Saturday, April 30, 2011

Royal Wedding Blues...

I suppose today is as good as any to re-start my totally stalled Blog! Royal Wedding fever has been at a high pitch and, though I'm not an avid royalist, I do like a bit of Romance (with a capital R) and a classy Wedding Dress. And you must admit it was a classy dress - very classical and sculptured and entirely beautiful. Actually my favourite dress was the one worn by the Bride's Sister - it was utterly wonderful. I didn't stay tuned for the whole ceremony, I'm afraid, because I find all the high church stuff rather, well, stuffy. But I gawped at the guests, particularly the Beckhams, (on TV of course) and watched the highlights when they were re-played during the evening. I did think of Princess Diana though, and imagined that she would be watching over her boys as they conducted themselves with typical self-contained and good humoured composure. Sad, but she would have been proud of them I'm sure. I always think of my Mother as sitting up there somewhere on a fluffy cloud and playing her harp (not that she ever played the harp when she was alive:-) so maybe Diana is doing something similar. Who knows.

Anyway, it's good to be back. Reading over my last entries, I was completely absorbed in my Kitchen makeover, which is now well and truly completed and seems like a distant memory. I think I was unreasonably obsessed actually - maybe not surprising when you consider how central our kitchens are to our lives. But it was finished in time for Christmas (just) and I was rushing around right up until the family arrived the day before Christmas Eve - in fact I ushered the Builders out of one door as Son, Daughter and Grandson appeared through the other. Phew! We had one or two teething troubles (i.e water from the washing machine all over the floor on Christmas morning, and again on Boxing Day morning) and the Builders seemed to come back on a regular basis for a few weeks, but on the whole it was, and is, fine. They have been great at sorting out any little wrinkles, and I'm very pleased with the result. I am now (very belatedly) sorting out my photos, plans, descriptions and receipts. I know I promised to put some of this on to show you, and I will get around to it, but life has been rather hectic in between then and now.

Where to begin? Well, Daughter has had a busy time since Christmas, changing jobs and boyfriends at an alarming pace, but seems OK at the mo. Son is fine, but has also had an eventful few months: he has split up with his girlfriend, and is moving (selling his flat and buying another one in London on his own). He is still in the same job though, and seems pretty happy and positive. Grandson is great, nearly 7 years old (on 30th May!) and is going to be moving schools again at the end of the academic year. Plus ca change..

So I have spent my time accommodating the changes, fielding Grandson as and when necessary, writing the odd article for the Estate Agent, and feeding and watering foreign Students occasionally. My last was a 77 year old Polish professor of History.
He remembered the War vividly, and told me how he was "removed" from his family by the occupying Germans when he was 12 years old. His sister, who was 13, was also removed at the same time, but sent to a different family. He never lived with his parents again, and said how terrible it was. He also said that he was "lucky" because the family who took him in were kind to him - and that the fate of his family could have been worse. Apparently they were saved from a much worse fate because his Mother spoke very good German, and was therefore useful to the occupying troops. He also reflected on the fact that, after the War, the Americans had naively handed Poland over to Stalin in the belief that he would honour his commitment to treat the Poles well. I found this all fascinating, and his stay (only two weeks up until Easter) was not only a lesson in recent history, but very interesting and entertaining. He brought me a bottle of special Polish vodka (with Bison Grass, whatever that may be) and enjoyed his visit, and his food, with equal gusto. His jolly sense of humour and enjoyment of life were quite astonishing when you consider what much of his life has been.

Before I go and check my Lottery ticket, I must tell you a bon mot I heard last week at the Garden Centre. I was sitting with a cup of coffee, minding my own business, when I overheard a couple of women at the next table discussing a mutual friend who was obviously very mean. One said to the other: "If fresh air was tuppence a bag, she'd suffocate!"
Great! I'd never heard that one before...