Posted by Tania Kindersley.
'Don't worry about us,' writes a kind reader. She suggests: let the blog go and have a nice time with the family.
And yet, if it is at all possible, there must be a blog. No idea why. You have busy lives, children to look after, books to read, jobs to do, gardens to garden, food to cook, thoughts to think. There is no real call for this. But it becomes a compact. It's an if you build it, he will come kind of thing, in my odd little mind.
So, I sit down at nine in the kitchen, as the Beloved Cousin makes a birthday cake for a very special occasion tomorrow, to write a scant sentence or two.
It was one of those days when the world recedes. I don't know what new development is happening in Italy, whether Governor Rick Perry has said another extraordinary thing, where the Prime Minister even is, let alone what he is doing. It was all about the domestic. I made a yellow split pea soup with crispy bacon for the children's lunch. This was a bit of a risk. They love my green soup, but yellow. I watched with as much trepidation as if I were on one of those televised cookery competitions. The first spoon was tried. Interested faces, as they encountered a new taste sensation. Then: triumph. 'I like LELLOW soup,' announced the smallest, beaming her approving smile. I practically fainted with delight.
In the evening, we made popcorn and watched Strictly Come Dancing. It's not the kind of thing I watch at home. I am usually geekishly catching up with my favourite American politics programmes. But as a family affair, it is a delight. I don't know who any of the people are, and it all has to be patiently explained. I like the camp judges. I love the fact that Bruce Forsyth is still trouping on. It seems rather amazing that he was on television when the cousin and I were the same age these children are now.
And now there is a making of a cake. There shall soon be wrapping of presents. Someone is going to be nine tomorrow. That is a serious landmark. Nine. Just imagine that.
Some quick pictures for you, from the Cousin's garden:
The dogs, doing excellent posing:
Just regard my Pigeon doing her perfect Sphinx impersonation: