Saturday morning and B is still snoozing. Monkey and his friend J are on the Xbox, seemingly full of energy despite laughter and chatter coming from the bedroom until almost 11pm last night. Any time I stuck my head in the door to issue threats of confiscating Xbox controllers and iPads the following day, was met with two sets of angelic smiles and what-do-you-mean expressions. Funny. Little bandits. B has suffered the same cold I have, so he probably needs a few more winks this morning and I’m busying myself with laundry and cleaning until he emerges.
The two chimps have another birthday party this weekend. It’s their friends ‘the triplets’ and another boy in their class and we’re taking them to something called Adrenalin Rush Laser Combat, because, you know, adrenalin and sugar is EXACTLY what my child needs. He’ll be bouncing off the walls when we collect them later, I’m sure. As for us, we haven’t made any plans beyond watching an All Blacks game this afternoon, but expect after that we’ll have some wine and cook – the usual on a Monkey weekend, really.
Last night, things were really kicking off here in sleepy, leafy Chiswick – B arrived home and told me that outside the Station House pub just a hundred yards away, there were four paddy wagons and about 30 policemen. What the hell? I hate to say it, but unfortunately I’m one of those curtain twitchers, so we headed out on the balcony to get a view of it and sure enough, complete mayhem. Not a common sight around these parts, I mean Chiswick is family heaven and the High Road is littered with cafes, estate agents, hairdressers and independent boutique shops. No nightlife to speak of beyond people going for a glass of wine at a gastropub or having a nice meal at one of countless posh restaurant, a handful of which are Michelin starred. So this did strike me as a bit unusual.
Despite staying on the balcony for a good half hour and craning our necks, we couldn’t figure out what was going on. Every so often we could hear what sounded like football chants, that type of thing, leary drunk football supporters or something. But what in God’s name would warrant all those policemen and what looked like the scene of some excessively violent crime? B mentioned an ambulance had been parked there too when he drove past. Oh well, I’m going to ask the lovely Italian bartenders next time we head there. Had we not had Monkey here, we would probably have gone there for one around that time, it’s what we usually do unless we decide to be wild and crazy and head up to the High Road or EVEN INTO TOWN!
It’s funny. Or boring. Or weird. Not sure which, perhaps all three, but I very rarely venture out of Chiswick. Central London is something I only ever see if we have visitors, and when I think about it, it almost seems wasteful to have the amazing city that is London literally on my doorstep, yet I don’t seem to make the most of it. When my sister arrives on Thursday, I’ll make sure we do. She’s not into going out drinking and that stuff, so we’ll no doubt find some quirky exhibition and then head for some of London’s gems that even now haven’t become part of the tourist trail.
Walking along Regents Canal from Little Venice to Camden Town is one such gem – absolutely beautiful, and my sister is slightly on the alternative side so despite the crowds she might find Camden interesting. Another gem is Colombia Road Flower Market in deepest, darkest Hackney. Despite being right across town, we can get the Overground, which avoids central London and leisurely chugs along Kendal Rise, Hampstead, through Camden and out to Hackney Central. That’ll be right up her street, I reckon. As the name suggests, lots of flower stalls, but also Colombia Road is full of little art galleries where you can pop in and have a glass of champagne and peruse local artists’ work. Quirky and sweet, just like my sister.
Apart from Monkey having a friend over and them heading to a party a little later on today, we’re also getting a Christmas tree, which will be a pain in the arse but has to be done. Unlike in Sweden, where you head out into the woods and select one that you then cut down and drag back home, luckily here they line them up outside our local supermarket so it won’t require us treading through metre deep snow to get it. The tradition back home, is to get one off someone else’s land – people kind of make a sport of it and as bad as it might sound, it’s all done in jest and all Swedes do it. It’s good natured and tongue-in-cheek. Thieving, but hey. It’s the LAW.
Right. Time for mug of freshly brewed coffee #4 and then some ironing until B wakes up.