No idea where Michael and I had a drink on 10 March, but my diary simply says:
MRM fm 17:00
I’m guessing we wanted to get all the business chat out of the way ahead of the social gathering a few days later – probably on pain of nagging from both Elisabeth and Janie.
MRM to me later that evening (10 March):
Good to chat tonight over a bottle of wine. Should do it more often.
Asked about our China travel guides, apparently given away…
…Behind the scenes for Saturday – Elisabeth has NOT booked a sitter and thinks Xenia and Maxine are coming. You might want to chat with Janie. (1) If that’s fine, then we might as well meet at Hawksmoor. (2) If that’s not fine, i.e. the girls are in total female communication mode, then I’m happy to put the paternal foot down for a sitter.
Me to Michael fewer than 15 minutes later. I sound a bit stressy. Perhaps just tired and emotional:
Re Saturday, I strongly suggest you get Elisabeth to speak with Janie on this. The whole point of meeting at yours, as far as Janie is concerned, is that otherwise we won’t see the children. If I raise this matter, Janie might well go off on one!! We should either meet at the restaurant at 19:30 six strong or at your house 18:00 with sitter on the way. Leave it to the girls to decide. I’m easy either way.
Another boat worth not rocking is the itinerary for the holiday. There won’t be any holiday unless we simply close on this very soon (5th or is it 6th iteration); and believe me on this occasion I am totally cool about it, other than imploring not to pack the itinerary with so much that we don’t get any rest!! Stone Forest was inked in on first iteration and won’t budge, I’m sure.
The itinerary in question was the forthcoming trip to Yunnan and Sanya, which all came good in the end.
Janie and I recall that the Saturday event ended up being deferred to 19:30 at Hawksmoor Spitalfields with the Mainelli family complete.
Hawksmoor Spitalfields was (quite probably still is) a cracking good restaurant – absolutely top notch. Janie reckoned it even topped Smith and Wollensky in New York for quality – praise indeed. The Mainelli girls were (quite possibly still are) very well behaved to the point of being good company on a grown up meal out – at that time they were 12 and 10 ish.
The Hawksmoor thing was great for family eating, as you can choose your size of steak/chunk of beef and then share.
Anyway, Saturday 13 March was an excellent evening out.
Probably the last thing Janie and I needed was a big lunch the next day but…
…14 March 2010 was mothering Sunday.
Mum was really into Perfect Blend at that time – a local eatery run by a really nice and friendly family – the son ran the restaurant/cafe, which was across the road from his father’s greengrocer shop, which had been there since the very dawn of time.
Perfect Blend is sill there at the time of writing (October 2017) – well done – but here is a scrape for just in case the above eponymous link doesn’t work.
We liked the place because the staff were all very nice with mum and she felt she was supporting nice local people whom she had sort-of known for a very long time. I vaguely recall the service being a bit below the normal superb standards that day, as most places are on mothering Sunday, as the plethora of demanding mothers needing above average levels of attention spread the service capability a bit thin in even the best places.
Between all these eating and drinking activities, I would have been following the test match from Chittagong – click here. I’ll guess that we timed lunch and our arrival at the house to ensure that the cricket was over and mum therefore will have noticed no distraction on my part. Mum might have noticed a slightly hungover version of me, though, from the Hawksmoor evening – great wines.