Morning spent shopping! Walked up to Argos with mum to get a replacement kettle – typical that an essential household appliance should break down when she comes to visit, it seems to happen every time. Then back via Tesco for food for tonight etc. Mum found the walk back from Tesco with shopping rather difficult – she is only used to carrying stuff as far as the car, apparently. Though I think she was probably carrying a bit more than me – out of concern for my back.
Mum wanted to do the veg’s after lunch, so she did this while I lay down … trying to get as much use out of my back as possible over the next couple of days, so am resting where possible.
Toby and Theo arrived soon after 1500h: cup of tea in the garden, but Theo rapidly disappeared to watch the Test match on C4. Around 1600h we decided to go for a walk – Theo would obviously have preferred to stay watching the cricket, but was his usual cheerful self. Tube one stop, then a pleasant walk on Tottenham Marshes up to the lock. Watched a couple of boats going through, back home around 1745, rather later than planned. but a phone call from Jane (& Chloe) to say that they were just about to catch a bus from the bottom of the Grays Inn Road … they arrived about 1900h.
Supper – later than planned – at 2000h was roast chicken and stuff (veggie-sossies and separate stuffing for Chloe), apple pie to follow (cheat – bought ready-roll pastry). Went down well – Theo tried the butternut squash and really liked it, Chloe had three helping of roast spuds. I was please that the kids enjoyed the meal – Mum had been rather worried that I tend to use herbs and spices in cooking (cloves in the apple pie, for example), but either the kids didn’t notice, or they found it OK.
Kids – well, all of us – were pretty stuffed after the first course, so there was a 20-minute break before pudding. Theo found one of the Simpsons DVD’s, and sat very quietly on the sofa looking at the cover. It was obvious that he wanted to watch it, but realised that with the dining table out it isn’t possible to use the telly in the front room. I cleared things with Jane, then offered him to use my bedroom telly & DVD player … the expression on his face as he settled into the recliner armchair in the bedroom with the remote controls to hand was priceless! Chloe soon joined him, and they were allowed to eat pud. in there.
I retreated to the garden after supper (I do try not to smoke in the flat when I have non-smoking visitors) while the others cleared up & stacked the dishwasher. then coffee in the garden for adults while Chloe and Theo continued with the DVD.
Morning was a bit of a panic as Chloe took forever in the bathroom – it’s true what they say about 15-year-old girls! However, everyone off on time OK. Mum then retreated to bed for another couple of hours, while I did a bit of clearing up and stuff.
Mum wanted to get an Italian dictionary (she’d left hers at home) and some holiday reading, so went to the bookshop Bam uses on Haverstock Hill. Tube / Silverlink to Kentish Town West – got a bit lost going to the bottom of Haverstock Hill as Mum got diverted into walking through the park, so went a roundabout way. Visited Daunt books (I got Grigson’s “English Food”, and Luke Sutherland’s “Venus as a Boy”). home via Hampstead Heath Silverlink, getting back around 1430. Lunch of cold chicken & salami, salad etc, then a lie down. My back has just about reached its limits – even with max. painkillers and use of TENS unit, so my movements were pretty constrained in the evening, although I tried fairly hard not to let it show too much for fear of worrying Mum. I did explain, however, that the TENS unit lets me do more than normal, but that when I reach my limits it takes a painful couple of days to get back to the usual state. The damp drizzly weather didn’t help, either.
Supper was chicken soup and the rest of the apple pies from Thurs. Mum had an early night – cab booked for 0330h Sat. I had a bath etc around 0130, but didn’t go to bed … wanted to be up to see her off, which happened on time. Then to bed and collapse!