Posts Tagged ‘children’

London calling to the faraway towns

July 8, 2010

There are bumblebees in this little Hackney garden. They’re big as the tip of my thumb, and don’t make hives but colonise old rabbit holes. Enormous red roses bloom in the front yard — Julia cut off about fifteen of them and there are more coming now. They smell like Turkish Delight.

A Hackney Rose

My first couple of weeks in London have been like a dream. The boy says things like “Oh, I didn’t see that you had a bag Meredith! It’s a good bag, with wheels. I love bags.” And “I’m a little bit French… yes, I’m French when I’m feeling shy.” And “please go away Meredith, I need some private time for watching television.” And of course his beautiful mothers are an added bonus (have a look at Julia’s new blog, it’s fabulous).

The boy who is sometimes a little bit French

I’ve found an Iyengar yoga school in Bethnal Green that I think will suit me very well because the teacher is a strict yoga-nazi. I was suitably disabled for three days after the first class — couldn’t even cross my legs. My weekdays are spent at the British Library, in one of the two Humanities reading rooms. They’re lovely and peaceful, with lamps and computer connections and a good mix of older academics with fungal infections in their toenails and earnest younger scholars with fresh tattoos.

Weekends have been dreamy: I went for a picnic on Primrose Hill in Regents Park and watched theĀ  Pixie Geldof types frolicking (my friend called them “posh tottie”). Sam Taylor-Wood’s boyfriend walked past with a black labrador, holding a bag of poo. The Summer here is joyous — because it is so short-lived I suppose. The parks are full of white bodies turning pink as they soak up the vitamin D. Cyclists are everywhere, but unlike their Australian counterparts they ride old-fashioned, high-sitting bikes with wicker baskets on the front, never wear lycra and don’t bother with helmets.

I’m going to hear Jeanette Winterson talk tomorrow night about the 25 year anniversary of Oranges are Not the Only Fruit (can it really be that long?)… coincidentally I had coffee — and an extraordinary orange and thyme chocolate — at Verde’s on Sunday.

We are all off for a holiday in Latvia when Richard arrives, and a trip to Moscow is being planned… I feel drugged with goodlife and have to remind myself not to laugh out loud because I sound like a maniac and it scares people.