Perfect Afternoon Tea with Friends

I have explained before that I am fortunate enough to have five best friends, all from different stages of my life. I am in regular contact with four of them and I wrote to my high school friend this weekend in an attempt to re-connect, as we have not been in touch for some time. I exchange emails several times a week with the two best friends who now live in America, which I love. Joshua and I are going to the theatre, to see another musical, with best friend number 5 next weekend, so that will be fun and yesterday, we went out for afternoon tea with best friend number 4 and her daughter, who was also 18 this year. I had not seen either of them for some time, although we text each other regularly, so that was a treat. I love how you can be yourself with your best friends, you do not have to be on your best behaviour and they really know you well enough to know what you are thinking. The only disagreement we had yesterday was over who was going to pay for the treat.

We picked them up from their flat and walked to the hotel , where our table was booked. We had taken Joshua’s wheelchair with us but he refused to sit in it and he walked through the city arm in arm with his Dad, as I pushed an empty chair. The table was set out beautifully with mis-matched bone china cups, saucers and teapots. We were brought delicate pastries to start with, then a 3 -tiered cake stand displaying selection of sandwiches on the bottom, then  a scone with jam and cream and finally some mini desserts on the top layer. It both looked and tasted wonderful and we had lots of laughs while enjoying the treat . Joshua ate some egg sandwich and drank his orange juice. He enjoyed being with us and waving at the waitresses but this type of food was not his choice of outing, and unusually he even rejected the cake. So much so that my friend suggested that we detour on the way back to take him to Donalds for his choice of treat. At first I resisted as he had been offered plenty of food options that he had rejected, but of course I relented and so we left the hotel, four of us full to bursting and swearing that we would never eat again, and we all sat and watched him consume chicken and chips, with real gusto! I am beginning to fear that this is the only dining out that Joshua will tolerate these days! Let’s hope that it is just a phase.

It was a lovely afternoon out and we did not need to eat anything more when we got back home. Joshua went upstairs and he kept on handing me his pyjamas once I had removed his boots and splints. So I changed him into his PJs, expecting him to come back downstairs in them, but he climbed into bed, pulled the duvet up around his chin and pointed at his CD player, indicating that he wanted his bedtime audio book. Before 8pm, he was fast asleep ,so that walk across the city must have worn him out, and he stayed there all night. I too went to bed a couple of hours later, with a smile on my face.


Tea for Two and Two for Tea

I am very lucky to travel as part of my job and yesterday was a long day – I left home at 6.30am and got home at 8  pm, but it was my choice to make it. I was travelling to close to my Mum’s home town for work and so after I had finished my meetings, she travelled into the city by train to meet me at  3pm. We took a taxi to a hotel where we had afternoon tea as a treat, just us two. We were using a voucher that I had won in a raffle and had had three previous failed attempts to redeem it already. So when I heard that the day before, she had a lot of snow in her area, my heart sank as I thought that we were going to have to cancel again. I had booked a train, rather than driving, for a change as city centre parking had proved difficult in the past , but after 20 minutes waiting for a delayed train on a platform at minus 5 degrees yesterday morning, they announced that the train’s brakes were faulty and the service was being cancelled!

I was determined not to be defeated by wintry weather and so I returned to my warm car, and made the journey, as I usually do , by car. There was some fog and ice to contend with, but the motorway was clear so I arrived around the time that the train was due in. I had several good meetings at my monthly networking event and I even won a prize at a workshop. I seem to end up talking about parents with special needs wherever I go and I got talking to a Sleep Consultant and I was telling her about the patterns of disturbed sleep that I had experienced since Joshua was around and that I had in common with many of my School Mum friends. She sympathised and is going to email over some information that might help. By the end of our conversation, she was offering to travel the 2+ hours to school to present to a group of parents, for free, which was a generous offer that might well be appreciated. She said that I had made her think about an angle of her business that she had not previously thought much about.

Once work was over, I walked to the railway station and met my mum off her train and we took a taxi to another hotel where I had booked our afternoon tea. We had a lovely time in the sunny restaurant where we talked non-stop while we were served finger sandwiches, scone with jam and cream and a selection of cakes. It was a perfect way to spend the afternoon, a highlight of a day that had started badly. It might have been the obvious thing to admit defeat once my early train had been cancelled but I was determined that neither that, nor the snow, was going to spoil our fun.

When I arrived home in temperatures below zero again, Yorkshire Grandma had bathed Joshua who was waiting to see me in his pyjamas. We had several bear hugs and I told him that I had been with Granny. I lead him back to bed, where he had already been briefly, and we had both soon nodded off.