The weather is back to chilly, like it was 8 months ago on that Canadian Sunday night when we discovered that there was a third of us in the making. The full cycle is almost complete and he’s now ready to land on firm ground after months of growing, kicking, hiccupping and moving around with little notion of gravity. We don’t know much about him or when he will be here, and this mystery adds to the excitement of welcoming him to his new world.
Here are a few things we know about him however; he hates the beeps at the supermarket tills, same for Beck, but enjoys reggae a lot, and he’s long and lean according to the midwife.
As I was showing the nursery in progress to Ed the other day, he said that it was like waiting for a very special guest, like David Bowie. I’m still trying to make sense of the comparison, but I think you really need to be an Englishman to understand it fully. Anyway, our own little glam rock star will arrive in a week or so and his new quarters are now ready. The bags are packed and I’ve prepared his very first outfit, with his first woolen hat and his spaceship pyjamas, Petit Bateau evidemment.
The tiny outfit has pockets, I know they are purely for style and cuteness, but what if one wanted to take this feature seriously? What would we put in his pockets? his oyster card? the keys to his crib? who knows… I’ve put his socks in there so they don’t get lost in the bag.
While he was growing, a lot of things happened. We got married on a sunny June day. Despite the Dallas-style drama that surrounded the wedding, we spent a wonderful time with the lovely people who surrounded us with much love, kindness and marvellous attentions. We laughed a lot with our wonderful European friends and family who stayed with us for a few days. In the end, this will be the memory I will cherish most in the years to come.
Ed started his job right after this and our quest for a new nest could finally begin. It started with St Albans, which had a lot to offer but the housing market was rather hectic. We then tried Bath which proved very frustrating on many levels. Finally, Ed suggested Oxford, and after a few twists, we finally settled here, on Osney Island, which consists of three streets hugged by the river on one side and the canal on the other. It makes the place especially quiet and cosy.
Maybe deceitfully so.
We were slightly alarmed by criminality at the beginning -and I had lived in some dodgy areas in Paris, where stabbing happened in broad day light. Posters indicated that the place was not what it seemed, and I instantly felt like in the midst of one of the most terrifying episodes of Wallace and Gromit. One poster exposed the ongoing milk theft on Bridge street, and it deterred the criminal by warning that surveillance was now in place. Another poster with the picture of a grey tabby moggy called Toby, appealed to the residents of the island to call if they saw him.
Now, I’m not a crime expert, but it doesn’t really take much logical thinking to link the two together. Toby wherever you are, next bottle is on me!
We’ve adjusted really well to Oxford now, and what is there not to like? In many respects, it’s just perfect, especially with a little Ziggy Stardust coming soon. It’s a foodies and walkers heaven. Endless walks in the countryside and by the canals and rivers are on offer. Also, there is lots of foraging, pick your own, farmer’s market action going on here. This year is probably the best we’ve eaten in a long time. After much struggle in Canada, with lack of cheese and the price of food, this spring and summer, we ate mostly, seasonal, local, organic, home-grown food. And it keeps on coming as Ed brought 5 kilos of apples yesterday, but he’s come back from work with all kinds of fresh goodies over the last few months; from prize-winning beetroots, to giant marrows, quinces, blackberries, plums, etc. This was great timing as I was eating for two this year: this baby’s developing taste buds have been spoilt.
There will be more good food to come very soon when our little astronaut finishes his trip in space oddity. I already find myself drooling in front of the cheese section at the supermarket. Yesterday, I stared at a Reblochon so intensely that some shoppers seemed a bit spooked. Carla Bruni gave birth a few days ago, not that anyone really cares, it seems. The Guardian pointed out that she must be relieved since in a recent interview she confessed she couldn’t wait to get over pregnancy and be able to drink and smoke again. In my case, it will be all about Serrano ham, blue cheese, raw fish and poached eggs buried in hollandaise sauce.
But I’m in no rush, after more than 8 months, I can wait another week or two for our intergalactic guest to land.
Ground control to Major Tom…