Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Busy...But Lovely

My husband and I were on our own this weekend, with our son at West End Stage. The house seemed really empty without him, but it was nice to have a weekend just the two of us.

We decided to just take it easy on Saturday as we were looking forward to our son’s performance with West End Stage at Her Majesty’s Theatre in the Haymarket on Sunday night. It’s the theatre that has been home to Phantom of the Opera for many years. Our son has performed there several times already but I still get a thrill sitting in the audience knowing it will be him and his cohorts on stage.

Anyway, back to Saturday! The Purley-on-Thames market takes place on the second Saturday of every month. It’s a lovely little market with some great bakers, fruit and vegetable sellers, an egg lady and even a wonderful stall with homemade curry sauces, samosa and onion bhajis. My husband and I spent a very pleasant hour making purchases, and enjoyed delicious fresh croissants for breakfast on our return home. In pursuit of some relaxation, we then headed to the Clarins spa at John Lewis for some pampering and followed that up with a bit of light shopping. We found some super candles for the garden, and my husband helped me choose two evening dresses for the autumn and winter season. He’s wonderful at shopping - incredibly patient with a fantastic eye for things that not only fit well but really suit me. In fact, it is much nicer shopping with him than a personal shopper. Sales ladies can never get over how he’ll keep bringing more things for me to try, and if I am confronted with a choice of two outfits, he’ll urge me to get them both. (Yes, I do know how lucky I am and I am very grateful!)

We got home in the very late afternoon, and as the weather was wonderful, we decided to barbeque some steaks for dinner. It turned into a lovely romantic evening as we sat in the garden watching the sun go down. There is a bat barn just near to where we live, and after dark the little bats go soaring across our garden at great speed. It sounds spooky, but actually they are quite interesting creatures. Their “radar” ensures they come nowhere near us so I can relax and enjoy watching them. We sat sipping wine late into the evening. It’s not often we get a chance to relax like that!

We had booked an early pre-theatre dinner in London on Sunday evening at The Criterion in Piccadilly Circus, but decided to go into town early, just after lunch. It meant that we could have a wander round, and I could do some research for my food blog. I write about food, cooking, restaurants, anything even remotely to do with eating really! (If you’d like to see it, please click here.) I wanted to take some photographs in the food hall at Harrods, and also at Fortnum and Mason. Although it was crowded I got some great shots; we had a very successful afternoon. I also bought some goodies (couldn’t resist) including some wonderful tea, strawberry jam with champagne and three small jars of honey in a cute little set (Scottish heather, Borage and Shropshire honey).

Dinner at the Criterion was lovely as always. It is a beautiful restaurant, full of marble and mosaics. It opened in 1873, and has been the site of many a historic event in its time. It’s said that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle first imagined the meeting between Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson in the Criterion Long Bar, and it has seen the likes of Winston Churchill, David Lloyd George, H G Wells, Sir Hugh Walpole and G K Chesterton dine at its tables. I love the Criterion for its decor and atmosphere, as well as the wonderful food and service. We had a lovely meal, finishing just in time to head over to Her Majesty’s Theatre.

What a lot of talented young people there were and of course, we were so proud of our son. It was a great show. They had all had a fantastic week, studying with actors, singers and dancers who actually work in the West End. West End Stage is a great program young people who are interested in performing, giving them the opportunity not just to learn skills, but also to hear what it is like to be a working actor/singer/dancer from people who actually are. I have to admit, I could not wait to see our son as we waited for him in the crowd at the Stage Door after the show. No matter how grown up he gets (or how tall!), somehow he’ll always be my “little boy” - even though he absolutely towers over me !

Although we packed a lot in, it was a very relaxing weekend, and I’m still basking in the glow of it really. I love weekends like that. Hope you had a good one too!

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