Cafe Culture

It is the simple things that make Joshua happy at a weekend and yesterday, we made him happy. First of all we all three went to Tesco and he behaved really well : he pushed the trolley most the way around and he did not try to run away at all. he sat beautifully while I unloaded the trolley on to the conveyor and then almost until I had finished packing my bags. He waved goodbye to the young female sales assistant, but she missed it so I asked him to wave again when she was looking, and instead he gave her a shy, sideways glance that melted my heart, but she missed it.

He had definitely earned himself a treat so we went from there to a local cafe for an early lunch and we sat down in a booth. He was very excited to be there, grinning at all the other customers. He perched on the edge of the booth,  so I had to ask him to ‘hooph up’ to make room for me – it is a game we play and he knows what to do, although he giggles as he shuffles up just a centimetre or two at a time. On a slidey, plastic bench it is easy to shuffle him along with my hip, but this was a thick cushion and so I could not slide him, he had to make room for me. I ordered our brunch and he watched the waitresses buzzing back and forth, until our drinks arrived. He took a sip of his juice but thought he was hilarious to steal my malted milk biscuit from my saucer and to pop it into his mouth whole, indicating that he was felling both cheeky and hungry.

Before too long, our meals arrived and we all tucked in. I tore Joshua’s cheese and ham toastie up into smaller pieces so that he could help himself, and he tucked into the tortilla chips while his french fries cooled enough to eat. I like him to eat finger food as he can choose what he wants to eat himself  and pop it in when he is ready, rather than being reliant on me to help and leaving me free to enjoy my meal. He ate most of his lunch, grinning away throughout the meal so I know this felt like a real treat for him. After that excitement, we headed home  again to enjoy a quiet afternoon at home. Once he kicks off his boots and splints, that suggests that Joshua is in for the rest of the day. There was an old song,by Paul Young when I was young “Wherever I lay my hat, that’s my home”  , but in Joshua’s case it is ‘Wherever he lays his boots and splints’! He enjoyed his short trip out, but he is always delighted to come back home.


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.