All in family

Weekend for Two

We just did that rare thing that parents do occasionally; we took a weekend away to ourselves in celebration of our seventeenth wedding anniversary, abandoning the children to the care of a beloved babysitter. It’s always the onrush of stillness that surprises me at first. Having reached our destination, we both sit and look at one another quizzically; what to do first when there’s nothing that really must be done at all?

Faithful Heart

It’s been strangely quiet at home today. I rushed in after the morning school run, my mind full of all the domestic tasks I needed to accomplish before I could sit at my desk and put my working hat on. Talking out loud as usual, I stopped in mid sentence; where was the sound of the tail beating happily against the floor or the madly grinning face, beaming in expectation of his morning walkies?

Clear Notice

We all noticed it. My daughter stepped outside the apartment door this morning and ran straight back inside asking for her school cardigan. As I sat in the interlude between one school pick up and the next later in the day, I felt the bite of the air for the first time and was suddenly cold in my summery top. Even in California winter approaches it seems, perhaps with more stealth than elsewhere but with no less intent.

The Narrow Way

It was a weekend full of sunshine. On Saturday morning I made the glorious drive up to Malibu along Pacific Coast Highway to meet my son while my husband competed in his first triathlon at Zuma Beach. The surfers were out in force, bobbing up and down in their black wetsuits on their boards atop the rolling waves. For a moment or two, as the sun struck the water with glistening silvery force, you could almost believe you were voyaging through paradise.

A Shimmering Dream

My husband and I went out a couple of nights ago; the first time we’d had the space to venture forth in a while. We left our daughter turtle watching with her babysitter in Douglas Park while our son, now fully in the swing of high school life, took a cab to Century City mall to spend the evening with friends. 

A French Holiday: Part II

We sat on the terrace yesterday evening by the swimming pool long after night had fallen and the silhouettes of the tall trees in the distance could be seen in inky black definition against the dark sky. There was a definite chill creeping in on the air; a reminder that the season of autumn with its cooler cast of characters waits in the wings and a signal that, all too soon, our summer idyll will draw to a close for this year.

A French Holiday: Part I

We were driving along a French country lane in the early evening yesterday. The dappled sunlight filtered through the canopy of greenery overhead forming magical flickering patterns in the air. I was put in mind of  the fairy sprites in a Midsummer Night’s Dream and their mischievous activity which results in so much hilarious chaos.

Going Back

With the evening sun warm in the sky, the children and I drove northwards along my favorite stretch of freeway yesterday. We were in the shimmering company of the spirits of time past. Summoned by our choice of music, from a period when my husband and I were younger creatures, I could see their vague traces; two youthful figures seated together on a warm evening in an Oxford pub while the music flowed all around them.

Dancing Days

The sunny season is here and it’s gathering pace. We finalized the booking of our annual trip to Europe a few days ago; a little later than usual as we leave in just over a month. This year the travel arrangements seem to have taken on a life of their own and I’m a little concerned that I won’t remember to be in the right place at the correct time with the right child!

Forever Young

Sunday was Mother’s Day here in America. It was a very sweet celebration this year. My daughter and her classmates sang songs about us; we were heroes, monster slayers and teddy bears while my son’s witty and heartfelt card made me smile in a way that hasn’t left me all week. It seemed somehow not quite right to sit for a meal and so we all piled into the car and drove down to Dog Beach.

There Are Places I Remember

We’ve said goodbye to family for now and once again an ocean separates us. I was coming back from the airport a few days ago and the late afternoon traffic dictated that I avoid the freeway.  I drove towards home along one of my favorite stretches of road which takes you through Mar Vista, across Santa Monica and eventually meanders into Brentwood.

Odds and Ends

The ocean dressed in grey today. I was out fairly early walking the dog and we ventured onto the sand so that he could dig, roll around and coat his nose. Quite the fool but the enormous grin and beating tail drew answering smiles from passers by.