Friday, July 18, 2014

so in other news

So in other news, we are having a heat wave.

When there's a heat wave in Britain, everything breaks. Much like when there is snow in Britain. Extreme weather turns this place upside down - newspapers create double page spreads showing natural disasters occurring across the country in the form of skyscraper high waves or buckling train tracks from scorching, or an avalanche heading towards London.

"Broken Britain!" the headlines cry.  All because it is 31 degrees today. So drastic and melodramatic when it comes to weather here.

Make no mistake, anything over 28 degrees in London is uncomfortable. It's sticky as fuck, and there's no escaping it. (No backyard swimming pools), and the moment you go outside you turn into a lobster. Just like how people here are inclined to do.

Taking a tube on a day like this feels like what I imagine the fiery depths of Hell must feel like, and I have to take one this evening to go to a birthday party. (Yay!)

Having a child in this weather gives the scenario a nice panicky edge - cot death and overheating warnings mean I am paranoid and constantly going to check on him.

But, even so - a British summer, and a lovely sunny one like we've been having so far is the best time to be here.
I went on a picnic with my mum's group this week to Battersea Park. I used to cycle through this park daily to get to work when my office was closer by than it is now. I haven't been there in ages, and it's only a over mile from our house.
It's still arguably London's best park. Right on the river, overlooking Chelsea, beautiful manicured gardens, a boating lake, and once I saw Rowan Atkinson there.
 Swapped my bike for a buggy...

I miss my bike. But it was brilliant to push Sebastian around in the pram, find a patch of grass and talk babies and pooh with the ladies. The babies lay together on the blanket kind of staring and drooling at each other. 

We had Sebastian christened on Sunday. A formality that actually turned into a lovely day. He was dressed up like a little girl though, which he may never forgive me for. (In which case I'll blame his granny, because the outfit was her family heirloom.)
Herewith my decidedly Amish-looking son:
I just want to EAT him.

He looks peeved. Does he look peeved?

E, a great friend of mine from South Africa, was in town this week too. She hung out with Seb and I, and we went for lunch on the King's Road.
Having a two year old son herself, she let me in on what I can expect.

Apparently, "You now own a hurricane. Boys Do. Not. Stop. Ever."

I am so lucky to have a little boy. They sound like a fuckload of hard work, but also so much fun. Apparently he won't stop grabbing his willy from about now until the end of time, he will pee everywhere but in the toilet,  he will jump, pounce, climb on everything (read: wreck my home), he will play everywhere you are, and he will be an endless bundle of squirming energy. While girls can busy themselves for 40 minutes at a time, boys will do the same for 2 minutes.

But the best part? He will love his mum forever. At least that's what I have read.

I also met a friend who lives close by and works with me, also on maternity leave. Her little boy is 8 months, so is crawling, standing and grabbing things. As fast as a flash, he would disappear past us and into the cafe kitchen.

"He ate a handful of coal right out of the fireplace," she said.

It looks very very exhausting. But I'm still excited he's a little BOY.

It's been four years since I immigrated to the UK from South Africa.

A lifetime has been squeezed into that time, it's difficult to even remember what I was like back then, but I do remember the excitement and sadness of leaving a place I may never return to permanently.


SpecialK said...

Sebastian is just the cutest!
Happy 4-year UK anniversary - so much has happened in that time! So happy for you and your little family xx

Val said...

What a little charmer!! Gorgeous. :)