20 May 2018
Today was rather dull for me, as I spent most of it writing an assignment that will be the final submission for my degree in Business Studies. At last, after years and years, I have completed it! I have yet to receive my final mark, of course, but I only need 40% to pass, and I’m reasonably confident that I will have achieved that, despite spending one whole day preparing for it, instead of the last eight months….
Cornelia had an EPIC sleep – this time it was for 13 hours! I had to go in at 09:00 just to check she was okay! (Does this worry ever go away for a parent?) She woke up in the happiest of moods and has mostly been funny and chatty and hilarious all day. After breakfast, I was keen to boot her and Ian out, so I could study without interruption, and they went off on Ian’s bike to explore the local area. When they came back at lunchtime (having discovered that most of the cafes serve only coffee and cake – not really suitable for a toddler lunch, especially after the donuts of yesterday!), Cornelia excitably told me all about a massive playpark that they had found just along the River Sava. Ian confirmed that it was indeed one of the most enormous playgrounds he’s ever seen – there were about 200 or so different things to do! I was surprised he had managed to drag her away, but the promise of lunch with Mummy was good enough amazingly. They had stopped off at the nearby Lidl for croissants (love it when I ask Ian to pick up something for lunch!!) and although the plan was to go out again in the afternoon, Cornelia decided she really just wanted to stay near me. She was allowed some of her Kindle time, then did some crafts with Ian (making crowns for all of us).
Despite the interruptions, and taking breaks to re-enact The Princess and The Pea in full, I finally submitted my average piece of work, and Ian surprised me with a glass of bubbly that he’d managed to sneak in without me noticing. Hurrah, what a lovely treat!
I desperately needed a shower (I’d spent the entire day in my pyjamas!) and after that, we headed out to a restaurant that had good reviews on Trip Advisor, using Uber for the first time. We had a lovely driver, who is soon to move to London for a four-week training programme to become a personal trainer on a cruise ship. I am always impressed by how many foreigners speak such good English, and continue to feel slightly embarrassed by my meagre grasp of French and German. I make the effort to learn “please” and “thank you” and “hello” in as many languages as possible, but it never makes up for the inability to communicate further than that!
I hadn’t spotted that the restaurant was part of the Hilton group, and the food and service were well worth the premium we paid for eating in a hotel restaurant. I had my first gin of the entire trip – anyone who knows me will know that’s probably the longest I’ve been without one – and a good glug of red wine to go with my steak and chips. Cornelia ate a massive portion of fish fingers, mash and peas, and created her own chocolate ice cream by mixing vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce. She was totally knackered by bed time, but was really well-behaved at the restaurant, endearing herself to both waiters, who adored her, and ended up showing me photos of their kids/nieces. Love it when the common ground of children brings so much delight to everyone.