Wow, having a child makes it virtually impossible to write. I feel like it’s a miracle that I’ve managed to get my munchkin home, narrowly missing a thunderstorm and down asleep without too much of a fuss (in her cot for once, dare I say) and I’m now typing…I’m actually making words with my keyboard, even sentences – it’s only taken eight months! In fact, I’m even eating homemade lemon sponge cake and sipping tea. Typing, homemade cake, tea and a sleeping baby… plus it’s only half past three. I feel quite smug with myself. The ‘A’ on my mug is screaming ‘AMAZING’ at me. Even my one-eyed cat looks impressed. That doesn’t normally happen. The problem is, I’ve made it this far, but two slices of cake down and I’m still not sure what to write about…

Tom was given this very thoughtful gift from one of his students- a set of herbal teas from Sri Lanka. Each tea bag comes beautifully presented inside a cardboard square-based pyramid and on each pyramid there is a lovely poetic sentence. As I sit here, sipping my tea and pondering what to write about, I’m fiddling with the box my tea bag came in.  We both treasure the few seconds each day when we can read the sentence and enjoy the first few sips of our freshly brewed and often exotic tasting tea. Today, it’s calming camomile and refreshing lemongrass…’The soft breeze caressed her face, leaving a smile on her lips as she walked through the garden….’ See, I said they were lovely.

I mindfully appreciated the few seconds I had to read that sentence before the baby monitor interrupted the peace and  I had to rescue my little one from her scary cot. She’s now cradled in my arms, face soft with innocence, whilst I type one-handed. I linger over each word on the tea box again as I’m transported to this garden. 

It’s hard to find gardens in Bangkok. I long for flora, birds and grass,as does every other mother I know living in this concrete jungle. (How many times have I heard Bangkok described as this, yet forgive me, I’m too tired to think up something original!) A little place to sit with my baby, to read a book, natter with a friend, drink tea! Today my friend delivered just this and took us to a very special place in Udom Suk, The 66 Cottage. A quick turn from the BTS down a side street, leaving the smoky traffic behind us and a secret garden was waiting! Teeny birds tweeted around us whilst we sat out, shaded under the sunny sky, surrounded by nature and cool under fans. Baby AJ lay on the decking babbling to herself, playing with the umbrella and dripping water from her cup on to herself for added refreshment. We chatted, our spirits calmed by the companionship, the nature, the soothing fountain. The staff were very pleasant, despite, as often is the case, parading baby AJ into the kitchen to meet the chefs… “Er, can I have my baby back now please?” It seems like it’s the spot for babies in fact, as we met two other little munchkins. Sensible parents sat them inside in the aircon. The salmon on toast was fab and even came with olives. Oh and the cake was delicious too. Half the price of similar cafes in Central Bangkok and even boasting a lawn. We will definitely be returning and I will remember to bring a blanket so AJ can sit on the lawn with her toys. I also want to try the delights from the No.66 Juice Bar and I even spied a natural soap shop!

Turns out that I did have something to write about. I guess living in Bangkok, with an eight month old baby, there’s always something to write about. If only there were more hours in the day to sit and sip tea! 

  

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