christmas in nottingham (V)
One last post about our last day in Nottingham last week.
There were so many delicious-sounding recipes in this cookbook. Mushroom curry? The mushroom fiend in me says, “hell yes!”
Neo had cereal. And then Raspberry decided she wanted some too.
“Oh, hurry up and take a picture of my dress!” said a faux-exasperated Aurelie.
She has the best dress ever. I need a dress like this in my life.
Raspberry and Loolapop played Labyrinth. Raspberry was getting a bit snippy. I think it was due to an accumulated lack of sleep.
Loolapop gave Raspberry a tiny teapot and teacup. She accidentally left it behind.
Lucas and Aurelie went out to de-ice the car and clear a path so Aurelie could back out of the driveway. Ares and I watched from the window upstairs before he got bored. When they were done, Aurelie came inside to tell me there was a good picture to be taken, with the snow and ice and blue sky. I popped outside, sans coat, but couldn’t capture what I considered a worthy picture.
Aurelie dropped the boys off at her dad’s and after she returned, we drove into the city centre, parking five floors down in a massive underground parking garage six floors deep. Looking out, you can see what looks like a cliff. I wanted to look at the view and take a picture looking up but circumstances dictated otherwise. We cut through Victoria Centre, a mall rife with post-Christmas shoppers and leftover Christmas decorations. By Santa’s grotto, there were these huge balls with the body of a penguin and an elf (I think) painted onto them. You could climb in, stick your head and arms out and look positively ridiculous. Of course, the girls had to try it for themselves, both of them squished in the enormous ball, providing limbs for the other.
After a quick stop at Wilko, Aurelie took us to Tarn Thai for lunch. It’s been ages since I’ve had Thai food and the restaurant did not disappoint. Raspberry didn’t really touch her baby corn and bamboo shoot meal, which we got to go. Lucas and I alternated hanging out with a very wiggly Ares while the other ate. There were two ponds in the entrance, one with orangey fish and the other with small black ones, and Ares seemed mildly intrigued by them.
I wanted to show Aurelie some cool independent stores I’d visited when I was last in Nottingham but I couldn’t get my bearings straight so that idea went out the window quite quickly. We stopped at Jugglers, where Aurelie got some birthday presents for Neo, and headed back to the car, as we had to make it to the station to catch our train. As we exited the mall, Ares suddenly got very agitated and howled — tears and all — the entire car trip to the station. I thought he might’ve pooped (he gets very upset whenever he does) but he seemed all right once we dashed out of the car and to our train with twelve minutes to spare. As it turned out, he hadn’t pooped at all (although he did within minutes of us returning home). Maybe he’d just been feeling warm, strapped in the carrier, in his pig suit.
It was bright and sunny when we boarded the train but it darkened quickly as the sun began to set. As we pulled out of Nottingham, I realized that we’ve been to the train station a grand total of four times now, and we still haven’t seen the canal right by it in broad daylight.
The train home was insanely busy, probably with everyone returning home after the holidays. We had reserved seating but the slips they normally put out to indicate the reservations weren’t there, so everyone sat wherever they wanted. Our reserved seats were taken when we boarded, so we picked three other seats, and it was quiet enough that we had the luxury of seat-jumping (crucial when travelling with restless kids). However, it was all shortlived as everyone had to play a stressful, grumpy version of musical chairs when tons of people got on at Chesterfield and they all really wanted to sit in their reserved seats. It was such a head-shaking clusterfuck (why didn’t the conductor just put up the reserved seats slips?!). We did end up in our proper seats after much kerfuffle. Ares slept and Raspberry read, and Lucas and I breathed sighs of relief that we were on our way home.
It’s been a week since we were there and I can safely say we’ve all recuperated from the excitement of being with Aurelie and company over Christmas. Time to start planning our next trip!