If you have ever met my parents you know that this question is lurking just around the corner from, “You can put your coat on the bed in Emma’s old room” and, “Do you want something hot to drink?” You’ll be shooting the breeze – proclaiming your love for European butter, for example – when out of nowhere SHAZAM! There it is: “But how are you really doing?” This question is one of things that makes my parents awesome.
Today is the first day of our third week in Chiswick. Leo and I have been struggling to rid ourselves of a nasty head cold all week, so that has rather dampened our enthusiasm for adventure. But no longer! As a treat for an unexpected tantrum between midnight and 2:45 am this morning I am taking the both of us on a Thames walk to Skittle Alley*, a gorgeous little cafe and bakery nestled in the courtyard of the stately Black Lion pub. Tired mother: treat yo’ self! #parentingtip
Despite the head cold, and the tantrum(s), we are settling in well. Instead of proving a hindrance, toddler rhythms are surprisingly conducive to making a fresh start in a new place. They mean that you just have to get on with life. You unpack all of the bags. You find the best parks. You buy Cheerios. You stop to wave at airplanes. You “go outside for an adventure” every day, rain or shine. You make food. You nap. You find the best coffee. You pop into bookshops and thrift stores. You explore your new surroundings with relentless energy. Every day is a chance to discover something exciting.
I really love this kind of travel, the kind of travel that means you get to put your clothes into drawers and sleep in the same bed each night. I love getting to know a new place by walking and walking and walking and slowly wearing a groove into a neighborhood with my own feet. It’s how I make a place mine. Someone asked me the other day what was on my list of things to do while we were here and I realized that I wasn’t looking forward to art galleries or museums or shows or the coolest bars or any of the things on the usual lists. I was looking forward to discovering the things about Chiswick, and London, that would become my places and space to call home. I’m good at this kind of travel, and I can’t wait to tell you more about it.
*This will hopefully lead to the first post in my TREAT YO’ SELF cafe and bakery series. Skittle Alley, your name is so cute! Please live up to the hype.