back to real life, which will never be the same

-- September 14th, 2014 --
avery jeanne bw

Impos­si­bly, we’ve been back in our Lon­don lives for two weeks.  Thrown in at the deep end, it’s been about unpack­ing, first, with the help of our kit­ties.  They missed us, I think.

hermie welcome2Avery’s been hard at work at school, see­ing her sum­mer exam results in con­text, plan­ning for the busy year ahead.  I’ve been at Lost Prop­erty. last first LP We’ve had the first Par­ents Guild meet­ing, I’ve reunited with the Home-Start infants, now crawl­ing, “like bee­tles,” their mum says, laugh­ing.  And of course I’ve been ring­ing.  The putto at Chiswick, sur­vey­ing us from on high in the ring­ing cham­ber, does not change. chiswick puttoWe’ve been cook­ing, for our­selves and for the Lost Prop­erty lunch.  Those ladies form such a beloved part of my life; I can’t bear to think of this time next year when my rela­tion­ship with the school will be over.  Must enjoy every bit of life right now.

lp ladies 2014The food stakes just get higher and higher, at our termly lunches.  This time, I con­tributed very sim­ple, but very deli­cious slow-cooked chicken thighs.

chicken thighs mediterraneanCooked with olive oil, white wine, oil-cured olives, bay leaves, onions and capers, this dish is a win­ner.  Soon to appear in the cook­book… news on that very soon.

But even as we take part in all these cher­ished activ­i­ties, our hearts are heavy.  Just as we arrived back in our Lon­don lives, we learned that one irre­place­able part of our Amer­i­can lives has gone.

Jeanne, one of our dear­est friends for 25 years, my dar­ling “other mother,” host­ess to us for count­less din­ner par­ties and sleep­overs, and most heart­warm­ingly host­ess to Avery all of August this last sum­mer, has died.

The only con­so­la­tion, upon hear­ing the news from my “other sis­ter” Cyn­thia, was to sit down with our piles of pho­to­graph albums and go back into the past.

binky avery jeanneJeanne and Cyn­thia and I met when John and I lived in Maple­wood, New Jer­sey for a year, dur­ing which time we got mar­ried.  I worked with Cyn­thia at the local book­shop, and quickly found their beau­ti­ful home to be my home away from home.  Over bowls of vichys­soise, plates of chicken Pojarski, hun­dreds of glasses of red wine far too fine for me, we became inseparable.

dinner partyWe thought we had fun before Avery was born, but once she appeared, we became even more glued together.  After all, they pro­vided her first bed…

jeanne binky bassinetAnd her first set of wheels…

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