Could the second post be like a difficult second novel? Let’s assume not.
So, a quick inventory of the Family.
Mark: Lovely, slightly rounded, manly husband of 11 years, who is undeniably, er, good with his hands. He yearns for the outdoorsy NZ. I do not. He is fond of property searches, camping, the tv remote. I think he is certainly improving with age. Most excellent father.
Barnaby: Eldest child, four and a half. Obsessed with pirates, hitting his brothers, making stuff. Has fluffy hair like mine. Refuses to be photographed.
Noah: Nearly three. Is most often squealing from a shove from Barnaby. Has enormous, otherworldly blue eyes, loves his blanket, has unfortunate running style. Dribbles.
Casper: Known as “Custard” by the neighbours. One and a bit. Cute, shrieky, not that keen to actually reach any developmental milestones. I wouldn’t notice if he did.
Is not really that big by normal people’s standards, but as we have always lived in slightly hovelish tiny el cheapo flats, this one is like a grand palace. We found ourselves here after Richard The Paranoid Delusional Landlord chucked us out of the last one. Which turned out to be most brilliant. This lovely new one is but a few streets away from Queensway, and has two huge bedrooms and three bathrooms and a patio and a front bit and a hallway and a communal garden. Happy days! The garden is an idyll, quite frankly. Time to post a pic.
Check that out! Not sure about the slightly greedy politics of a communal garden, and there are certainly some nutters who patrol the place, but I LOVE IT to an UNNATURAL DEGREE.
London (or more specifically, W2):
Since we arrived here seven years ago, all young and enthusiastic and with £1500 in our bank account, we have lived around here. Fortuitous. Everything a young perky family could possibly need is within walking distance, with the added delights of the Porchester Spa, Cherry Jam, All Star Lanes Bowling Alley, Costa’s Barber, Portobello Road, and the Diana Memorial Playground (the Pirate Park to B,N and C). I feel a picture coming on.
That is Whiteleys. Legend has it that Hitler loved the building so much he saved it from bombing so he could use it as an HQ when he won. Probably not true, but a nice story. It is, it must be said, filled with lots of boring shops, but is saved from high-street-itis by the cinema, bowling alley and the very gorgeous Cafe Anglais upstairs. And maybe the best thing is that it did become the HQ not of Hitler but of Natalie Massenet’s Net-A-Porter. Fabulousness indeed. So when I have a hankering to see if harem pants are truely horrible when worn in a just-another-day-in-the-office kind of way, or if women do actually wear gladiator heels with their jumpsuits, I can saunter down to Whiteleys and watch the fashionable staff smoking outside.
The Apprentice is about to start. Gotta go.