05 January, 2006

here we are

It's starting to feel real here now. John back at work, waking up every morning and it's still London. Avery's first day of school today. Now all we need is something to keep ME out of trouble.

After a very fitful sleep for John and me but the sleep of the just and innocent for Avery, we got up in the dark, heard lots of lovely reports of the coming bird flu pandemic on the BBC with our breakfast. We took her to school, heartbreakingly excited and scared, and so cute in her uniform. Her little wrists looked so vulnerable without any of her beloved leather and brass pony-name bracelets, her sea glass bracelet from Maine, her inevitable hair thingys. And no earrings! But with cold knees in the morning mist, with those tiny little turn-down white ankle socks. She was greeted very nicely by Toby the secretary, and Mrs D the headmistress, and given a King's College backpack ("not so very fashionable, lovey, but it will do the trick and hold all those pesky textbooks, now won't it?"), then she was turned over to an impossibly poised little girl and she was gone. Mrs D assured me, "We always find it's better just to send them off quickly, much easier all round." I guess she was afraid I was going to follow her.

Can't wait to hear how it all went in a couple of hours! I spent my morning at the department store John Lewis, ordering a bigger uniform shirt for Fifi who claimed she couldn't put her arms down in the size 26 she has on ("but then again, maybe I won't have to put my arms down
too much on just the first day," she reasoned). Then buying various things like a minute sewing kit in a plaid case (!), and wishing I had a need for some of the buttons they have, just so I could take the little glass tube they're stored in to the cashier and get my button from inside, and then put the tube back. I would also like to need some boiled knicker elastic just so I could say it out loud to the
clerk. But I don't think I need any.

Then a blissful half hour at the Waitrose grocery store, analyzing the seven or eight sorts of marmalade and being quite unsuccessful at ferreting out the differences among them, surely a native talent, and longing desperately for a real kitchen so I could acquire some of their ingredients in gorgeous packaging with labels like "A Generous Amount of Tomato Passata," or "A Pinch of Organic Saffron, "Just Enough Bouquet Garni for A Pot of Soup." Then another glorious hour at the Talking Bookshop in Wigmore Street, ALL AUDIO BOOKS! Things you'd never find in the US, like full-cast BBC dramatisations (note the cool British "s" there) of Lord Peter Wimsey stories. So happy.

Lunch alone, and now I'm back in the flat mercifully cleaned by the hardworking Maria. Cats not fond of her apparently, and so are invisible.

Tonight I'm making macaroni and cheese from five British cheeses
including Welsh Cheddar, something called Cheshire which although it sounds so famous I've never had, a Double Gloucester, a Devonshire, and hmm, the last escapes me. I always do this, all these fancy cheese, many different sorts, and guess what? It always tastes the same. I know the last cheese, I'm feeling disloyal having bought it. Gruyere. Although it could be Swiss which would be better than French from where I sit now. That with Old Fashioned Grand Duchy sausages, and a baby spinach and rocket salad with a dressing made specifically from a recipe requested by the Prince of Wales no less. Are you impressed?

1 comment:

markus said...

I guess she was afraid I was going to follow her.