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Posts Tagged ‘tea’

Ah… how lovely to feel relaxed! I’d almost forgotten what that’s like.

We didn’t think we’d get away this year, as money is tighter than a tight thing wound tight, but my parents were very generous and rented a slightly bigger holiday cottage than they’d planned and took us with them. So we’re just back from a week in Fife, in Lower Largo. We were staying in White Cottage, which was not luxuriously furnished – but the location and views more than made up for that!

There were lots of trips to the park, sandcastles on the beach, and tea drunk in the conservatory contemplating the view (and futile guesses as to the types of birds who paraded themselves in front of us). Trips out, meetings with friends, life pondered and celebrated. All together, the best kind of holiday.

Our view from the house:

We had the obligatory trip to A&E due to a finger-trapped-in-electric-window incident – this was the bath workaround 1.0 –

Strawberry picking at Blacketyside Farm was a real hit, one of the best parts of our holiday. It was great for TWM to realise that strawberries don’t just appear in the supermarket. He loved carrying his tub and filling it with berries – he was no fool though, and accepted all donations from helping hands – and my, were those strawberries delicious. It makes you realise the price we pay for ‘convenience’ food – however fresh the supermarket may claim their fruit is, it’s not a patch on fresh hand-picked straight from the farm.

We spent a day in St Andrews – firstly in Craigtoun Country Park and then in the town itself, catching up with friends who’ve had a very tough year. They are inspirational, and it was wonderful to see their littlest boy looking so well and healthy. Their older boy is the same age as TWM, so they had a cracking time running around together.

And the boys and their daddies experienced the  thrill of the ride – Orient Express eat your heart out…

Oh, and we celebrated a birthday 🙂

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Glasgow society

Hubby, TWM and I were out this afternoon as I had an appointment in town. We decided to pop in at my mum and dad’s before we came home, but were earlier than expected. Rather than sit in the car in the rain, I buzzed the neighbour’s house to see if they still had my parents’ spare keys – they always used to keep some in case of emergencies. This couple have lived in the flat directly beneath my parents for as long as I can remember – it’s at least 25 years, anyway. She’s German and works at the Goethe Institute, and he – well, I’m still not sure what he does, but it seems a bit rude to ask at this stage in the game. They’ve never married, never had kids, and are the most kind-hearted and generous type of good peoples.

Anyhow, they didn’t have the keys, but he asked us in for a cuppa while we waited for my parents to arrive. So we sat in their kitchen, chewing the fat and drinking tea. For those who have never had the pleasure, a Glasgow tenement kitchen is a glorious room. It is often more sitting room than the actual living room is; it is used not just as a kitchen and dining room. The traditional tenement kitchen will often have a large alcove – a bit like this:

Originally, this was the bed alcove – these tenement flats housed families much larger than is now seen as ‘normal’. The flats were two roomed – called a ‘room and kitchen’, and would share a toilet outside on the stair landing with perhaps as many as four other flats.  The bed would have taken up the whole  alcove, and most of the family would sleep in this one bed. A curtain would be drawn across it during the day to shield it from view, while the space underneath would be used for storage – sometimes of a second pull-out bed in the case of the larger families.

These days, the rooms are also multi-purpose – but often the alcove is now used for dining, or for a study or office area. In this flat, the occupants have used the alcove as a kitchenette, and the rest of the room as a living area.

Anyhow, back to our afternoon. It was one of those cosy afternoons that you could never plan. Drinking tea while the rain battered down outside, admiring Mr Neighbour’s extensive book collection and their beautiful reclaimed chairs. It was all so quintessentially West End Glasgow. To complete the picture, Ms Neighbour returned home shortly afterwards, on her bike, from their allotment.

If I ever come into money, I will buy a large West End tenement flat, and enjoy the society.

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Strawberries and cream

I’m having a cup of tea (and a sneaky bit of chocolate) while the TWM naps, and watching Venus Williams struggling against Date-Krum. This time two years ago I’d just finished up work for maternity leave, and was settled on the sofa watching week one of the same tournament. I thought I’d have several weeks of similar rest to prepare for baby’s landing – in the end I had only another few days due to his early (encouraged) arrival.

It just made me think about how different life is now – sitting down for any length of time >20mins is a luxury, and finishing a hot cup of tea – that you can put down on the floor if you wish – a distant dream. I could spend an hour in the bath and another hour moisturising (I didn’t – but I could have).  I had more spare cash than I’ll ever have again. But do you know what?

I wouldn’t change it for the world.

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