06 April, 2006

we belong now

Library cards! We sauntered today past the nasty American Embassy to pass Mount Street (whose sort of secret gardens featured in a "Spooks" episode starring my darling crush actor, be still my heart), and into the lovely Mayfair Public Library. I brought along my tickets to the National Theatre actor discussion evenings, which had been posted to me, as proof of our residence. It's the tiniest little place, with about enough books to get Avery through our trip to Sheffield tomorrow and POSSIBLY back again, but possibly not. Still, it felt lovely to get a library card available only to those lucky enough to live within the city of Westminster. We came away with stacks of books, among them a couple of audio books I could never get either at home or find in print here, so we were both happy. Stopped to get a sandwich for me (since Avery had devoured her weight in homemade lemon blueberry cake before we left home), and the lady behind the counter came out to ask "lovey" what she was reading. "Oh, I do love a good detective story, although mind you, I often read the last page first," she confessed. "So do I!" exclaimed Avery in the perfect English accent that comes out when she really wants to fit in. "I often do it if something sad happens in the book, to make sure that it gets itself worked out happily before the end."

So we stopped to read and eat in Grosvenor Square, firmly facing toward the embassy but preferring to concentrate on the entirely spurious but impressive standing bronze sculpture of FDR. It was a warm, springlike day and the Square was peopled by babies and their caretakers, ladies and their small dogs, and heartwarmingly many of them seemed to know each other. My dear friend Alyssa called and I got caught up on gossip, real estate and otherwise, occupying our dear former home. I also got an email today from a PS 234 mother who offers the stunning news that Avery's former principal, the formidable Sandy Bridges, has a bun in the oven! And conveniently to go with it, a new husband over the Christmas holidays. Via email, John remarked that this scenario flies with much greater elan and success than a similar story would at King's College, London! After my phone call, and ascertaining that a lovely young couple in the square with two adorable children were in fact father and nanny, I felt the time had come to appreciate properly my small sprout, so in the sunshine she sat on my lap and let me squeeze her while she read her library book over my shoulder, and I felt that all the parts of the world were in the proper places, to have such a kind small person to call my own, on a sunny day in London. Someday all too soon she'll be moaning, "Oh, MOTHER," when I want a bit of a cuddle, so I have to enjoy it while I can.

A quiet afternoon and then dinner out at ASK, our local pizza and salad place, and a lovely dinner conversation just the two of us, my true favorite. Home to tuck her in, and where was her tiny ladybug, she of the disappearing act in the corporate flat? "Oh, sorry, I unwittingly took her upstairs this morning," Avery apologised. She can do almost anything, if she explains it as "unwittingly." I'm such a sucker for vocabulary. Tomorrow to see horses galore, and we'll let you know how it goes.

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