So a quick recap:
Day Seven of #100HappyDays: Olly and Rab Reunited
Thursday 23rd Jan – Jac came to visit. I’ve not seen her for five years. How that happened I’m not sure but it’s not exactly helped by the fact she lives 8 hours away in Dubai. Here’s a fabulous timelapse of Dubai. It looks incredible. It is hard to believe – the sheer determination of people to make the uninhabitable inhabitable. You can see Jac’s apartment if you know what you’re looking for.
Five years without sight of each other and you’d never have known it. Back in the day, in Singapore, we nicknamed ourselves Olly Reed and Rab C Nesbitt. She’s Scottish and we were both lushes. Ahem. Just back then of course…. So, being happy on Day Seven was about being reunited with Jac and introducing her to Rudi, who she’d never met.
Day Eight: Ladies Who Lunch
Friday 24th. Pretty much every day of leave from work that I take is timed to be with the children on a school holiday. But on Friday I took the time to just hang out with Jac. We took the kids to school, ran home afterwards through Bushy Park, I spent a bit of time trying to track down someone in the public health department in Richmond – more of that later – then we went shopping, had a few wines over lunch, picked up Mia and Rudi again and then hung out at home. Jac’s flight saw her off in a taxi by 7pm. There were many tears that night. Only Tony was immune and that was mainly in an attempt to keep order. For Day Eight being happy was having a proper catch up with Jac. Let’s hope we do it sooner than five years next time.
Day Nine: Buxom Winged Sphinxes and Cleopatra’s Needle
Saturday 25th. Every year for Tony’s birthday we go to Chinatown for Dim Sum. Given it’s at the end of January, it coincides with Chinese New Year – sometimes too closely for comfort although that’s another story. Next weekend is CNY so we went today to avoid the festival crush with two small children. Lovely Calvin and Steph joined us. Mia’s studying Egypt at school at the moment so we walked up to Cleopatra’s Needle before lunch. I read up the history first. A couple of things stood out from my brief research: a bombing raid in the war damaged the monument and it was never repaired, as a memorial. But this was the first world war – I guess I knew that had happened, but it hadn’t really sunk in before that the UK was bombed in that war. Secondly, there was a time capsule buried beneath the obilisk when it was erected in 1878. The first thing that Wikipedia lists as contents of the capsule is “A set of 12 photographs of the best looking English women of the day”. Somebody proposed that, and others debated it and then it was decided that 12 photos of the best looking women was an important thing to include. Remarkable.
Being happy on Day Nine was about hanging out with the children, trying to bring history to life and repeating a loving birthday ritual for Tony with a great meal at the Golden Pagoda on Macclesfield Street.