Paul brought me hot tea, a bundle of cards....and a scruffy little dog to curl up beside me while I opened them! I finished work mid-morning and caught the train to London. After a few stops, my parents plus youngest sister Lucy & her son William joined me and we had a lovely journey - so much more exciting seen through the eyes of a curious 3 year old boy! He 'helped' me to open the cards & presents they gave me...including one he'd made, completely covered in blue glitter!
A taxi took us to lunch at one of my very favourite restaurants, Nopi , and we had a fabulous meal. I can't quite believe how much we ate...even Dad, who usually has the appetite of a small bird! It was wonderful to all be together - William was beautifully behaved and especially loved it when I took him downstairs to watch the chefs busy at work in the open-plan kitchen...all the stirring, chopping, dressing plates...his eyes were like saucers!
Afterwards, they all went back to catch the train home...and I mooched about, window shopping, until it was time to meet Paul at the London Coliseum, home of English National Opera. My present from my parents was a ticket to see my beloved's creation 'The Marriage of Figaro'. I first saw it live at the Vienna State Opera house on my 21st birthday...over half my life ago! And I've seen it many times since, in lots of different settings with a variety of amazing singers....but one thing, of course, remains the same. The sublime music never changes, and never fails to transport me to a level of perfect, perfect happiness. We had one of the arias at our wedding (as it was a civil ceremony, nothing religious was allowed) and at that point in the opera last week, Paul took my hand and squeezed it so hard! He is a romantic at heart (thank goodness!) It was utter bliss, and I couldn't have wished for a better present - perhaps Wolfie had a hand in the schedule too, as there are only 10 performances of this production...and one of them happened to be on the right night! We caught an earlier train than expected (I had the music in my head all evening...) and I finished the day by opening the rest of the cards and gifts that had arrived in that morning's post, after I'd left for the train. I was overwhelmed by the kind messages and presents I received...so touching, it made me feel really special...and filled both front windowsills!
except for the ducks, moorhens and swans....Alice doesn't quite know what to make of them and gives them a wide berth!
The locks are wonderful too...it must have been a sight when they still used horses to tow the boats. I saw one, once...long ago. Time was a different thing then...people thought nothing of spending half a day to get somewhere, because they had no choice. It may be easier, but I'm not sure we are always better off with our rushing haste to get there now! Standing in this peaceful place, hearing the swish of the willow leaves...I was happy to slow down for a while - it seemed like the only thing to do!
We walked for a long way....and when we got home...
I just had a cup of tea!
I hope that you're having a wonderful week...do you have plans for Hallowe'en?