Tuesday, 8 June 2010

A rare meme

As you must know by now, if you read my blog, that although I'm always incredibly flattered and elated to be selected for one of these blogland features, I'm terrible at replying to meme's. This time, however, as my good blogging friend Wildernesschic knew, I couldn't resist her tag.

Where were you five years ago?

Apart form being five years younger (and not realising how wonderful that was), I'm glad it's not 2005.

This was the year when my boy left home and started university, and I cried my eyes out at the start of every term after I'd dropped him off. The terrible sense of loss was overwhelming, even though at the same time I was incredibly proud of him for having got himself a place at Oxford.

Luckily Daughter was still at home and at school. She was making friends and the gang that more or less has held together until this day was forming. Here they all are having a Halloween party in a bit of our house which is now part of the kitchen.

As for us, we were busy travelling. That year in April we went to New York to celebrate our birthdays. It turned out to be a sunny, unseasonally warm week. But looking at these pictures I can clearly - too clearly - remember the mixed emotions this trip caused. 

This is us having lunch at newly opened Moroccan tearooms in Soho. My fake smile is the result of feeling pretty shabby and jet-lagged. I'd had a facial that morning and my hair was greasy from a head massage, and I was drinking tea. Those of you who read my blog regularly know how I feel about tea....the lack of coffee was making my head spin.

Another fake smile picture; I really don't do very well in photos. Just as well I'm not a model...(yeah like that's the only reason.) This is taken in Battery Park, just after we'd hopped of a boat that had taken us to Ellis Island. You must go if you ever have a chance - to my amazement I found details of distant relatives who in 1928 had emigrated to NYC from Finland.

Yeah, I know this is touristy, but this guy (or gal?) was pretty impressive.

A view from the Ellis Island boat.

A street we passed every day on our way down town from Soho House New York. I can't remember what it was called now but I had to take a picture. To me this is a typical residential street in Manhattan, and where one of my fantasy flats in the world is situated.

Where would you like to be five years from now?

I actually would not mind if I was in New York again in five years time. I think I might enjoy the city a little more now. But more than that I'd like to be in print, with a published novel or two. And living in a city somewhere. And I'd like to be as happy as I am now, and as healthy. I'd like the children to be settled (my mother-in-law always used to say this and until recently I never understood what she meant), happy and healthy -  and of course for my lovely Husband to be happy and healthy too.

What's on your list to do today?

Sort out the car, which I've done.
Pay bills, some of which I have done.
Write - yet to do.
Go to the gym - doubtful this'll happen now...
Reply to an email about a tax return.
Sort out a professional course for myself for the autumn.
Have lunch with husband who's stomach thinks his throat has been cut.
Organise the weekend.

What five snacks do you enjoy?

Unsalted nuts
Dried fruits, like cranberries or apricots
Finn Crisp rye crackers

(That list reads like it's me who's crackers.)

What would you do if you were a Billionaire?

Buy a big house on the island in the  Finnish archipelago
Buy a big house in London
Give the rest away to family and friends

And now to to the passing on bit. I completely understand if you, like me, are bad at this, but I would be very interested to hear what the following bloggers were doing five years ago:

Mr London Street
Waiting for John
North West London Girl in the Country
The Divorcee Dares to Dream
Chic Mama

I can't wait to hear your stories!


Imogen said...

What's so crackers about such a mouth-watering list of snacks? Damn it, I want something to eat now...
Ooh - my "word verification" word is "froke" - a more girly relative of the groke, perhaps?

Razmataz said...

I can barely remember what I was doing 5 years ago. I had to really think hard about this one.

I found your flashback interesting and especially liked the blogs you forwarded it onto.

My son's girlfriend's mum said to me once "a mother is only as happy as her unhappiest child" and I really get that. As mums we can be happy when our children are settled, so I understand you saying you want them to be settled in 5 years.

John said...

A rare meme? An even rarer visitor...

Tristram Spencer is a sad, fated man. Don't listen to him.

~Tessa~Scoffs said...

love your answers!

Wildernesschic said...

Loved this post .. so nice to see more of you, I love your white jacket, I loved New York too, and was hoping to be there this coming Christmas .. but with building delays and expenses .. I can see me maybe getting there for 2011. This time I will also do a lot more sightseeing last time I just shopped and shopped and shopped :) Husband was convinced that he had broken his foot just walking down 5th Ave so many times xx
Ps I would have left my home country too, for a man as handsome as your Englishman :P xxx

Looking Fab in your forties said...

Great post, I would love to get to New York one day!

Wildernesschic said...

PS meant to say your son is the image of you .. but dark x

FortyNotOut said...

Loved this Helena... and not just because it's got lots of New York in it! The bit about your son going off to Uni got me choked up - I can only imagine how it'll feel when that happens with SC! And damn right you should be in print.. way be before five years! p.s. Re those M and S pink shoes with your dress... definitely! very different shades! xx

Chic Mama said...

My son is just doing his GCSE's and already I'm on countdown for when he leaves home for university...*sob* Five years ago sounds great apart from that though. :0)

Thank you for the tag. xx

Helena Halme said...

Imogen, you should see me demolish a packet of Finn Crisps and then you'll see how crackers I am...

Razamataz, I've heard that saying too, and I could not agree more. I've come to accept worrying about one's children never ends. But it's not all bad, they are lovely too. :)

John, get away from my blog now and stop torturing the lovely Tristram.

Ruth, Fab and Forty Not Out, yes, I know, New York is a really magical place. My next novel is about NYC which is why I'm even more obsessed with it at the moment than usual...though that visit 5 years ago wasn't the best one.

Chic Mama, I got over the '1st offspring uni blues' and hope this autumn, 2nd time around, it'll be easier. Will keep you posted on that, fear not! Can't wait to read your 5 year post.

And Ruth, Son will absolutely hate me posting that picture - he's changed so much since then. As for the Englishman, he's changed a bit in 25 years too..! xx

Anonymous said...

Well Chic Mama absolutely has to do this now as I've tagged her too!

Great post and love the pic of the Manhattan street x

Anonymous said...

hehehehe chic mama got two tags!! I have to pick up the baton from muummmmeeeee...

I love coming by for the first time and finding a meme... I just need to learn to do them myself :0)

Great blog.

Melissa said...

Great job on the meme!

Northern Snippet said...

Just started reading how I came to be in England.I'm gripped-wont take me long to catch up!

Mr London Street said...

This is a fabulous meme and I'm very flattered to be tagged. I am, as you know, slap bang in the middle of another meme at the moment (not one to do things by halves, I'm afraid) but I might have a crack at this in a few weeks. Your version will be hard to top though.

Imogen said...

Finn crisp is terribly more-ish... Just at the moment though I'm on a bit of a "thing" with Krisprolls (or Crisp Proles as my pun-loving father used to call them).

Incidentally, I got to meet my favourite Finn (after two old friends) yesterday - Maestro Esa-Pekka Salonen, no less. What a sweet guy.