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October’s list of optimism

December 31, 2015

It’s very belated mostly because I’ve been busy living but here before the end of the year is my list of happy things in October.

October was on the whole a happy month. There were disappointments, petty annoyances and drama but to a certain extent that is life and makes me appreciate the lovely things rather more.

I went to see Crush at Richmond Theatre with K. It wasn’t the most amazing production in the works but it was an entertaining parody of the school story and good fun. It’s all about jolly japes in a girls boarding school. Think Daisy pulls it off and you’re more or less there. It was entertaining and fun but not much more if I’m honest I’m not sure the playwright was sure if the plot so the audience certainly weren’t . Although the second half was considerable better than the first. It’s also a lovely theatre and to add to my joy the travel gods were with me and I made it back to the south east London sticks in an hour and twenty minutes which frankly is nothing short of miraculous.

My friend S came for dinner.

The madness of a wedding fair – no you haven’t missed anything I’m not getting married but my sister is. It was a distinctly surreal experience with what could only be described as collective insanity. However there was lots of free Prosecco and a large supply of cake. There were also many flowers for me to admire.  I was quietly dumbfounded at the amount my sex will suddenly pay for not much because it is a wedding.
In the evening we had a child free family dinner at the Turkish restaurant and it was both delicious and peaceful. I love my nieces to pieces but it has to be said dining out without them is more civilised.

Finally watching the end of Call the Midwife – I cried but it’s still one of my favourite things on television.

Lunch with Helen.

Mum and I had our annual weekend in France which brought many cheerful things but also on of the saddest. We drove past the migrant camp and it was one of the saddest sights I’ve seen this year. I found I was more grateful than usual for the comforts I take for granted in the Holiday Inn Calais: Clean sheets, sprung mattress, flush lavatory, copious amounts of hot water and a sturdy door with a lock.

We didn’t go at our usual time and arrived on Sunday when Calais was all shut up which meant we couldn’t go to the market in Calais but we went down the coast to Belgium instead on our first day because Belgium is more alive on Sunday. 

We had a very early start so had a second breakfast of hot chocolate, waffles and a featherbed of whipped cream overlooking the Channel. Those little jugs hold thick rich chocolate sauce and it was delicious.


We spent most of the day in De Panne – We shopped: There was a huge branch of Leonidas chocolate and a large Hema where I did a little Christmas shopping. Then we had a delicious lunch in a beachfront restaurant and a walk on the beach. It was cold but bright with wonderful blue sky and sea.



We had dinner at our favourite restaurant in Calais – Le Detroit. The chef kindly cooked me a special vegetarian dinner as they don’t have a vegetarian choice. Just look at my Creme Brûlée.


The next day we shopped til we dropped in Cite Europe. As always the food shopping seems so much more exciting when it is done in Carrefour and paid for in Euros. I also got carried away in Sephora (The French are so much better at skincare) and bought my first few Christmas presents.


I had a glorious bunch of pink chrysanthemums 

There was Snail mail from K on her epic tour of Canada.

I had an ego boosting cut and colour

Mum and I found a lovely Italian in a side street by accident fora pod haircut dinner. The food was amazing but the service was atrocious.

I found a glorious shiny Conker and felt about five again.

Dinner with L

Dinner with K a long catch up after nearly a month and there was homemade guacamole.

I was passing the Star our local Indian on my way home and my parents were inside dining. They saw me and suggested I join them for a drink. I ended up being fed freebies by the staff for hours.

I began watching Downton Abbey again. I know it began in September but it was October before I had time to watch. It’s not as good as it was but it is still peaceful escapism.

I went to Eltham Palace with a group of friends to admire the newly restored sections and the WW2 shelter.

Afterwards I served Dinner chez moi and produced two successful new recipes and we had Kir Royale I’d bought back from France.

I bought and wrapped first Christmas presents

I was accepted onto professional training programme at work

Mid year review went well

H’s cheese birthday party was good fun.

D came to stay

Descaling the kettle – a tedious domestic chore but  strangely satisfactory and my tea tasted better afterwards

Hugs from my big niece

The joy of discovering a favourite Shirley Hughes picture book has been reprinted and promptly buying it for all the small people I know for Christmas. 

I have tickets to see Cursed Child albeit not until November 2016

I started attending the Waterstones BritishLibrary crime book club. I was brave I dint know anyone but I want anyway and contrived to enjoy myself.

A productive discussion with my GP not entirely positive – my foot is not better but we’ve planned the next step and a way forward

Dinner and coffee with the girls

Unexpectedly winning a competition – It was dinner for two at Roka. I unexpectedly won dinner for two at a posh Japanese restaurant – I’ve never won anything before. I gave it to my Dad for his birthday and he and Mum had a wonderful time.

A very enjoyable pre wedding brunch with the usual suspects.

That moment when you realise how amazing your friends really are. On this occasion we were all dressed to the nines, drinking cocktails and dancing at the wedding of the year. 

Making positive plans with S for next year.

Last but not least the wedding of the year itself


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