First to last?

So here I am coming to the end of week one of coasting through life with my foot off the pedal. I christened the experience by queuing for tickets to see David Bowie Is at the V&A. I don’t think I’ve ever stood in a queue like that before. I always watch news reports with people queuing for new Apple products or department store sales with a mixture of pity and disappointment (in them, not me). I don’t think I’ve ever wanted anything badly enough to camp out for it. But this week I did. I queued because I could.

Being the V&A this was a very civilised queue and having watched all those news reports over the years I equipped myself with a large coffee, an empty bladder and a big book. I stopped short of a hunting stick. There was no barging and no camaraderie, this was the V&A after all. So I settled down for a long wait; read my book and drank my coffee. And my bladder did what it does admirably. Thank you bladder.


But I only got about halfway through my coffee and a chapter and we were on the move. Once inside it was a mere 15 minutes more before I secured my tix for next week. As it’s half term we’re all going. I hope the girls love it. I think they will. Good for them to know it didn’t all start with Lady Gaga. Of course I know, having visited the Tudor and Stuart; In Fine Style exhibition last week that quirky style has been around for a very long time. Did you know for example that Charles II favoured a hairstyle with the right side cut shorter than the other. Witness…

Charles II bust

Are those hair extensions?

Fancy that, there really is nothing new. I wonder if he wore his britches back to front as well.

Having reached the end of that V&A queue I realised I had reached the end of a period of transition from work to life after. And here I am now, living the life after. I like it. After the queue I wandered around the V&A – what a treat, to go round the galleries without a purpose, just looking and seeing and admiring – everything from cute biscuit tins to giant replica pillars.

But I’d hate to give the impression that it’s all peace and quiet and calm and tranquility. Is it heck. I have a lovely family to tend – well they’re lovely usually and a pain in the bum sometimes. Life in the slow lane away from work is as busy as ever and sometimes I wonder how I had time to work.

But it’s busy partly because I make it so. Yesterday I made a cake, because I could. It’s a lovely, sticky unctuous confection from Ottolenghi, called Revani though I believe it’s a Turkish classic.


mmmm…. cake

It’s still sitting in the tin because it’s coming away with us this weekend (camping in the rain!), so I can’t comment on its deliciousness but an already moist cake soaked in lemony syrup has to be good, doesn’t it? I’ll report back.

So this is the pleasure I am finding among the busy-ness; doing things because I can and not because I have to. I also think I might try to learn Spanish. I honestly don’t know if I can but I think I’ll give it a go. Elsa loves the idea of teaching me (she’s learning at school), we can have Spanish chats, I can make tapas while thinking in Spanish and of course we’ll HAVE to go to Spain for us to practise!

Reaching the end of that queue in the V&A also made me wonder whether I’ve reached the end of this blog for the time being. It was intended to be about the transition from work to life beyond and I think I’ve done that and in the short term, awarded myself an extended holiday. Because I can.

Of course I could post endlessly about cakes I make, exhibitions I visit and the bits of my own navel fluff I extract while gazing at it, but I don’t think it’s of much interest to anyone else. A blog should have a sense of purpose and something worthwhile to say – something of value to its readers. Of course there’s vanity involved but it shouldn’t be a vanity project.

I could pretend to be a committed domestic goddess or a devoted vintage queen – photograph all my vintage charity shop bargains draped in the only corners of our house that aren’t covered with piles of paper and be sure to bake a cake every day while wearing a gingham apron, but that wouldn’t be right, now would it.

So we’ll see. I shan’t stop right here, right now, I’ll have a think about it and in the meantime I’ll relish the opportunity I’ve had thus far to write these little missives and put them out there in the World…

Happy Friday one and all.

...and look what appeared in the park this week.

Oh and look what appeared in the park this week.


3 Responses to “First to last?”

  1. Elizabeth Kay Says:

    Ah you’re going. Envious!

    • eethree Says:

      Yes and I shall raid the depths of my wardrobe for some loon pants to wear in his honour. I’m sure there are some in there somewhere…

  2. Serendipity | eethree Says:

    […] A new life in middle life in London E3 « First to last? […]

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