Chigwell Row, our neighbouring village, our second home for over ten years. A quiet village, with easy access to Hainault forest and about two miles from our current house. Kavitha’s first school, the local post office, newsagents and three pubs, were all within walking distance. We’ve only ever been to one of the pubs in the time we lived there. Those were busy years. A young family, trainee anaesthetist days combining work with studying and exams. Two fellowship exams and two trainee rotational jobs later life got more settled and we moved to Chigwell.
Lakshmi chatted in the back of the car as I took her swimming this morning. It’s been a long time since I last took her swimming and that was during our visit to India early last year. She showed off that day by splashing around in the pool at the Taj in Kovalam. As I balanced her on the water surface, a couple of little girls looked on enviously. Today it was not that easy. She clung on tightly and it took a bit of persuading, but she gradually let go as she paid more attention to the children around her and forgot that she was actually floating.
Next stop was Toys R us, which has gone into administration and having closing down sales up and down the country. A dolls pram and a scooter later, it was time for a very late lunch. We opted to go to the ‘Two Brewers’ in Chigwell Row and try it out. Lakshmi fell asleep as I pulled into the car park. The car park was full and I wondered if there would be any space in the restaurant.
Snow covered empty outside tables greeted us as we walked to the entrance, but it was full inside. They found us a nice window seat as we waited and ordered a hot mug of chocolate each to warm us up. A cosy pub with friendly staff and an inviting menu. Lakshmi played with her glass of milk and then finished off my chocolate drink. She started eyeing her mother’s drink as she realised chocolate drinks tasted as good as eating chocolates. Her mother was too quick and wolfed down hers before Lakshmi could get to it.
We had a leisurely late lunch as we watched the snow fall lightly onto the roads. It felt like winter as the windows misted up. I used to take Kavitha around these roads when she tried out her first bike almost quarter of a century ago, now it is time to go home and assemble Lakshmi’s first scooter and see how she fares.