Over the last couple of weeks I hadn’t realized how jaded I felt. I walked through the garden still vibrant with late summer colour and wondered when it was going to keel over so I could get on with some winter jobs. I poked my nose into the greenhouse and looked at cuttings. Then eyed up the tender perennials thinking “You will be all-right for a bit, no need to move you”. My enthusiasm for anything had vanished!
Fortunately earlier in the year I had arranged to meet up with some friends in London, so last week saw me taking myself off to visit amongst other places “The old smoke”.
Living here right on the coast, we don’t have great Autumn colour, we don’t have the majestic broad-leaf woodlands and our trees are stooped, buffeted as they are by the prevailing winds so even just 5 miles inland I was blown away be the fantastic Autumn hues. As I tend to take the “pretty route” (i.e. no motorways) sometimes it is the “very pretty route” as I have huge capacity to get very lost indeed on my expeditions up and down the country, the journey was breathtaking, the sun was shining and the golds, rusts and orange of Autumn blazed. I should mention here, that after a very trying journey to visit VP a few years ago, where I appeared to go through three towns that I had no right to be anywhere near, my children gave me a sat-nav and this has revolutionised my (infrequent) trips down South to stay with friends.
Saturday saw me travelling from Twyford to Paddington by train where one of my friends suggested we meet before making our way to St. Martins Lane to meet up with the others. I wonder if she thought that as a country bumpkin I might find London daunting now, however it amazes me how quickly the London way returned to me. I think it must be like riding a bike, when you have lived or worked in London for any length of time you develop the London walk, a way of slipping and sliding purposefully through the milling crowds to get from A to B and believe me we had to do a lot of slipping and sliding as the Circle and Bakerloo underground lines were closed.
Lunch was delightful. A relaxed catch up with great food and much laughter. I have known these friends for 45 years, the 4 of us were at school together so our friendship is very precious. I do like restaurants where is is perfectly fine to sit down for lunch at 1 o’clock and not get up from the table until 5, for as you can imagine we always have a lot to talk about! The only downside to the day was someone getting up from their seat on the tube to offer it to me, I have reached “that age” …. sigh.
Sunday saw me hitting the shops in Reading with another friend, again so many people – so much shopping (Recession, what recession?). Actually when I say we hit the shops, it was only two or three and that was quite enough. Living where we do, shops are a real treat once or twice a year. I know that the Internet is wonderful and I can get anything I want online but sometimes, you just need to see things in the flesh as it were. My biggest treat was playing with makeup. Those of you who know me may be raising an eyebrow because it would appear that I never wear it, but, I bought a new foundation and a lipstick and made a resolve to take a bit more care of my appearance – my new resolve will probably last … Oh, about a week!!! We don’t have dress down Fridays in this part of Wales, we have dress down every day, it is the rain and the mud that will do that for you, not to mention the lack of shops and therefore lack of choice.
Monday found me having lunch with No2 son in a Japanese restaurant, again fabulous food followed later by coffee and cake with No2 Daughter-in-law and my lovely lovely grand-babies. Watching her negotiate M&S with a baby and a toddler did make me wonder if I ever did that, I suppose I must have. I was certainly much more fearful for Dylan getting lost among the clothes racks that I ever was of my own children, but that’s Nanna for you.
So now I am home, revitilized by the buzz of a few days away in cities, energized by meeting up with friends and family, sparked by the things I have seen and eaten. I walk through my garden looking at the tender perennials and think; “You will be allright for a bit – I’m off to put on my makeup”!