Lovely London!

So much to do, so many people to see, too little time as ever! Still, I am doing my best! My first day here, a week ago, I was very spoilt being picked up from the airport, a lovely lunch followed by a fabulous dinner with some of the people most dear to me in a very special restaurant in Richmond. Diners have to ring the doorbell to be let in, so popular that it is booked weeks in advance, cram into the tiny space and then are served course after course of exquisite Italian food! Scrumptious is the only word for it! Although perhaps I should add that we shouldn’t have eaten for days first as the phrase Bacchanalian feast comes to mind too!

I spent Wednesday at the Victoria and Albert Museum with Lara going to a couple of lectures as part of the London Design Week,  so interesting and thought provoking, slow design and design repurposing old materials rather than making things from new, designing in a socially responsible way and with social purpose.  We also went to the exhibitions on What is Luxury and the Shoes exhibition, a full day of culture! A day in the country in Kent to see my godmother, then more culture at Somerset House, seeing exhibits for London Design week, we loved the Max Lamb exhibit My Grandfather’s Tree best, onto Borough Market for lunch via a long walk along the Thames, seeing the ever changing and lovely London landscape, wandering through old haunts at Guy’s Hospital and the Hay’s Galleria, onto dinner with my goddaughter, her sister and Lara. I took them to the Seashell at Lisson Grove, a restaurant I went to many times with my father, it is as good and busy as ever! I can recommend the fish cakes!

The weekend rushed by, lunch at Jean’s on Saturday, watching rugby in the evening, a lovely picnic in Richmond Park with Lara on Sunday, unbelievably sunny and warm given the time of year, such a wonderful wild place on the edge of the city, with the woods and ponds of the Isabella Plantation and the wide open spaces with big antlered male deer bellowing at each other, seemingly from one side of the park to the other they were so loud. We didn’t go too close! Michael arrived after a much delayed flight to join us for dinner at the New Inn in Ham, delicious food and good company, catching up with friends made on the Orient Express.

Yesterday we wandered a little way along the Grand Union Canal in Brentford after enjoying coffee with Jean, made our way “into town” as the phrase goes here! We had a small, delicious lunch at the Muscly Artist, a haunt frequented by Michael for many years, at least 30, and he says imagethe restaurant hasn’t changed a bit! Onto the Ai Weiwei retrospective at the Royal Academy which was an amazing exhibition for the sheer body of work, the political messages behind the pieces and the mix of Eastern and Western influences in his work, vaux Le voyage as the Michelin guide would say.

All this tinged with sadness as I was told of the death of a dear friend who was a close family friend, she still had such hope of overcoming her cancer diagnosis but cancer overcame her all too soon. Another thread linking us to our parents and our past gone. She will be much missed.

In the meantime, Simon is back in his routine and enjoying it! Friday night, walking down to the Farmers Market on Saturday, Saturday night movies, filling his walls with photos and enjoying doing a jigsaw whilst listening to audio books. How lucky we are that the Arrowsmith program is working for him and that he is happy to work so hard at it, keen to “fix” his brain, as he puts it.

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