Friday, 30 December 2005
The only snow we saw this holiday was at the St Fagans National History Museum in Cardiff with Anna. She'd cooked us an amazing lunch of vegetable curry and buttered spinach followed by chocolate cake and washed down with a large gin and tonic.
To work it off we headed for the Museum, which is mainly outdoors and consists of a series of buildings depicting Welsh life through the ages. The snow was absolutely lovely - big thick clumpy flakes that settled almost immediately. Snowballs were thrown and extremities were nippy. Excellent fun.
Saturday, 17 December 2005
When I was little and needed new shoes my mum would take me out on Saturday and buy me a new pair from Clark's or somewhere - normally Whiteladies Road and from the shop where the machine measured your feet. I would bring them home and put them at the end of my bed, so that they were the first thing I saw when I woke up the next day. Then I would be filled with excitement that I had new shoes and I'd put them on (still wearing my pyjamas) and I'd watch the children's tv on sunday mornings in my brand new shoes. I loved that they were new and so precious they'd never been worn outside.
I'd have loved these shoes when I was little. The nearest I came to grown-up shoes were those patent mary-janes with the strap that could go back to turn them into slip-ons. Pretty darned cool back in the 80s. Mine were even grey - THE colour of '85.
Sunday, 11 December 2005
For my birthday we went to see the Narnia film and then went home for an elaborate afternoon tea. I made maraschino cherry cake, madeleines, chocolate truffle cake, jam drops and ginger biscuits, and we ate sandwiches with the crusts cut off and drank tea and lashings of ginger beer.
It was great.
The film was odd. I liked the opening sequence best of all - the portrayal of the blitz and subsequent evacuation of the children with their mothers sobbing on the platforms left me in tears. The dreadlocks of the white witch made me want to cry in a different way, however. But generally it was well made and we all enjoyed it, particularly the horse called Phillip.
Friday, 9 December 2005
And so we went to Paris for my 29th birthday, and loved every minute. In fact, we discussed how we might move there in quite some detail.
Everything was manifique - our wee apartment was brilliant and in such a lovely area, we went on a macaroon hunt, we did christmas shopping, we flaneured like no-one has flaneured before, we took full advantage of our first class eurostar upgrades, and we vowed to go back in the spring.
There's something very weird about the way that food can remind you of a time or a place. Our croissant breakfast in Paris had exactly that effect on me.
We used to eat croissants at the weekend when we were little and lived in Portway House. This was pre-Atkins era obviously, and other breakfasts included porridge with cream and brown sugar, so you can see how everyone's metabolisms must've gone downhill since then. Anyway, our croissant breakfast would almost always consist of extra butter and marmalade and all four of us sitting round the pine kitchen table on those red Magistretti chairs with the wicker seats, and milk would always be full-fat and served in that white jug with the blue Dutch pattern.
This is when my name was Charlie or fish face or bootsy or charlie buttons or frog face, and we would inevitably be wearing a strange combination of nightwear with elements from the dressing-up box and probably wellies too.
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