This morning the air was just delicious, crisp and cool, but with the promise of warmth to come. Sometimes when I walk to work, I can feel the newness of the day. It is a certain quality to the air, that reminds me of the dampness to the wings of a newly-emerged butterfly, the scrunched-upness of a newborn baby, or the rustling of the papery stuff splitting as a new daffodil unfolds. So it was this morning, and it was soothing to have some peace, for we had a whirlwind weekend.
Although the breeze in your hair can be exhilarating and it is beautiful to watch autumn leaves tossed about in a gust of wind, whirlwind weekends can be tiring, as this was, although it was lots of fun. I went to work on Saturday, and then went straight from work to The Gardens of Easton Lodge for their annual Great Gatsby Jazz Party. I went last year for my hen party, and it was such a wonderful evening we went back this year. The Gardens are thrown open, and there is a small marquee which is open along one side, with a dance floor and a live jazz band. They all dress up in 1920’s clothes, and it is so elegant, you could really believe that you have slipped back in time. My lovely friend Anna appropriated for our group the last gazebo, and we settled in for the evening. Although we did not go for dressing in strict period, we did go for dressing up nicely, and everyone brought something along for a shared picnic. I drank babycham and had such a good time.
Anna and I were waiting for the loo when another jazz-goer remarked that we had really dressed up for the occasion. When she had gone, we both had to giggle, as we were wearing what we are often to be found wearing! A dress with beads, a sparkly cardigan, high heels and red lipstick!
I must be an old lady indeed, because as dusk fell, I was drifting backwards and forwards on a swing hung from a tree, thinking ‘oh, I wish I had a cup of tea!’ and indeed, when I got home (at very nearly midnight!) the first thing I did was to kick of my shoes, and make a cup of tea.
When the alarm rang on Sunday morning, I really wanted to snuggle down and sleep some more, but I had to get up as it was our turn to host brunch club. In a change to our usual format, we decided to take everyone up to Dedham, and go for a row on the river, then share a picnic on the riverbank. Although it clouded up and spat with rain once or twice, on the whole the weather was fair, and we had a lovely time. For the picnic, we had a sliced tiger loaf and oatcakes, lettuce, cucumber, and tomato sliced. There was hummus and Moroccan chickpea dip, slices of ham, piri piri chicken and thai chicken. There were sea salt and cracked black pepper crisps, balsamic vinegar and rosemary olive oil. Most importantly, there was a large jug of Pimms! For dessert, one of our guests had made the most heavenly chocolatey oaty biscuits, and another brought with her a delicious fruit salad.
Of course, once we had been for our row on the river, we had to have a cup of tea! Before we knew it, we were heading home for a quiet evening and an early night- and although our weekend had been lots of fun, I was really ready just to be at home.