10 things we did last week – from Blackheath festival to back to school blues
I don’t know about you but I’m still reeling from the shock of going back to school. Even though I was working for much of the summer, I still felt like it was the long summer that I remembered from my childhood. No stressing about getting homework books in on time, no rummaging through the laundry basket for a half decent (read half clean) school shirt. No packing the boy off to bed at a sensible hour. No rushing to school for breakfast club.
Now that school term has started I feel that I’ve dived into an ice-cold ocean and am swimming while keeping an eye out for threats and breaking my way through ice floes that swim in my path.
The boy meanwhile seems relatively happy to be back at school – although I’m sure the novelty will wear off this week.
Not only is it back to school, but it’s back to a proper blogging schedule for me, or at least an attempt at one. Including my Monday round ups of the week that just was.
So without further ado (drum roll), here are 5 things that we did last week.
Went to On Blackheath festival
I didn’t know that John Lewis sponsored festivals, so when they invited us to go as their guests I said a big yes. We’ve already spent a week in summer at our favourite festival, One World, but I’ve been meaning to take Chiswick Boy to other festivals.
I also wanted to expose Chiswick Boy to some live music. It’s many years since I’ve been to a music festival, and I was expecting a loud, slightly dull (if I’m honest) day. Let’s face it, I was a fresh faced hippy chick when I did my Reading festival and Glastonbury years – up on all my grunge bands and ready to swing my dreadlocks with the best of them in the mosh pit
Now I listen to Classic Fm and BBC Radio Three, and put 80s pop and musical soundtracks on my iPod to walk to work to.
What I loved about On Blackheath was that it had a really friendly, family vibe. Lots of kids and lots for kids to do – like this Helter Skelter which Chiswick Boy went on twice (£2.50 a pop).
Look out for a full write up of our day at this festival later in the week on my blog.
2. Had a birthday
Yes I turned another year older last week. The years just aren’t funny any more. I still feel 22 inside. In fact I actually still feel 8 inside. But the candles on the cake tell a different story.
I wrote on Twitter that I was counting the blessings and not the years.
But it’s difficult not to count the years isn’t it? The older you get the more you realise that age really is a number – but at the same time the years seem to pass so much more quickly. Even though this blog is meant to be about celebrating the small moments, sometimes I worry that the small moments are cantering past too quickly for me to harness them.
Chiswick Daddy and Chiswick Boy spoiled me rotten on my birthday though – organising a surprise buffet and inviting my aunt and uncle over. Chiswick Daddy does a brilliant buffet, and Chiswick Boy was beyond excitement at the revealing of the cake that they’d made together.
I think it’s impossible for any birthday to go by without doing a bit of soul searching though…
3. Thought seriously about moving out of London
I think every London family muses about what it would be like to move out of London. I first moved to London after university, fresh faced from Oxford and with no real plan other than a vague need to be truly alive and in the city that never sleeps.
I’ve moved out of London twice since then and each time the metropolis has lured me back. But over the last year musing about living out of London has become daydreaming, which has in turn become serious research.
There are so many reasons for staying in London, and so many reasons for moving away, that I can’t do them justice here and I will put them all in a whole new blog post.
But one big reason is house prices – just look at the house above.. at what you can get for your money away from London. And even though I live in a leafy suburb of London that is more like a village than a capital city…I feel the lure of moving away and swapping great coffee and arts for more space and a new perspective…
Or is just a never to be daydream unrooted in practicality? Watch this space!
4. Had coffee at Number 61, Brentford
It was the last of the weekday coffee shop visits, as the return to school loomed. I’d taken a few days off work to enjoy the last days before the tyranny of the school bell and clock watching!
A new West London coffee shop is Number 61 on Boston Manor Road (at, er, number 61). The ham and cheese croissants are good, and the coffee is great. So we enjoyed a sunny afternoon here – me with my Times and Chiswick Boy with one of the Captain Underpants books (why do modern children’s books seem to come in series of about 10,000 volumes?)
5. Lit the real fires and got stuck into some autumnal reading
You may think I’ve sounded a bit down on the whole back to school thing – but don’t get me wrong, I love Autumn. As soon as the schools have gone back I feel it’s really time to hunker down and settle in for the long winter.
Lighting real fires (smokeless fuel of course!), getting into pyjamas early, creating new piles of ‘to be read’ psychological thrillers (like the one above – I See You by Clare Mackintosh, a real cracker of a thriller). These are the things that make us appreciate the turning of the seasons and help us slow down after the energetic summer.
The week in lists
- Finished ‘I see You’ by Clare Mackintosh. I rate it a must read!*
- Started * ‘Last Seen Alive’ by Claire Douglas. Birthday present from my brother!
- Reading to Chiswick Boy at Night *- the illustrated Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Gorgeous edition!
- Molly Moon & The Incredible Book of Hypnotism, 2016 – Family Movie Night. (Netflix)
- The Odd Couple, 1968 * – My birthday night choice (DVD)
- Sense8 – Boxsetting on Netflix
- Top of the Lake China Girl – my own personal box setting via BBC IPlayer
- On Blackheath festival
- Number 61, Brentford
- Kew Bridge Roastery, next to Kew Bridge Station
What did you get up to last week? And how are you coping with back to school routines in your house?
Links with * are affiliate links to help me gather a few pennies to offset the cost of running this blog.