If I were following in the footsteps of Elizabeth Gilbert’s famous gap year memoir, I guess we could say I’m in the ‘eat’ phase! This week it’s been all about the retro, treating Eldest and Little One to their first cherry bakewells. The almond scent and generous icing takes me straight back to happy picnics or the surprise of a cherry studded confection tucked into my lunchbox as a special treat.
Today I took Little One to one of her favourite spots for ‘munch’ (lunch). Little Chef is the closest we get to a diner in our part of the UK, with all-day breakfasts, booths and checked curtains. It’s definitely not one for the foodie in me, but Little One loves it and it was great to see the sparkle in her eyes when I collected her from nursery and asked if she wanted to go there for lunch. It’s sensory time-travel for me as my dad used to take me to our local Little Chef as a special ‘dad & daughter’ evening. For the seven or eight year old me, it used to feel like the height of sophistication to jump in the car with dad on a dark crisp evening and head out to a dimly lit cafe for a jubilee pancake and hot chocolate. Even now, it feels warm and fuzzy inside for me to share a cherry-filled pancake with one of my kids, like I’m welcoming them into my memories. I hope Little One remembers our ‘munches’ at the Little Chef as fondly as I remember my evenings with dad.
There’s been time travel into the future this week too as I start to think a bit more about what I’m going to do when Little One starts school. I’ve found a floristry school (I’m not sure if I do harbour an ambition to be a professional florist, and have to keep a check on the ‘just doing lovely stuff for pleasure’ vs ‘desperately trying to find a future career’ battle that regularly flares up in my brain) Fortunately the professional floristry qualifications are way out of my league financially, so I’ll content myself with workshops – woodland design is tempting me at the moment. I’ve also had an invitation from a friend to book a mindfulness meditation retreat after the summer, which sounds the perfect way to bring some practice of being in the present moment to my mind, which is so often drawn to the future – and to the ‘what if…’
If I snaffle the last cherry bakewell tonight I’ll be taking care to pay it the attention it deserves.