On Saturday, we breakfasted at Ottolenghi in Islington. M ate granola with fresh fruit (strawberries, blueberries, papaya, pineapple and melon) and whipped Greek yoghurt; Little Planet had a lemon, blueberry and almond cake plus some of M's fruit salad; and I had a hazelnut and chocolate ricotta cake. The food was delicious - the fruit very sweet, the granola perfectly crunchy and the cakes moist and flavourful. As we paid the bill we were tempted into buying Yottam Ottolenghi's sumptuous Plenty cookbook of vegetarian recipes. I can't wait to start working our way through this book!
We walked round the corner to Cross Street. Little Planet had her feet measured for new shoes at the busy One Small Step One Giant Leap children's shoe shop, whilst M nipped round to the Steve Hatt fishmonger for sword fish and to Farrow & Ball for paint samples. We all popped into the Piero Maurizio deli for Gorgonzola and Parmesan cheeses and pasta. As the morning was bright and sunny, we walked home through Highbury Fields, popping into a toy shop on the way for a pirate finger puppet for Little Planet. She kept saying "Ahoy!" all the way home.
Back home, lunch for all three of us was pitta with houmous and cucumber before a play in the garden. While Little Planet napped, M did some gardening and I chilled out with the June Good Food magazine.
The rest of the afternoon was spent in the garden with Little Planet helping with the planting of radishes and spring onions (photo top*). Before her bedtime, we played cars with her in our bedroom and read her lots of stories. Dinner, for M and I, was grilled sword fish served with asparagus and roasted cherry tomatoes accompanied also by a parsley, caper and tomato salsa (photo bottom). By 9pm, I was ready for my bed - too much walking, too much fresh air, not enough sleep! - but 9pm just felt too early so I stayed up... until... 10pm! I am such a lightweight.
Sunday (today) was spent entirely at home. M went out jogging and saw London Mayor Boris Johnson playing tennis in Highbury Fields. I read the weekend papers and chatted with Little Planet whilst she played (and she really chats in sentences now; plus she is beginning to make up entire imaginary narratives - so entertaining). I am teaching myself to knit so that I can knit Little Planet some Winter woolies this year, so I did a few rows. Little Planet and M planted tomatoes and kicked a ball around in the garden while I hoovered the house and cleaned the cooker.
We lunched on spinach and feta boreks, houmous and lamb kibbe, then all three of us napped after lunch. I woke Little Planet up at 3pm (I've always woken her from her day time naps so they don't go on too long in order to protect her night time sleep - it's worked well for us so far) and gave her her afternoon milk (which she still has three times a day as she loves milk, like her mummy).
It rained for the rest of the day so we all stayed inside: M ironed all his work shirts; I read; Little Planet played and we also read together. Then M made Little Planet macaroni cheese for her dinner. He also made a start on a slow cook lamb ragu for dinner tomorrow and he made homemade granola for 2 weeks' worth of breakfast (though it's so yummy, I am not sure it will last that long).
It's 7.30pm now and Little Planet is in bed. I'm blogging this while M is making a simple dinner of grilled aubergines with Greek yoghurt, feta cheese, garlic, paprika, ground cumin & coriander and fresh mint leaves. He will serve it with a bulgur wheat salad. Later we will watch the TV drama on the BBC about Boy George's volatile relationship with Jon Moss.
But I doubt I will be able to watch it to the end for I am exhausted. Since Spring sprang, I've been naturally waking with the birds at dawn, sometimes as early as 4am but more usually around 5am. Both M and Little Planet are sound asleep, or if M wakes when I stir he falls easily back into sleep. But I can't fall back to sleep so easily: my mind starts thinking about the day ahead and 100 other things such as "How can I improve that client presentation?" or "I must remember to ring the curtain man" or "Will Little Planet wake before 6am this morning?" as she often does when she's teething her big back teeth.
Hurry up dark, Autumnal mornings when I can sleep properly again!
* A rare photo of Little Planet as she is today on this blog, albeit with her features obscured. Sorry about that... As much as I would love to show you her beautiful little face (and she truly is gorgeous!), I want to at least make some effort at preserving her privacy. We've kept her abundant hair short for all her young life but now we are growing it long with a short fringe.