I can’t believe how quickly it has turned into autumn. This morning it was 12 degrees heading out to the supermarket and to have coffee in Kingston. Brrr. It’ll be even colder up in the Lake District where you’ll find us next week, leaving early Monday morning. The warmer clothes will definitely be packed along with the umbrella as the weather forecast is not good. I’m sure it’ll still be beautiful.... I’m trying to be positive.
It's been an unusually busy week for me/us. Last weekend it was a visit to Spitalfields Market to meet up with son, Murdoch, for coffee. Embarrassing to say it was my first time at Spitalfields, given the amount of time we have lived here and also visited London. It was very quiet, sadly for the retailers, but great to keep your distance from people. I was surprised at the great quality of clothing and products on offer. I think I expected there to be a lot of tat, but no. Classy boutiques and restaurants line the periphery with the stalls set up through the centre.
Always great to spend time with Murdoch and catch up on his comings and goings. Steve and I took the opportunity to wander while we were there. Always come across great sculptures wherever we roam.
Tuesday, I had such a great time meeting up with some of our Pilates group, who’d bought and brought along their copies of My French Platter for me to sign. It was embarrassing but exciting all at the same time. Our group is such a mix but everyone has a great sense of humour and gets on really well. Then a box of my books arrived on the doorstep. It’s still quite surreal to see my name on the bottom of a book.
Thursday I had the opportunity to wear my other new dress at our Book Club lunch at The Albany, in Thames Ditton. Again, we are five very different women but get on famously. No photos sadly, but will get one of them all at our next get-together. While I’m out playing Lady Lunch-a-lot Steve has been enjoying golf with Richard our neighbour with his latest jaunt being on a golf course up near Guildford. He’s really enjoying playing again and semi-regularly.
Friday was lunch at Proud Mary's cafe on the fringes of Shepherd‘s Bush, owned by a distant cousin of mine whom I got to meet for the first time. Kelly de Lautour. We’ve discovered that her great great grandfather and my great great grandmother were brother and sister. Kelly is also a New Zealander and there is still a large contingent of de Lautours In NZ. Our combined history goes back to Chateau Saint Suturnin, near Clermont-Ferrand, so I do have some French blood in me! That explains my passion for France. See the photos below.
I think it is rather beautiful. It now hosts weddings and events, but in days gone by my ‘family’ lived there. I could do that! I wouldn’t mind being Madame Châtelaine ... Steve and I are drooling over the wonderful aerial shots we are currently getting, watching bits of the Tour de France on TV.
Kelly and I swapped books - she got a copy of mine and she gave me Ripe Recipes - A Third Helping. Some of you will know the Ripe cookbooks. Already out is the red book and also the green book - 1 and 2 respectively and now this one is a blue book. I was thrilled to bits. All the recipes are delicious, easy and mostly healthy. Tonight we have Anne and Richard coming to have dinner with us so I'm creating Meg's Chicken Enchiladas. Greens will be sauted green beans, sugar snap peas and courgettes.
After much dithering, in the hope the South Australian border may open and even going as far as harassing the Australian High Commission that we were ‘exceptional circumstances’ and going to be first-time grandparents (told to you tongue-in-cheek) then being rejected, I finally booked our flight back to New Zealand. I resorted to contacting the NZ High Commission and Alex Beeson to see if they had any intel as to which was the better airline to book, given that so many flights get cancelled. I received a call from the NZHC and was so impressed they took the time to talk to me and then to follow up with an email. They offered great advice. I chose Singapore Airlines in the end. Our departure date is 28 October and we’ll walk straight into the arms of New Zealand security and 14 days of quarantine on 30 October.
Charlie, my Howick hairdresser already has an appointment in her books for me. I’ll be visiting a lot of my old haunts and hopefully, catching up with friends and family up and down the north island. Steve’s NZ golf clubs will come out of hibernation and you’ll find him out again with the boys on any and every course.
Ta ra, luv. Soon it will be Kia Ora.....