley that we got married. But since we moved back to Reading, it doesn't seem to be somewhere we go so much. I think this might have to change. Henley on this end of August day was still full of flowers and bright paint and boats and the river. So, once we picked up the mended watch and Hannah picked out a new book we ran down to the river. Sally had to jump out on every jetty and insisted on stopping to look at almost every duck, (they were waving their tails in the air, but it's not like she's never seen ducks before!) but we did eventually make it down to the playgrounds. There are two down by the river, one that I'm sure Sally would love to play in, but she was happy to go to the littler kids one where Pip could run free.
Sally and her dad have been there a couple of times recently, but it wasn't until we got there and I felt the sun on my back through my slightly uncomfortably warm jumper that I remembered the last time I'd been at this playground with Sally and Pip. Ed was with us too, it was Spring 2017 and we had taken Sally on a train trip all the very long way from Twyford. It was sunny and bright and we'd taken lighter coats out rather than winter overcoats, and all was fine until we made it to the playground. Sally and Ed running around together and I was sat on a bench feeding a four month old Pip and the heavens opened, with HAIL. I have never breastfed in the hail before or since, it was super weird and I remember sitting there clutching Pip to my chest trying to sheild him literally frozen with indecision and shock. This Thursday was much nicer being a little warm rather than freezing cold!
I think Pip loved exploring the new playground, he was all busy running to the different things to look at. Sally migrated to the bigger things, but kept coming back to check on her little brother - they are so darn cute together at times I'm not entirely sure how Ed and I produced them!
After the fun at the playground I decided to treat us to lunch out. It is after all the last week of the holidays, Pizza Express was chosen as the venue for this delightful next step of the excursion. Sally had fun colouring in whilst Pip stole her apple juice and generally tried to pinch everything on the table.
Luckliy the food didn't take too long to arrive. I looked at Saul's bib on the way out of the door and decided that it was unlikely I would need it and left it behind. This proved to be a foolish decision...
This is my happy son tucking into his dinner...
(apparently Pizza Express don't have children's cutlery, but he managed suprisingly well with the enormous fork)
This is my son about three quarters of the way through - I didn't get a photo of the fully orange child. Suffice to say I had to take him to the toilets for a wash and a clean t-shirt before we went anywhere else.
Pip definitely recommends the pasta bolognese at Pizza Express! Sally enjoyed her pizza well enough, and I had a nice pizza/salad thingy, but the little man totally loved his meal.
It probably would have been a nice day if it had ended there, but we were set to meet up with my neighbour at MERL (the Museum of English Rural Life for those of you who don't live in Reading or aren't one of their inexplicably large number of followers on Twitter - while we were there some Americans were visiting who'd done a special Reading detour just to come and see it.) The kids both had a nice nap in the car and the 40ish minutes kip seemed enough to freshen them up for the afternoon's quota of running about. MERL was lovely - the children all ran round together in the sunny back garden and played on the tractor and in the shepherd's caravan. We had a quick run round the museum and saw some old tractors and that kinda stuff and then on a whim I invited them back to ours for tea and everyone got to continue having a nice time with fish fingers and chips - my children seem to be much happier to eat when it's not just me involved!
So, super happy Thursday. Unexpected and lovely and mostly without children having tantrums. This last week of summer seems to be turning out pretty nicely and I haven't even had my girl's tip to Margate yet!