This blog is fifteen years’ old today! Which means, since I am almost-but-not-quite 30, that I have now been blogging for over half of my entire life. (I’m not sure if that’s a cause for celebration or just slightly frightening.) It also means that my blog has now entered a new phase of child development with “a deeper capacity for caring and sharing” and “more concern about future school and work plans”. So in the spirit of caring and sharing, here are a few Easter highlights since arriving back in London last week.
We were very lucky to be able to time our return to just catch Randi’s school friend Melissa while she was still visiting the UK. She wanted to visit Brighton and so we caught the train down for a day trip on Easter Friday, Randi and I both armed with shiny new Railcards which – given the amount of travelling around the UK we’re planning to do – are going to pay off very quickly. We took in all the kitsch of the pier before Randi led us in the direction of Brighton’s “best fish and chips” where she got more fish than she was bargaining for. Later we relaxed in the gardens of the Royal Pavilion. I’ve been to Brighton a couple of times before but didn’t remember how nice these gardens were, helped by the amazing sunshine and enlivened by the bloke wandering up and down trying to sell bird whistles with a practical demonstration.
That night we arrived back at my family home for one of the least convincing Passover Seder nights ever put on by any group of people. I’m still not entirely clear why this happened and Randi was deeply sceptical at the challah bread and salted caramel brownies, but whatever it was it was a lot of fun. One of my favourite absurdities was when I successfully found the afikoman and discovered that it came with a box of Easter eggs.
We also took Melissa to Hampstead Heath (lovely as always) and Camden Market (surely a bad location for climate change protests since the crowd was already so heaving it was hardly noticeable) before she left for Paris, and on Sunday night we moved on to visit Joshua in his new flat in the far-away lands of Kingsbury. I can already tell that moving back to London with Randi is going to inspire me to discover whole new areas of London and I was amazed to discover that a quaint country village – complete with quiet, windy roads – has been nestling a couple of stops up the Jubilee line this whole time. We admired Josh’s huge garden, gobbled up dinner, shared some wine and then fell asleep in his spare bedroom.
While Josh and I have always stayed in touch, I haven’t seen Rishal since… well, maybe 2011 (when he last showed up in this blog) and certainly not since I moved to Chicago. So it was incredibly wonderful to hang out in Willesden’s Beer & Burger (they didn’t have this in my day) and catch up over many years of life developments. Afterwards I walked back to his parents’ house with the hopes of seeing them again, and was rewarded not only with their company but also a large bag of assorted McVitie’s products… just like the old days, when his dad worked for them and would always have boxes of biscuits lying around.
Finally, Randi and I spent a night admiring Tash’s enviable new flat in Shepherd’s Bush over falafel and wine. We’re not actively looking for a permanent home yet, but anywhere we go is being closely assessed for its parks, buses and takeaways…