Monday, September 17, 2012

Back to Normal?

So this morning, before taking Ethan to baby group, I chucked my sister's suitcases in the boot of our car and rolled off to Heathrow in the half-light of a quiet but busy autumn morning. was quiet outside of our car: inside, though, we cranked some Ed Sheeran, Fall Walk Run, and Florence + the Machine to keep us both awake. It was early, but not quite those times that get (rightly, to my mind) labelled the "unholy" hours of the morning. I made sure Victoria was checked in and ensconced somewhere comfortable with as much food as I could make her buy and a trolly to maneuver her hefty suitcases. It felt weird to hug her and say "goodbye" and "I love you" and "see you at Christmas!" knowing that she'd be off to Vienna for the next few months. I'm excited for her, don't get me wrong, but every now and then I still have to remind myself that my little sister is a grown-up now. I feel like I'm constantly fighting an in-built tendency to mollycoddle and mother-hen her to death.

So while in some ways it's nice to get back to normal life, I will miss my sister, and re-watching Spaced and Hot Fuzz, and having an excuse to spend nearly every day of the week - not cleaning - but going to all the sites I never manage to visit normally. But we did have a fantastically fun weekend.

reach for the sky!
 Our first order of business was to use the Husband's day off work to head down to Winchester for the day. When the two of us went with Ethan a few weeks back, we purchased annual passes to Winchester Cathedral with the intention of coming back with Victoria in tow. Mission accomplished.
Why yes: I am the King of England.
 We managed to see a bit more of the city than last time, including - as several of our pictures prove - the Rifles Museum that we only just missed last time we came. Confession? The main motivation for our interest was to see if they had a picture of Sean Bean from the Sharpe's Rifles series and see if anyone realised when we obnoxiously started to hum the theme tune. The answers - respectively - are yes they did, and no they didn't. The other thing we caught up on? Some more dressing up. I've told you: it's not a family outing to museums if we don't dress up!

We are the Romans...yes we are. (Eddie Izzard moment)

My "medieval merchant" face is a lot like my
"Death Eater getting a Master's degree" face...

Ethan hanging out on a tomb.

Call the War Office, Sarj! They're storming the trenches!

some lovely medieval floor tiles in the cathedral
On Saturday, we tried to relax a bit more and after doing the grocery shopping and a later lunch, we headed out to Hartley Wintney to see a gorgeous 13th century church and a National Trust property.

West Green House Gardens were lovely. To be honest, my pictures do them no justice and you ought to just A) visit the website and B) go yourself. Bonus? Starting in November they have a free Christmas fair going on there, so it's well worth a look in. I'll definitely be heading back.

Ethan had a great time as well. He got up-close and personal with some fluffy chickens and managed to get quite attached to this gardening basket in the gift shop. Thankfully, he wasn't so attached that I needed to buy it.

St. Mary's church in Hartley Wintney was also lovely, though alas: we neglected to ask after the key in order to get inside. It's been salvaged by the Churches Conservation Trust and I think they've even managed to preserve quite a few of the old polychrome paintings on the inside as well! Again...I'll be back.
In the meantime, though, I have some Mommy Mondays to chronicle, some recipes to share, and some chores to get back to. Oh! And new art to hang. Which - of course - you'll get to hear about back in this space, so keep a weather eye. :)

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