Wasn't it a glorious May Bank Holiday weekend? The sun here in London shone and shone and everyone tried to make the most of it by being out in the sunshine and hot air with bare arms and legs.
We spent Saturday hopping from one gallery to another courtesy of many black cabs due to my advanced pregnancy: the voluptuous, almost edible paintings of Howard Hodgkin at the Gasgosian in Kings Cross (above); the haunting, mysterious, highly charged interpretations of Edgar Allan Poe's works at the White Cube Hoxton Square and the atmospheric, dungeon-like interior of the Shoreditch Town Hall and featuring the stellar cast of such luminaries as the Chapman Brothers, Cindy Sherman, Anselm Kiefer and Harland Miller; and the filmic photos of small-town life by Gregory Crewdson at the White Cube Mason's Yard in Piccadilly.
Saturday was also spent ordering big ticket items from John Lewis for the baby, including a red and black Bugaboo Bee pushchair/pram and assorted accessories, a black Maxi Cosi car seat/carrier, a white wooden chest of drawers and matching fitted changing top, a classic wicker moses basket and stand, a digital baby monitor, BabyBjorn sling, breast pump, Baby Einstein activity gym and assorted basic clothes, sheets and blankets.
We lunched at our favourite Fernandez & Wells in Soho and later bought assorted food, including fresh tuna steaks, from the buzzing John Lewis Food Hall. At home, we ate the tuna steaks with a simple salad of rocket, beet and chard leaves and cherry tomatoes dressed in a homemade (by M) orange zest and balsamic dressing. Then ended the night eating Presat chocolates (mint wafers and chocolate covered apricots) whilst watching Heroes, Season 1 on DVD as we never caught it first time round.
Sunday and Monday were incredibly chilled affairs spent largely lazing around at home: laying in bed until late in the morning; breakfasting on freshly ground coffee and bagels with Camembert and apricot jam; reading the FT and Sunday Times outside in our garden; cooking and eating Spanish tortilla with sides of fresh tomatoes and grilled asparagus with Parmesan shavings, and also roast chicken with sides of chicory gently sauteed in butter and a rocket salad; tidying up the garden; doing laundry and hanging it out on the line.
Since yesterday, Tuesday, M is back at work, but as I am on maternity leave I am doing much the same - simply chilling. I have four weeks to go and am making the most of this time off. In honesty, it feels like a wonderful, extended vacation - the kind I've not had since my university days (and even then I usually worked during the holidays).
My favourite moments over the past few days? Feeling Little Planet's teeny weeny foot pressing against the side of my stomach and into my hand. She's head down now - her head in my pelvis, her back against my lefthand side, her legs curled across the top of my stomach and her feet pressing into my top righthand side. She's apparently around 6lbs in weight and is a tiny bundle of energy. I am so much in love.