February 27 2012
A bit of a sporting weekend for me – viewing rather than playing (although I did manage a run on Saturday).
By Friday the hours have always caught up with me and I really do need to catch up on rest. However, it wasn’t possible this Saturday, as all three children had to be in different places at a very similar time. I left the house with Jake at 9am and headed to a school in Wimbledon for a rugby match; now he is in year five there are a few more weekend matches. They didn’t win, but played hard; good to see him in action, as I don’t get to watch midweek. We spent an hour of quality dad and son time in a coffee shop in Wimbledon Village watching the world go by – including some horses. What stunning weather; I do love Wimbledon on days like this. We must bring the kids back for a play on the common.
After rugby we dashed to Fulham to watch Archie at football practice and waved goodbye to Jane and Jessie, who were off to a fifth birthday party.
Jake, Archie and I were home by 12.30, so I fed them lunch – nothing too extravagant, ham sandwiches all round. We waited for Jane’s return so that I could go on my much-anticipated run. For 80 minutes I covered Wandsworth, Battersea and Clapham, mostly the commons but also some road running. Managed 30 minutes in the gym too, but then was sat in front of the TV screen just in time to watch the England vs Wales rugby match (without interruption, as Jane had taken the children swimming).
Just after 6pm we had a mad half hour as we attempted to leave the house and reach a restaurant for supper before it got too busy. As Jane and I both work, it’s nice to have a break from cooking, and the kids love to eat in restaurants with us. Being my trade, it’s something I am particularly keen for us to do as a family, and I really want to support our local restaurants. I want the children to enjoy restaurants while understanding how to behave appropriately. On our weekend excursions we have just started to be more adventurous and try places that don’t only serve pizza. This time we went to a great French brasserie in Fulham, and were home by 7.30pm, in time to bundle the kids into bed. After an exhausting day I was in bed myself by 11.30pm, shattered.
Sunday was another early start, and more rugby. It was a day away for the whole family, as we watched Jake competing again – this time in the National Schools competition. Jane dropped him at school at 9.30 and we left shortly afterwards, arriving at Epsom College in time to watch the matches. Another stunning day; we even had a picnic in the beautiful school grounds. I do sometimes think my children’s diaries are much more interesting than my own…
Sadly the team didn’t reach the finals, but they all played really well and tried hard. Luck didn’t quite go our way on the day, but to see these exhausted ten-year-old boys walking off the pitch after three tough games, we knew they couldn’t have done any more.
I was quietly pleased to be home by 3.30pm, as I really couldn’t miss Liverpool and Cardiff in the Carling Cup final. What a treat to watch my team win at Wembley again. It was really tough viewing though – both teams must have been so nervous and excited. My fingers are crossed for the FA cup. I might even try to get tickets if Liverpool reaches the final; I would love to take the boys.
Today I spoke to my brother Brian, who runs a catering company in my home town of Southport. He was telling me about solar panels. I must look into it; my kids never turn the lights off, so it could be a good idea.
Brian’s two sons were on their way into London to have lunch somewhere. Thomas is a head chef in a restaurant and George is currently working as a chef before heading to university in September. I admire their get-up-and-go, since one of the best ways to develop as a chef is to try other chefs’ food.
The football went on for so long that Jane and I sacrificed roast chicken for a takeaway curry instead. The kids had pasta before heading up to bed after completing their homework. For Jake that meant spelling, French and reading. Both boys practised their violins and Jake even helped Archie read some music for a new tune. The brotherly love didn’t last for long though; a fight soon broke out.
Jane and I were eating our delicious curry by 8.30pm, watching Top Gear, the usual Sunday night viewing. The Holy Cow restaurant has the most polite delivery men ever, every time – and some superb curries.
Jane and I had a bit of preparation to do for the forthcoming week, including charity requests, diary dates and plans for the week. I have nothing too drastic going on this week. My sister Diane reaches her half century tomorrow; I must remember to call during the day. Oh, and March is upon us – I wonder if the reservations team will reach their target for February covers? I think they might, as they have tried really hard this month. Jane has promised them a good bottle of wine for their efforts. It’s the first Saturday of the month next week, so Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley will be serving lunch for the first time on the 3rd. We have a fairly busy week – which is always very positive.