Thursday, October 20, 2011

I see two ships...

This morning the sea was different again - it's never quite the same twice, and when I walk most mornings there is usually something to note. Today there was a deep bluey-green, almost steely look to the water. A big tanker, leaving harbour, was moving very slowly and looked just like a black paper cutout solidly silhouetted against the flat horizon. Further along I saw a yacht with one white, billowing sail which cut through the line of the horizon like a Japanese paintbrush stroke. Very graphic. My walk was invigorating as always, and the wind was cold enough to warrant a scarf snuggled around my neck. Somehow that makes all the difference. And I so look forward to the hot shower afterwards.

Today (Saturday) is sunny but cold and as I have Grandson here I'm not walking by the sea. It's also Lovely Downstairs Neighbour's Birthday, so we're about to write her card and give her a presie. I have also volunteered to babysit for her this evening so that she can go out and celeberate with friends. That's easy-peasy because it usually involves me sitting here with a glass of wine and the baby monitor - though maybe Beanie won't be so obliging tonight! We'll see. It is going to be his 1st Birthday next month, on 8th November - I can hardly believe a whole year has gone by so quickly. He is still called Bean or Beanie, although his official name is still Gabriel. This should all be resolved when he has his Christening/Birthday Party on 6th November, Lovely Downstairs Neighbour will then finally decide on his names and the order in which they appear. As you may (or may not) recall he has been Bruno Gabriel and Gabriel Bruno, though still no-one calls him anything but Bean! It's a tricky one :-)

Half Term is upon us, and Grandson has had a very good six weeks at the new school. Yesterday there was a Harvest Cafe after school, where various cakes anad goodies were on sale. I contributed some of my Crabapple Jelly, some Spooky Cupcakes and a few other bits and pieces. It was very crowded and great fun. We ate cakes and then watched a film made by last year's Year 3. Grandson also had a brand-new, shiny gold Headmaster's Sticker, given for for his homework. All in all very satisfactory. Afterwards we went to the Skate Park for a freezing (for me) half hour. Amazing how much the weather has changed in just two weeks. Then it was home for fish and chips. I was so cold that I needed something warm to hold, at least that's my excuse...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The last Pimm's of Summer..

What a glorious week of weather we have had, culminating in two days of 30 degree temperatures this weekend. Of course we spent it on the beach, as did thousands of others here in Brighton - in fact in 9 years here I have never seen so many people out walking along the promenade and swimming in the sea. We had picnics on the beach on both Saturday and Sunday, Daughter, Grandson and I, and also swam in the sea along with everyone else. Grandson is a positive water baby and was in the sea for about three hours on Saturday and two hours on Sunday! The only thing that stopped him was the fact that he had scratched his stomach because he wouldn't stop surfing onto the shingle! In spite of the hot sun and clear blue skies, there was a lovely breeze and very big waves crashing onto the shore, so it was an exciting thing to be doing, but by Saturday evening he was really sore, and on Sunday he was pretty much black and blue. He had a good go of his Boogie Board too and that was slightly less painful. Anyway, great fun was had by all, and we retreated to my balcony at about 4pm on Sunday and sat in the sun with the last of the Pimm's, watching the sun go down. Not surprisingly, Grandson collapsed in front of the TV and we didn't hear a peep out of him. When they went home he apparently crashed out and slept like a log. We all felt that we had made the most of the glorious weekend - what a great ending to the Summer - unexpected and all the better for that.

It was also the last of the Shoreham Flyover Car Boot Sales on Sunday, and of course I didn't want to miss that. It was almost too hot to walk around, and lots of people had brought their umbrellas to use as parasols - what a good idea: I wished I had thought of it. The field was packed with sellers, right down to the bottom, and again, I had never seen so many people out and about enjoying the sunshine. We found some lovely bargains, and I saw lots of things I would have bought for my imaginary antique shop!

As I was driving back to go to the beach, Son phoned from Poland. I told him that we were enjoying Mediterranean weather and temperatures and he sounded rather envious!
They were due to fly back on Monday, so I guess they are back in London now, though I haven't heard from him yet

My students have both gone home - the unpleasant Austrian vegetarian went home on Saturday morning (hurrah), leaving her room in a disgusting state and full of rubbish for me to clear up (not that I was surprised). She was possibly the most humourless person I have ever met (and that's saying something). I didn't know that she was vegetarian until after she arrived, but gamely took it on and cooked her what I thought were inventive and varied meals for two weeks. In return I got not one "thank you", she came down later and later for breakfast every day without a word of apology, and pulled a frightful face at me when I asked her to clean her bathroom at the end of the two weeks! By contrast, the other Student was a really nice Russian man, a chemist, who was unfailingly polite and charming, and always told me if he was going to be in or out. He also took every advantage of being here in England: he made two trips to London, went on a theatre trip to see "Phantom the Opera", took coach trips to both Cambridge and Stonehenge and and spent his last Saturday going to Leeds Castle and Canterbury Cathedral. He left on Sunday morning and was obviously sad to go. Of course he left his room and bathroom immaculately clean. Ah well, students come and students go, and you never know what you're going to get.

I think that's about it.. Summer is really over now I guess. I can bring in the parasol and the geraniums from the balcony and look forward to a cosy Autumn...