Friday, 26 February 2010

Cinnamon Kitchen

Our "curry club", a fluctuating but lovely group of uni friends and others, has now racked up quite a good number of visits to various Indian restaurants in London. In celebration of one of our number's sadly brief visit to the UK from Argentina we went last night to The Cinnamon Kitchen by Liverpool Street, an off-shoot of The Cinnamon Club in Westminster, which I have been to twice and loved.

The food at Cinnamon Kitchen was delicious but the staff were weirdly stressy. I have never been to a restaurant where the staff stressed so much. Firstly making the booking my Visa details were taken and I was told there would be a £20 charge per person (!) if we cancelled without giving 24 hours notice; at the same time I was told I must inform in advance if the number of people attending was to go up or down. Maybe this is common practice but I've never had it happen before.

Then when we got there one lady got in an incomprehensible stress about whether we were going to use the A La Carte or Specials menu, as I hadn't specified when booking (hadn't been asked!). There were confusing instructions about being sure to inform the waiter which we were ordering from (the specials menu was exactly the same as the a la carte but with fewer dishes). Then someone else came along (while there were still only two of us there) to inform us that "what I will do for you is I will give you some of all the starters so you can share them." Now this would be quite nice if it was an option but it was presented as a fait accompli. ArgentinaGirl had the presence of mind to ask how much this would be and it turned out it would be more than each ordering a separate starter, weirdly.

On the up side though there was one lovely waiter who was very helpful with dietary requirements and putting orders in before everyone arrived. And as I say the food was delicious - I had fat chillis with spiced paneer and tilapia curry. I would have had dessert, there was something chocolatey that looked nice, but I didn't as noone else was and I didn't want to look like a greedy guts. Thanks goodness for that restraint, as it was I spent half the night in heart burn city due to the foolishness of eating spicy food at 35 weeks pregnant. HackneyChild decided to throw a massive tantrum at 12.45am as well and decided he would only go back to sleep if I came into his bedroom not Daddy. His best comment was "I don't like my bed! You must get me another bed!"

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Back in the saddle again

It's so weird being fulltime carer again. Today we went to Piccolo at Hackney Forge which we used to go to every week, and it was as if we had never left, apart from not recognising so many people. Then we went to the toy shop on Victoria Park Road, where we invested in some glue, scissors and paint brushes for future craft activities, Victoria Park playground and the Pavilion for scrambled egg, smoked salmon and chocolate brownie, with HackneyChild informing me what his usual routine with Daddy was : "I usually have a little plate. And a spoon." After lunch HackneyChild said: "Didn't we have a nice morning?" and he was right, apart from having to bribe him to leave the house with a biscuit and the inexplicable failure of his pull up half way house nappy pants things to actually stop the wee from wetting his trousers.

I had forgotten how easily you start talking to people when you have a child with you which is really nice - talked to two girls on the bus about cravings in pregnancy, and mums in the Pav and at singing about random things. I am always stymied though by my inability to tell whether a child is male or female - they say "ooh, how old is he" and I say "two and a bit. How old is, er, your one?" It just feels rude to say "And is that a boy or a girl?" so I end up addressing my questions to the child "And can you walk yet?". People keep coming up and saying "We know your little boy but he is usually with his daddy" so obviously Hackney_bloke made an impression on the mummies of Hackney.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Hackette no longer

Well, for the next year at least. Probably. Unless dire economic straits forces me back to work before that. I'm now on maternity leave, starting from last Monday, which means I'm now full time carer to HackneyChild and Hackney_bloke is full time freelancer/ wage earner. It also means we have withdrawn HackneyChild from his nursery, which I feel guilty about as he was getting on really well and they can offer such a lot of things that I can't like sand and water play and outside play(we have no garden); also HackneyChild was just starting to socialise with his peers and now I drag him away.

I did have some issues with the nursery (TV and food) but all in all they are brilliant, and getting HackneyChild's development books with all the notes about how he was progressing made me appreciate them even more. And I'm a director now - first meeting next month.

The main theme of this week has been potty training, and on Monday we went to Mothercare and bought a new potty (the first one was so tiny), and 14 pairs of pants. It seems to be going well - there were no accidents today - although I am wimping out when it comes to supermarket trips etc and putting pull up nappies on. We have also been to Discover in Stratford again (nice time but major tantrums on way back as I forgot to take dummy); Hackney City Farm (love it), London Fields playground, and the library. I need to get reaquainted with all the drop ins and stuff.