New Yorker, Monkey Bizness, James’s news and THE LIST

Last week I had the pleasure of taking my niece Sophies girlfriend Walker (many apologies for the misspelling), from NYC, around Freshers Fayre.  She’ll be entering the 2nd year of her undergraduate degree in Human Resources and Business Management in September of next year.  As she is here on holiday with Sophie for 3 months, I thought she might enjoy a day out.  I duly picked her up and we set of for Freshers Fayre and to my immense enjoyment she shares my love of freebies.  She is a very personable young lady and looked as if she was enjoying the experience.  We also passed by The Richmond Building which will be the building in which most of her teaching will take place.  Then we scuttled back to the Eldon Building where my office is situated and sat with the delightful Diane chomping on her birthday chocolates.  As a trio we set of at 4pm sharp to watch the impromptu fashion show by  the Fashion and Textiles freshers.  I have to say, given the remit of making something out of paper and in an afternoon I was blown away by the complexity and creativity shown on the cat walk!

catwalk               catwalk2

On Saturday Terry went to help his boss move house and I took William to Monkey Bizness; a children’s inside play area with torturously hard tunnels, low ceilings and ball pits.  I’d been prepping the front door and stained glass windows since 7am so I was more than ready for a break.  I picked up William from his Mom Paris and her partner Jack.  I’m very grateful that we are all still friends. It is always a pleasure going around there.  William, as usual gave me a very proud tour of his Mums vegetable patch and I am luckily the recipient of some of her garden produce.  It was freshly dried oregano this week.  William and I said our goodbyes and set of for Monkey Bizness and some serious fun.

monkeybiznessWe nabbed a table, dropped our things and our shoes and made our way into the “big boys side” where I struggled, in a most ungainly manner, to keep up with a 4′, 4 year old as flexible as a rubber band.  It was not a pretty sight.  After 35 minutes of bending, jumping and crawling my way around the play area a tall, blonde, leggy 5 year old called Saskiya and her younger brother Oli came up to William.  Saskiya grabbed Williams hand and pulled him off behind her whilst Oli grabbed mine and said “come on Grandma”.  After about 5 minutes of being the odd one out, William turned to me and told me to “go sit over there now”.  I was deeply grateful to this leggy 5 year old and her bossiness.  Oli wasn’t best please and spent another 5 minutes calling through the nets “come on Grandma, come and play”.  I went over to apologise to his parents who were in absolute stitches.  They informed me that he didn’t even have a Grandma, he had a Nan and had never shown any interest in here.  Honestly I’m sure it’s because I’m only 5’2″ all kids assume I’m a kid too.  I retreated to my green tea with a slightly broken heart; I’d been superseded in Wills heart by another blonde 😦

bilsandfrends billsy billsandbatman adorable


I finally dropped William back home at 1pm then dropped off his carseat to James’s house.  I let Bru and Lexie out and did what any Mom would do – a bit of tidying up and the dishes.  He works long hours and has hardly any time to himself so I like to offer a small kindness when I can.  When Terry came back from shifting furniture all day he told me to get dressed because we were eating out.  We went to a contemporary Indian called the New Bengal and had some seriously good curry, a glass of something each and an extremely pleasant evening.  We rarely treat ourselves so the meal; getting dressed up and looking at each other over a candle lit table was wonderful.

new bengal

James has finally seen the Polo that he is inheriting and is absolutely delighted. My parents had spent all day cleaning it inside and out.  Terry has to do some work on it but it is minor.  He will be picking it up this coming Monday and I have no doubt he will bring it straight around to Terry.


I’m also going to “borrow” 3 pictures James uploaded to Facebook because they are so wonderful.  He called them “me and my loved ones”.  Brutus sharing a cuddle with his girlfriend Keata and James with William and the two dogs; Lexie and Brutus.  So much love on one page!

keatabru jamesbillsdogs


Finally, The List is something Terry and I should have done a long time ago.  We sat down and wrote a list of to do’s for the house and garden.  I forgot to mention that after Terry came home on Saturday and before we went to the Indian we had sanded and painted the barge board and the down pipes to the front of the house.  So on Sunday morning at silly o’clock we began attacking tasks on the list and before we stopped so I could cook the Sunday roast we had taken a huge chunk out of the to do list and it finally feels like we are getting somewhere again.  We painted the front door, inside and out and the porch. Terry put a second coat on the barge board and down pipes.  I replanted flowers, planted pots and moved the berries and strawberries because I simply couldn’t bear to rip them up.  I hope the new home owners will enjoy the raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and gooseberries  they will be able to harvest next year.  I shifted the wooden garden ornaments, which in reality are interesting parts of the trunk of a beech tree, we had to cut down some years ago.  They all look like truncated ballet dancers legs!  We also oiled and stained the wood in the hall, stairs and landing.  Terry had to sand a door and I painted 2 large sculptural metal pots that we are going to place either side of the bay window  and plant something to give the house a wow factor – apparently.  I’ve yet to decide what that is going to be.  I also painted the barrel bbq black as well so it can be used as a prop in the garden.  I really have to stop watching the DIY programs on TV lest I fall pray to plagiarism.  It was with great joy that we scratched out the jobs we completed today as well as tidying the house and making a roast.  It’s now 9pm and Terry is snoring soundly next to me on our mattress on the floor, the 2 dogs loyally guarding us at the foot of the bed.  It’s time I got my head down too.  Goodnight all

produce garden hallway bargeboard frontdoor stainedglass

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