Strawberries and Wine…

wine

I’ve just attended my first annual staff picnic and in spite of concerns regarding the weather we were able to spend our lunchtime sitting on tartan blankets, surrounded by picnickers from all the other departments, munching on big, fat, juicy strawberries under blue skies beside the 18th century 4 star hotel on site. Even better, there was a chilled bottle of white wine involved.

Despite a rather persistent wasp, it was so nice to be out of the office and into the sunshine doing something so quintessentially British, although cramming fresh fruit down my neck like it’s going out of fashion during my dinner break might not have been such a good idea.  It’s also quite hard to focus on work in the afternoon when you feel ever so slightly tipsy. Thank heavens for strong coffee…

picnic

Special Delivery…

party

It was an old friend’s birthday today and I’d totally forgotten to send her a card in the post, so I decided to just pop round and put the card through her letterbox myself. I had no intention of disturbing them by knocking, but clearly they must’ve seen me coming along the street as the front door opened and her husband welcomed me and invited me in. Due to busy schedules over the past few years we’d only been managing to catch up in the supermarket aisles once in a blue moon, with the occasional text message in between, so it was great to actually sit down and have a proper natter over a coffee.

What was even more special was the fact that her daughter and brand new grandson were visiting, allowing granny and grandad to show off the latest addition to their family. It was hugs and congratulations all round while we somehow managed to cover all manner of topics; everything from hospitals to holidays; in the space of an hour. As we said our goodbyes on the doorstep we promised not to leave it so long before our next get-together, and I’ll certainly make a genuine effort to ensure it happens sooner rather than later.

Raspberry Éclairs…

eclairs

When you’re juggling several jobs, feeling starved of a decent social life and the weather’s not been as ‘spring-like’ as you’d hoped, nothing cheers you up quite like having a good old natter with a couple of close friends; especially if it involves cakes. Today’s delicious treats were coffee topped profiteroles and raspberry éclairs, both filled with lashings of fresh cream. Afternoon tea does not involve calorie counting, and it never should.

We always manage to have a laugh and cover a wide variety of topics; everything from dead pigeons to farting in the bath. In fact, I doubt that there’s any subject we wouldn’t be able to discuss, and I find that very liberating. In a world of political correctness gone mad, it’s a relief to be able to ‘tell it how it is‘ knowing you won’t be judged. In fact, it feels so good that afternoon tea with friends should be available on prescription. It’d save the NHS millions.

 

Coffee and Cakes…

coffee

Less than 24 hours after my posh night out on the town, I was sober enough to pop round a friend’s place to admire her recently re-decorated home. Never knew I could be quite so jealous of someone else’s wallpaper! As caffeine seems a decent cure for a hangover it was an ideal scenario to put the world to rights over a coffee, while enjoying extremely yummy fresh cream cakes filled with raspberries, followed by flapjacks topped with toffee and marshmallows. Thank heavens for elasticated waistbands.

Seeing what a great job my mate’s done has now made me start thinking about new ideas and possible colour schemes for my own pied-a-terre. I don’t have a vast budget and will be limited by what I can achieve by myself, but I think that by next spring I’ll have managed to put together a few ideas and give the old place a bit of a re-vamp. There’s nothing like the idea of a new project on the horizon for firing up the creative juices. How exciting!

Catching Up…

7

When you’re insanely busy, it’s nice when you can finally manage to schedule an afternoon natter with an old friend. When I met up with my gal pal in town it was rather chilly outside, so we popped into a nearby cafe to de-frost and catch up with each other’s gossip. Even though it’d only been a year since we last got together, and we’ve regularly texted each other in the meantime, it was good to be able to put the world to rights over a large Americano and a latte.

In fact, we’d both clearly done a lot more than we first thought in the previous 12 months because an hour whizzed by, as did 2 and then 3! It was only when it started getting dark outside that we suddenly realised how long we’d been nattering for! So, after warm hugs, and promises not to leave it so long the next time, I headed back home – via the chemist to buy some throat sweets. I have a feeling I may need them later…