It’s already Monday night. Whatever happened to the ENTIRE weekend? I seem to remember last posting a few words on Friday night, and not really having time to write anything of consequence – and now suddenly it’s Monday night. I don’t understand. Or maybe I do.
Early on Saturday morning I scraped Miss 18 out of bed, turned my cheerfulness up to 11, and escorted her to London for the day. She’s been having a pretty tough time of it just recently, so I thought a day away from everything might help. When I suggested a trip to London on Friday night her eyebrows raised, and she murmured something about buying a second pair of Doc Martens boots.
I KNEW she would end up buying a second pair. When she earned her first pay-packet, I took her to London on a pilgrimage of sorts – to buy a pair of Doc Martens boots. She bought a pair of decorative boots with red roses embroidered down the sides – flying in the face of my advice to get the classic boots. The result? She has rarely worn them because she doesn’t want to ruin them (I wouldn’t want to either, given how much they cost).
So – we made our way to the shop in Neal Street in the centre of London – just off Covent Garden – and she acquired some classic “DMs”. I was a little disappointed in the service this time – our first visit had been made pretty special by the girl that served us – who took time, was enthusiastic, humorous, and made the visit an experience of sorts. This time we got a disinterested guy in his mid twenties with greasy hair that did no more than fetch the shoes and then process the transaction at the counter.
We grabbed sushi for lunch, milkshakes from Leicester Square, visited M&Ms World, Forbidden Planet, and the British Museum. We hoped to make it to the Manga exhibition but it was fully booked. We did luck out at Forbidden Planet though – discovering a wonderful comic book artist called Sarah Graley signing books. I bought a printed book of her webcomic “Our Super Adventure”, and got it signed for my daughters – then read it cover to cover on the way home. You might know her from her work on Rick and Morty.
Sunday was an altogether different proposition. We live on the corner of a green – with houses surrounding it on all sides. For the last several years the residents have come together on a chosen Sunday and had a picnic together. You might call it a last gasp attempt at building some community spirit in the face of the internet. After a mad dash to the supermarket for snacks and drinks in the morning, and the construction of a coconut shy in the corner of the green (we borrowed it for a fundraiser, and still had 50 coconuts left), I was out there pretty much consistently from lunchtime, until midnight.
We played cricket, rounders (a mini version of baseball), drank cider, told stories, met new neighbors, drank more cider, told more stories… you get the idea. As the sky grew dark one of our neighbors brought out an old washing machine drum filled with wood – a wonderful down-cycled fire-pit of sorts. We gathered the assembled assortment of folding chairs around the fire, and put the world to rights for several hours.
I feel incredibly lucky to live near so many wonderful people. It’s easy to miss each other – to not even know each other exist – until we all take the chance to put a day aside and spend time together. Suddenly there are names for faces, funny stories, and laughter. So much laughter.
I’ve been SO tired at work today, but strangely happy too. My world grew a little last night – and spending time with old friends served as a timely reminder that there is more to life than work, chores, and worrying about money. In a strange sort of way I remembered a little of who I am.