Poor old Typepad, who are my blog hoster, have had a dreadful week having been under cyberattack and having to work like mad to keep the show on the road. The blog vanished for a few days, then came back and then vanished again, but now seems ok. Irritating for me, but for those who make their living by their use of domains and blogs and websites on Typepad, no laughing matter.
So a catch up. I have had a lovely week. Spent Easter with the family at the house in Ealing which they will be moving into permanently in July once Florence has finished her school term in Mile End. It is a terrific house, roomy and spacious and with a beautiful, mature enclosed garden in which the children can play freely with no harm coming to them. There is a small part of the garden at the end which is almost a secret garden, or a 'Gardino segreto' as Lucia would have it, and you have to check to see what Florence and Beatrice are up to every now and then. Florence came bursting out of it the last time I was there grinning all over her face and when I said What have you been up to as she had such a grin on her face, I was responded to with a gleeful shout of 'Weeing'!!!!
Weather not particularly good on the Sunday but despite that we had a visit to Kew Gardens. I have not been there since I was a child when my mother, sister and I used to board the 73 bus and stayed on until the terminus at Kew. We used to take a picnic and have a marvellous time. It seemed enormous to me and I was always frightened of getting lost but, naturally, it seems much smaller now though still quite quite beautiful, even in the rain.
The girls just took off, running across the vast expanse of grass and lawn with nothing to stop them and so much space. They absolutely loved it and it was a joy to watch them. We went into the Palm House, again so many memories came back, and though I found it slightly too humid and hot for me, I enjoyed reacquainting myself with it all.
Super lunch around at the other grandparents house, roast lamb and all the trimmings and I had taken along poached plums a la Jamie Oliver, all washed down with champagne. Children had a riotous time with a Craft Jar full of the most amazing things to stick, cut and play with and when they finally went home, tired and a bit over excited, I remained and the three grandparents collapsed on the sofa. Florence was coming back later as she wanted to sleep with Grandma which is now a tradition and it was sheer joy to tuck her into bed and read her a story. Please stay grandma she said so I lay down next to her as she snuggled down and she took my hand and held it to her cheek while she drifted off. OK tell me a grandmother who is not going to have a quiet little weep at that .....
Home the next day and as I left quite early was able to zap along the North Circular and this time made sure I did not miss my turning as I had done last time. Crash out, feet up and cup of tea.
And then the final thing to happen this week to make me count my blessings, fill me with happiness and make me realise that I am a lucky woman. Helen's book, Women of the World which is published by Bloomsbury next month, arrived! I just sat and looked at it and marvelled that I had a daughter who could do this. I am so proud of her achievement I cannot tell you. To do this while she had one small child, pregnant with another, hold down a full time job and to produce such a book, fills me with admiration.
She will be appearing at the Felixstowe Book Festival the weekend of 28/29 June and if anybody who reads this is in the vicinity then please do come. If you have not met me, you will have no difficulty spotting me. I shall be the one beaming with pride and grinning from ear to ear.....