Cindy and I walked back to her place and I sat down at the kitchen table while she made smoothies. We talked with Mike and his friend Phil before they started working for the day on a house up the street, and I made silly faces at Tyler while he ate his Frosted Flakes. After the guys left, Cindy smothered crescent rolls with Nutella and baked them in the oven and we chatted at the table for a bit. While Cindy cleaned up Tyler and dressed him, I watched the end of an episode of Undercover Boss, and felt bad for all the employees who didn’t get spied on and therefore didn’t get any special treatment.
We went out for a walk, and stopped at Cindy’s neighbor’s house to drop off Mike’s keys and to ask her about piano lessons. I’d like to find someone to teach Cameron and Eli and she lives really close to their school. Kayden takes lessons and really likes it. We continued on our walk and passed Simon’s Nursery where the kids were all playing outside so we shouted and waved. Mr. Mickey opened the gate and let us in so we could say hello. Tyler jumped right in and played in the sandbox with the other kids while Mr. Mickey made a sales pitch to Cindy about what a great nursery it is, even though Tyler is already registered to start there in the fall. We said good-bye to Simon and told him we’d be back soon to pick him up. From there we walked to the high street to buy a few bits. Cindy invited us for dinner so we picked up another chicken. There were some discounted parsnips and Cindy asked if we liked those. I wasn’t sure how to answer, but I bought the parsnips. Lastly we stopped at the butcher/pie shop and bought some pies for lunch. I picked chicken and ham, Cindy’s favorite is mince and onion and then we got some for the kids and Mike and Phil.
We walked back the nursery, picked up Simon and went back to Cindy’s for lunch. The pies were delicious and when we were finished we each had to spoon-feed our little boys who are perfectly capable of feeding themselves but seemed to be too distracted to do so. It was a beautiful afternoon and we sat in the sunshine in the garden and let the kids play. After lunch Cindy prepped the chickens and chopped vegetables while I lazily sat at her kitchen table asking her about herself and her family. She was born in England, but her parents emigrated from Vietnam in the 70s. Her mom is Vietnamese and her dad is Chinese. Mike’s parents fit the same pattern and I ashamedly admitted that when looking at Asian people I can’t really tell them apart. They laughed, but I hate it when I feel like I’m part of a stereotype. They probably hate it too.
After we finished getting lunch ready we took Simon and Tyler down to the park. They played for a bit and then it was time to go pick up the bigger kids from school. With six children and two scooters in tow, we went to another park for a little while and then made our way back to the house. Cindy finished preparing the food while I continued to sit worthlessly at the kitchen table and ask more personal questions. She made everything look so easy and once again I wondered why I don’t invite people over more often. How lovely would it be to have someone to talk to while I peeled carrots and mixed gravy? She also introduced me to the many uses of the electric tea kettle, which is a standard item in every British home, but I’d never thought to use ours since we don’t drink tea. She also taught me how to cook parsnips and how to make extra crispy roasted potatoes with goose fat.
At one point while Cindy was at the kitchen sink a guy jumped over the back fence, walked along side the house and then climbed over the front gate. I said something to Cindy about him, asking if she knew who he was and she said something about how it was probably Mike. I thought to myself “That was definitely not Mike” but I let it go. Then later I asked Mike if he knew who it was and they both laughed at me like I was joking. I was absolutely not joking so Mike asked the neighbor and sure enough there was some vagabond jumping fences and hopping around gardens. Weird.
The kids played and played and Richard joined us for dinner. It was a proper feast. Mike cooked the chickens in a smoker during the afternoon, and there were Yorkshire puddings, roasted veg and stuffing.
There was nothing particularly extraordinary about the day or the evening. But it was the kind of day I want to remember forever. And since I don’t have a proper journal, this is the place where I write about things I want to remember forever.