…hello, hello and hello! Do pour yourself to a cup of tea in your prettiest cup, and sit with me while I tell you all about my wonderful week off!
As you know, Monday saw me having lunch and a thoroughly delightful day with my dear friend Anna, and you know, such a delicious day really set the standard for the whole week.
Tuesday was a hot, hot day, and I went into town early so I could get all my little errands done before it got too hot. I started the day at Café Rouge, where I breakfasted on a Croque Madame and a latte (how I wished for an iced coffee, but alas, they do not do them) to the gentle sounds of French Café Music. As I read the paper, I noticed a coupon for £1 off Grazia magazine. A nice trashy magazine for cheap? Of course I had to buy it! Imagine how pleased I was when I found in Grazia a coupon for a jar of Salt Body Scrub by The Sanctuary from Boots, free! And happily, I had found out early enough to be able to go and get one. Other purchases for the day included a new purse (apple green! I spotted it right away amongst a sea of serviceable black purses. I felt very much like Mrs Miniver when she bought her diary) and also a new dress (a simple blue patterned summer dress from Peacocks) and some soft-dried pears that are oh-so-squishy like a fudgy toffee. After all that shopping, I was very hot, so I had an iced vanilla latte before catching the bus home again.
Wednesday was a day that dear Carl had been looking forward to very much indeed- a day at Thorpe Park, courtesy of the Tesco vouchers that I have been hoarding. I was pleased because it was a free day out (which should have cost us £70 in entrance tickets!) and he was pleased because he got to go on all manner of fast and scary rides. It will probably come as no surprise to you to know that I am not such a fan of big fast rides, so there were quite a few that he went on while I had a cup of tea! One ride that I did like very much was one aimed at older children- a log flume that was set in Pioneering American times, and it really made me feel like I was in the middle of little House in the Prairie!
Thursday was one of those delightful days of drifting happily together. We wandered into town and enjoyed a coffee together. On the way home, I tried to buy some fabric for an apron, some wool for a hot water bottle cover,and some sugar paste to make icing flowers. Alas, despite being in the county town, I was thwarted at every turn, and went home empty handed. However, there was time to drop into a charity shop, where I found a wonderful 'make and do' book from the 60s. There is a fabulous idea for a 'get well train' that I want to try my hand at!
Friday was utterly fabulous. Despite the rain, Mum and I had a great day together. There is a marvellous craft shop a few villages away which is a veritable Aladdin's Cave, and there I found very easily the perfect fabric and trimmings for my apron, the exact wool that I wanted, and a whole host of other little bits besides! We had lunch together at a plant nursery, which is one of my favourite places to eat. There is a conservatory you can sit in, and look out over the fields. It is picturesque even when, perhaps even especially when, it is raining, and there is a tiny house nestled behind some trees which you see as a flash of white that I like to imagine living in one day.
Once home, we made the first of many cups of tea, and I set out to make my first apron. When I post pictures, I will also look out the title of the book, because the pattern came from a wonderful book full of apron patterns, that I found in the library. The apron I chose to make has polka dot fabric, a little heart pocket and a frill all around the bottom, which according to the book will call to mind the passion of Andalucian Gypsies dancing the polka!! I found some parts tricky, such as gathering the long ruffle by hand, and making the heart shaped pocket. Once or twice I felt like giving up in vexation, but with Mum on hand to help me, I kept going, and I am so proud of my apron I have even taken it to work to show the girls! While I was making a celebratory cup of tea downstairs, Mum whipped up a little lavender bag out of some left over fabric, which just fits in the pocket! I really felt so snuggly and at peace, sitting in my old bedroom which is now the craft room, making something with my Mum while rain spattered at the window pane.
On Saturday, I could hardly believe that I had only 2 days left of my wonderful week. I had invited a friend for dinner with the intention that he should stay the night, so I spent the afternoon getting ready for dinner. I took the opportunity to do some real cooking, and when evening came we had quite a feast laid out! We started with strawberry bellinis and some little bruschetta, topped with brie and caremelized onions, tomato mozzarella and pesto, or home made guacamole. For our starter I made lemon and rosemary risotto, then we had spaghetti bolognese. We finished with a cake that is so simple but looks stunning. I have to find a good name for it! You make a victoria sponge mixture, but bake it in a pudding basin, and when it is cold, pour over a cup of hot sweetened coffee laced with brandy. Then when that is cool, you turn it out, and cover it with slightly sweetened whipped cream! Definitely calorific, but so lovely, especially when served on a glass cake stand and eaten with vintage cake forks, you really dont mind! Before you think we were terrible gluttons, I did serve teeny tiny portions of each course!
After a much later night than I have had for a long time, I made smoked salmon scrambled eggs and freshly squeezed orange juice for breakfast. We waved goodbye to Adrian at lunch time, and then set about our few little chores. Washing was done, the place was straightened up and aired out, and then we spent our last hours of the weekend knitting and reading (me) and reading and computering (my lovely husband). Oh yes, although I had not mentioned it in my daily summaries, somehow I read 8 Hamish Macbeth novels this week!
Well that is my wonderful week, over and done. I am definitely not going to leave it so long again!