Friday, July 17, 2009

A Week in the Life of...

Well, it's the end of another week during which I've prepared a splendid Sunday Lunch, made and delivered two Macaroni cheeses, spent another day gardening, looked after Grandson for a couple of days, enjoyed a visit from a LondonBF and another dinner at L'Eglise, washed and ironed all the bedlinen and changed all the beds, painted a chest of drawers for the Student's room (and carried it from the car and up three flights of stairs) and also had a little panic about Swine 'Flu. I'm beginning to sound a bit like Superwoman aren't I - except for the last item of course.

To begin with last weekend, I was so looking forward to seeing Son and his Girlfriend and I had planned a super lunch for Sunday. I decided to pinch some of Jamie Oliver's ideas, and bought a gorgeous selection of cold meats (from M & S actually) plus an assortment of tasty foccacias, two cheeses, some olives and a dish of organic beetroot. I prepared it all a la Jamie, laying out the cold meats on a large wooden board. I warmed the breads and whisked up a large bowl of potato salad made with potatoes from ABF's garden, organic mayo and a bunch of lovely chives, fresh from Roz's garden. I also washed and dressed some of her fabulous homegrown rocket which has a really mustardy flavour. Oh, and I boiled some organic "Happy Eggs" to go with it. Altogether the lunch was almost totally organic - which is great because Son's Girlfriend is very keen on most things Organic, with a capital "O". And for dessert I made a Summer Pudding, from my Grandmother's recipe, using redcurrants, blackcurrants and raspberries from the Farm, and organic white sliced bread (I didn't know you could get organic white bread, especially not sliced!). I had also bought some single Jersey Cream and some Organic double cream to go with it, so we were amazingly well provisioned. To go with all that yummy food we had a jug of Pimm's, which I asked Son to make - and I must say that the whole thing was a great success. We all ate so much that we couldn't manage the pudding straight away, so we went for a blue and windy walk down by the sea to refresh our appetites. Daughter, Grandson and the Boyfriend turned up at teatime, so we all enjoyed Summer Pudding and cream, plus a lovely family time, before they all had to go. Son and his Girlfriend also went off bearing the old oak chest of drawers from the small bedroom. This was always in Son's bedroom in Cambridge, and as he needed something to tidy up the stuff in his flat, it was the obvious solution.

So, on Monday (after delivering my Macaroni Cheese to the Deli), I whizzed off to collect Grandson from School - only to be on the receiving end of an official School Newsletter telling everyone that there had been a case of Swine 'Flu in the School. This did scare me, I must admit, especially since there was no way of knowing who actually had the virus, how old they were, which class they were in, and how bad a case it was. Nevertheless, we had our picnic tea and our game of football and frisbee on the field, as usual, and I had to wait to tell Daughter until she arrived home from work. We both felt worried, but somehow couldn't decide on the best course of action. The letter advised parents not to keep their children away from school, but what would you do? Most people are saying that most of the cases are mild - but the exception seems to be in younger children, between the ages of 5 and 12, who haven't had the chance to build up any immunity to 'flu viruses. Anyway, I left Daughter to wrestle with that tricky decision, and brought back the small chest of drawers which she has been storing, unused, in the garage. At first I felt rather feeble about carrying it out of the car and into my house, but then I decided that all I needed was a bit of creative thinking. I carried all the drawers out separately, and managed to manoeuvre the carcass by turning it over and over (rather like a square cartwheel) and even got it up the stairs that way. Result!

On Tuesday, which was 14th July, I was expecting one of my London BFs as we had planned to go the the special dinner at L'Eglise, for Bastille Day. She arrived with wine, and I also made a jug of Pimm's (it seemed a shame not to finish the bottle), so we were very jolly company by the time we met her friends in the Restaurant at 7.30. We had a typically delicious meal, laughed a lot, and staggered home rather late. Next day she left after breakfast, and I spent the rest of the day painting the chest of drawers in readiness for my next Student, who arrives on Sunday. Then Daughter phoned to say that she would like to bring Grandson to me for a couple of days - no real surprise there - so they turned up at supper time, and I had the unexpected pleasure of cuddling up to Grandson, who is, of course, in the best of health!

