Thursday, April 15, 2010

Life Stages

We're really packing it into the days this week!

On Friday Samuel and Josh went to a friend's house from 11am till 8pm. Whilst they were out, we took William and Jonathan over to meet with Vicki and the boys, and we went for a walk/pond dip and general hanging out in the sunshine.

Saturday, Samuel went out for the whole day with his friend Alex, for Alex's birthday. They went to the Comedy Club for Kids in London, then for a meal, then back to Alex's until after Dr Who in the evening. By all accounts Samuel had a great day.

Sunday was church, with Roarke taking part in the second drama of a series that they are running during April. It sees him in his soldier's uniform, playing the part of "Brad", an actor... as you can imagine he is getting a lot of laughs :-)

On Monday we had a family day out with our friends and their children. We went to Greenwich to the Royal Observatory, and then had a picnic in the park - despite the somewhat artic winds blowing across the hill! We then went back to their house (to warm up!) and relax. A really really lovely day.

The rest of this week so far has been a mixture of business, charity work, family stuff, and generally rushing around.

April is of course a really bad month for me, and as always I am mentally and emotionally spending most of my time thinking about this time back in 2006. This weekend will be my 40th birthday, and that added "life stage" kind of atmosphere is, I guess, making my grief sharper this year.

We had hoped to have a party at a hall, but for various reasons this has been downgraded to having friends over on Saturday for a buffet lunch. Just as the kids always get to chose their "party food" for their parties, I've decided what we're eating on Saturday - and it is all my favourites! This means everything is either meat or cheese based (savoury) or meringue, fudge or toffee based (if sweet).

I'm hoping peope are going to be able to bring food, but I'm doing the bulk of the catering myself. I'm making it all gluten free as not only is my coeliac brother coming, but also obviously two of my boys are gluten free, and two other guests are gluten free.

It also kind of feels fitting to me, in Dad's memory :-(

At the last count I had 14 adults and 22 children coming...

I've just started the preparation. A beef joint is marinading for 24hrs now in red wine, thyme and rosemary from the garden, garlic and shallots. I'll slow cook that tomorrow, then slice it for the table. I've also made my first batch of gf dough, making some olive oil bread.

This is the view from one of my kitchen windows:
I love this photo as it manages to encapsulate most of who I am and where I'm at right now.

Two measuring scales (a necessity with all this baking), a batch of gf dough provingin the sunlight, potatoes chitting, windowsill chilli seedlings, two pot plants each a gift from friends visiting for dinner.. then looking out into the garden the left hand walled flower bed has crocosmia bulbs coming up at the back, then strawberry plants, then a few primulas at the front for colour. The black seat is off Freecycle (of course!), and the table is 8 years old and on its last legs (literally!). Behind that is my new vegetable patch with garlic, cabbages, brocolli, carrots, beetroot and leeks all in the little patch that you can see, and edged with spring bulbs inherited with this house. And of course the trampoline :-)


Fiona Nicholson said...

This is a lovely evocative picture from your kitchen window.

Party food sounds yum, except hmm no chocolate?

Tracy said...

Best wishes for your birthday. Lovely picture.