Just recovering from a day out with Spike. Buzzed down to the Barbican on the bus with him mourning the absence of his mother the whole way down in tones carefully designed to shred the nerves of all auditors and the dignity of the parent in charge. I tried every distraction in the book, finally resorting to the nuclear option - chocolate buttons. When the little white chocolate discs fail, you know you're in trouble. But they did. I used them too early, showed my hand...
In the end, trundling through the City toward the knobbly Barbican towers, S called for me. I bent down beside the pushchair. He said: 'Daddy I feel better now. I was sad, I feel better now after my shluff'. (Yiddish = nap, imported from B's family.)
He hadn't actually napped, but I didn't care about that, I was just happy he wasn't sad.
The upset could be traced back to the morning, when we were all three in the park cafe, and I was already in danger of being late for meeting McK and Nora at the Barbican when Andrew Clover showed up with his two girls. The Misses Clover are well acquainted with our Spike, as they go to the same playgroup, so S was naturally miffed when I dragged him off for a smelly bus ride. Add into the mix that his Mum had been out two nights running (gasp!) and you get a situation. Incidentally, Andrew is a comedian and storyteller, and McK raves about a show of his he saw at Edinburgh. Dastardly simple premise - Andrew is 6 today and we're all at his birthday party. There's cake and silly jokes and singing, and it all gets rather out of hand as we get into the regressive spirit and become 6. Then Andrew gets a cob on. He throws tantrums, he gets stroppy. He gets abusive. And in the show McK was at, a woman who just wouldn't do as she was told got (after due warning) a cracking slap on the leg. McK can still hear the sound it made.
Any road up, the waterside terrace at the Barbican is a lovely spot on an afternoon in June, and S recovered his bonhomie well enough to be a good playmate for Little Miss Barnacle. I just had to remember not to say the word 'Mum', and everything was rosy.
Jolly time at Erica's last night - she was having 'open house' to celebrate her good news, which I don't think I'm allowed to blog just yet, but will in due course. She has a very exciting new job, I'll say that much. Rachael was there, as was E's designer pal Soutra Gilmour, actors Sam Kenyon, Grant Gillespie and Tamzin Griffin, directors Joe Austin, Alan Cox, and sundry other people of good character.
E and Tamzin are sharers in this beautiful, immaculately kept terrace in Fournier Street which retains so many of the original (c.1800?) features, it's something of a timewarp. The wooden staircases, for inst, are all so bent and bowed they make you want to rush home and read some Harry Potter.