I had a day of gardening planned for Thursday, so I magicked up a picnic for Grandson and me, threw it all in the car, and off we tootled to East Grinstead for the day. Luckily it was a perfect and sunny day, and Grandson had a great time playing with C's children and helping me in the garden. I worked like fury and managed to get quite a lot done. All the planting I had done over the previous two weeks is looking lovely. We've had quite a bit of rain, so everything is growing well. Grandson and I had our picnic sitting on a rug in the garden, and I worked until I could hardly move. By 5 o'clock I was just about done - and completely done in. Actually, we were both really tired; Grandson hadn't stopped running about and I had weeded, watered and planted until every muscle in my body was aching. We laughed about that all the the way home in the car and just about collapsed when we got indoors (though Grandson managed to eat sausages, waffles and peas, followed by ice cream and a big glass of milk). I sat down after getting him into bed and was so tired I just crept up to bed at 9.30!

Today I could move without pain - it's obviously good for my muscles to get so much exercise.
Grey, wet and windy weather meant that Grandson and I were pretty much confined to the house - except that when the sun came out briefly this afternoon we went to the park for a bit of fresh air! And what happened? Grandson insisted on going into the paddling pool with all his clothes on, and tripped over, falling flat on his face. Oh Joy - he was soaked to the skin and then it started raining again. By the time I had stripped off his wet clothes and put his coat on (luckily it covered his willy, but not his bum) it was chucking it down, and I was soaked to the skin. My second shower of the day. We ran back to the car - what a sight we must have been - and arrived home just before Daughter, who was coming to take Grandson back for the weekend. Now all I have to do is make another Macaroni Cheese to deliver tomorrow morning - and as I'm also looking after Hon. Grandaughter tomorrow, I can pick her up when I deliver the dish to KT at the Deli. That's Saturday, and then the new Student arrives on Sunday...


Maggie May said...

I am feeling quite dizzy with all that rushing round...... but do you know? I really enjoyed that post!

You sound the perfect Grandma & someone who can turn their hand to anything. I do admire that quality in you!
I will be round for a gourmet meal one day too! LOL!

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Fabulous post - what an active lifeyou lead. You sound so content but alive, lovely. X

Anonymous said...

Children just love paddling pools! I think the media have once again hyped up the swine flu scare and made us all think we're going to pop off should we contract it. I heard that NHS Direct are inundated with calls of people having a cough and sniffles and they're saying they could have swine flu so should therefore stay indoors. It is scary but we have to remember the common cold does still exist!

You have been a busy bee, glad grandson is okay.

CJ xx

Retiredandcrazy said...

How do I get my hands on one of your Macaroni Cheeses?

gaelikaa said...

Wow! You are some woman I must say! I envy your expertise in the kitchen!

gaelikaa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


A Mother's Place is in the Wrong said...

Hi Maggie M, lovely to hear from you, as always. You are so kind - it does sound rather a whirlwind life doesn't it? Please do come for a meal sometime - I love to entertain. M xx

HI MOB - well I am whizzing around a bit, and having some fun. It's lovely to have your comments, as always. M xx

Hi Crystal - well so I thought, but afraid the news from Daughter isn't so good today! M :-(

Hi RAC, well, as so many people have asked, and I can't deliver them all over the country (or to the USA), I'm going to put my recipe on my Blog - hope that helps. M xx

Hi gaelikka, you are so kind, but I'm a pretty normal Mother and Grandmother, I think. See above if you might like the recipe! M xx

Hi jennifer/Margaret, so nice of you to call by and to comment - I'm never sure how anyone finds my Blog, but glad they do! Look forward to reading you too. M xx