London, things I like

right now. (January 2016)

February 2, 2016
Last few weeks

We saw in the New Year on the Danish island of Bornholm where Rasmus grew up. I say “we”. I think I made it to 10pm before heading up to join Kaya in the land of sleep. Third trimester travel with a toddler was surprisingly much easier than I had expected and it was so good to be back in Denmark – the big move last summer meant we hadn’t been over there since my brother-in-law’s wedding last April.

And then the rest of the month has just been full of final preparations – last scan, meeting my new midwife, finding a second hand double buggy, washing baby clothes (how was Kaya ever so tiny?!) and digging the side cot out the attic. We’re officially ready. And yet of course not, how can you ever be ready??

 

In between all that prep, I’ve also been…

reading.

Circle of GraceI got given Jan Richardson’s new book of blessings, Circle of Grace, as a Christmas present, and I love it so much. I discovered her a few years ago and bought her earlier book In the Sanctuary of Women. She spins words like magic, blessings that feel alive as I read them. The book of blessings follows the liturgical year and is a permanent fixture on my nightstand now. I read her words over and over and they have been both a balm and an encouragement to me in this season.

I’m slowly reading my way through Anne Lamott’s Travelling Mercies, and I also picked up the beautifully written H is for Hawk, by Helen MacDonald, at the library. Reading does not happen fast these days but I’m enjoying both of these reads.

 

watching.

By chance we’ve found ourselves watching The Voice every Saturday evening. It’s funny to us because we’re not usually the talent-reality-show kinda people, but this is perfect easy weekend watching. Also, I think Rasmus secretly wants to be a cross between will.i.am and Ricky.

I also somehow discovered the US show Fixer Uppers and I watch it on youtube when I’m doing chores while Kaya sleeps. I’m not sure it’s emotionally healthy to watch people buy ma-hu-ssive homes in Texas to do up, while I’m living in one of the most expensive cities in the world. I keep nearly weeping about how far our budget would go if we just decided to move to Waco…!

 

cooking.

Rasmus is doing most of the evening meals these days which is some kind of wonderful. We’ve been doing double batches of everything – veggie lasagne, beef curry, fish pie, chilli… our little urban freezer is very nearly full so I think we’re about set for all those evenings we can’t face the cooker when baby comes!

I did make this easy but delicious Lemon Drizzle Cake a couple of weekends ago. It’s seriously easy, so definitely add it to your to-bake list this month.

 

Girls Night Out

exploring London.

  • Cafe Viva in Peckham is a new favourite of mine, whenever we find ourselves over Rye Lane way.
  • Last weekend my sister Jen came up for the day and we met our cousin Ali for a night out (so rare!) in Shoreditch. We had cocktails (mocktails for me) at The Book Club, which I loved the vibe of. And then pizza and an enormous plate of cinnamon doughnuts (I actually checked with the waiter if it was meant to be a dessert for two!) at Pizza East.
  • With Jen we also caught the bus over to Greenwich, one of my favourite nearby places to go. We ran around to wear out the toddler and then got coffee and chelsea buns at the Peyton & Byrne bakery there.
  • Friends invited us to meet them at the Horniman Museum and Gardens one Saturday morning. We just hung out at the little farmer’s market with a great view north over the city, and ate sausage sandwiches while the kids ran around. I’m really looking forward to going back lots more as the weather gets warmer, and exploring inside too.

 

loving. 

Making marmalade. My parents drove over for the day and and my mum bought pounds and pounds of Seville Oranges with her and I finally learnt how to make our family marmalade. This is a recipe that my great granny was making way back when so it feels very special to be continuing this January tradition.

Mornings to myself. One Saturday I booked a morning hair appointment (my first since June last year!) and then afterwards I headed to a nearby cafe, got a latte and sat an wrote for an hour. Oh it was absolute bliss!

Baby shower in a Box

Surprises in the post. Probably the highlight of my whole month – last week the doorbell rang at lunchtime while Kaya was napping and there was a huge box waiting for me. My incredible friends in Luxembourg had sent me a “Babyshower in a Box”. I might have sobbed on the kitchen floor for a good half an hour. What a gift to this woman who’s feeling just a little overwhelmed about having this baby in a still-new-to-me city.

Watching my wee girl grow up. I think parents probably say this for every stage, but wow what a joy it is to watch her learning and exploring her world. New words are appearing every day, she loves building towers and colouring and making me “tea” in her play kitchen. She is obsessed with babies and would eat apples and pears all day long if I let her.

 

on the blog. 

As always, I am linking up with the lovely Leigh Kramer’s What I’m Into post. Definitely go over there for some great recommendations from the people who link up.

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