Opportunities for my husband and I to have child-free time are scant. We don’t especially mind since we actually rather like hanging out with our kids, had a decade of life together before we became parents and their childhoods are so fleeting. However, ever so often it really does do us the power of good to have a wee ration of time when all we have to focus on is each other. The last time we had a kid-free outing was in Florida in December when we went out on a nature trail. However, on Friday my husband was off work for Memorial Day weekend while all four of our children were at school. We, therefore, had a few hours in which we could go for an explore without tailoring the trip to kids, their wants and peccadilloes.
Since I receive a phone call from the school nurse roughly once a week, we did not want to go too far so we ventured to Chestnut Hill. We had been there back in October for the Harry Potter festival but this was our first time exploring the town properly. We had a casual amble around the main streets, popping into any shops that took our fancy. Normally I would fret about taking my kids into antique or junk shops not so much because of the risk of breakages these days but because they have magpie eyes and would be asking “Can I buy…?” too much for my tolerance. It was, therefore, nice to be able to have a fret-free poke around in such shops. We even bought a framed print of a collage for a spot on our kitchen wall. We mooched around in a deli where we bought fun snacks to take home for the kids and the aroma of freshly baked bread dragged us, nose first, into a bakery where we bought a few crispy, plump loaves.
Best of all, Chestnut Hill has a great camera shop staffed by a very friendly and knowledgeable man. My sensor has been dirty and creating spotty images since we visited Jamestown over a year ago and my 9 year old was scattering “spirit dust” everywhere, including over my camera. I have been tempted to clean it myself and even watched a few YouTube videos as a learning tool but I kept chickening out. I was, therefore, glad to have the opportunity to have a more experienced person take a look at it. The chap in the camera shop was able to confirm that the dirt was indeed on my sensor and he gave it an efficient and effective clean and all free of charge. How is that for great service? I will definitely return there again any time I need photographic stuff.
We had time for a late lunch so we took a quick hop, skip and jump in the car to try out a restaurant named Tiffin. Like most Brits, Mr Pict and I are big lovers of Indian cuisine. Since we emigrated to America 19 months ago, the only Indian food we have consumed has been cooked by me. I do make a mean curry, if I do say so myself, but it is not quite the same as having an authentic curry cooked for you – especially since it gives me a welcome break from cooking. We started with some onion bhajis largely because we always love the sauces and dips for Indian food. Neither the light but crispy bhajis or the delicious sauces disappointed. I was particularly taken with a creamy coriander sauce even though usually I am all about the chutneys. We also had cauliflower bezule which is cooked in coconut. That was a dish I had never had before and it was delectable. My entree was Dhaba chicken, a variation on curry I have not had before. I could have stood for the spice level to have been a lot hotter as I love my curries to pack a punch but the flavours were wonderful and the chicken was tender and cooked to perfection. Along with rice and naan bread, we were stuffed way beyond our gunnels by the time we departed to head home. Like anacondas, it was quite some time before we felt the need to eat again.