We managed a good balance between being busy out and about and relaxing at home this long Bank Holiday weekend.
First thing on Saturday, we shopped for provisions locally (fish from Walter Purkis, vegetables for the grocer shop next door and bread from Gail's). Then it began to rain, but we chanced it and journeyed into central London to check out a few art shows - the Deutsche Borse 2012 photography prize at the Phototographers' Gallery (I came specifically to see one of my favourite photographers Rinko Kawauchi) and graffiti artist Mr Brainwash's first London show at the Old Sorting Office. I thought the latter's work would be over-hyped, over-wrought and over-blown but walking through the sorting office's cavernous spaces, I was drawn into the work's humour and satire.
Lunch was sushi rolls, sashimi salad, lotus crisps and edamame beans at So Sushi in Soho. Little R has mixed reactions to sushi - sometimes she eats raw fish with gusto and other times she rejects it on the grounds of being "too slippery" or even "too stripy" (the salmon!). This day she turned her nose up at it and tucked into the edamame beans and lotus crisps instead. We should have ordered tempura and teriyaki for her.
Dinner at home was grilled sardines and salad.
Sunday was a sunnier day, so we drove to Hampstead Heath. There we picked blackberries, visited the funfair on the Lower Heath and ate candy floss (of course!). We returned home and ate smoked salmon sandwiches in the garden. Then we made a start on sorting out our overloaded bookshelves. Too many books, in every room, but when packed nicely on shelves they are a joy to look at. I am always a bit perplexed when I go to someone's house and see hardly any books. But then we're a family of bookworms and I shouldn't be such a snob.
Dinner was fish again, but this time grilled sea bream and salad.
On Monday, we drove to London Zoo. M and I have annual membership here but now that Little R has turned 4, she needs to be a member too. I think she felt quite grown up posing for her photo and taking possession of her very own membership card! I enjoy admiring the foliage at the zoo as much as the animals - I always come away with ideas for our garden.
Also this weekend, I finished reading Joshua Ferris' Then We Came To The End ("They spend their days – and too many of their nights – at work. Away from friends and family, they share a stretch of stained carpet with a group of strangers they call colleagues" - Amazon) which I absolutely loved, mainly for the finely tuned characterisations of a broad cast. I've now started reading Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl, which I am already engrossed in.
And so another week begins - the last week of the school holidays. Little R has her last performance workshop and I have the last chapter of my novel to complete. In between we have friends and family visiting. Hurrah!