From the age of about 7, I used to go every Saturday morning to Victoria Hall to 'Saltaire Ladies Gymnastics Club' where I did eventually make it to 'top mat' by the time I was 11. When I started playing clarinet, I gave up gymnastics but still ended up at Victoria Hall on Friday evenings for rehearsals with the Bradford Schools Band. And many years later, I still find this small, purpose-built stone village has tremendous pulling power.
We wandered down over the canal with some lunch bought from the bakery on Victoria St. and sat in the park to eat it. There was a cricket match going on and the 'Englishness' of it all created a very strong sense of nostalgia in me - I felt I was potentially looking at this sort of view for one of the last times. It felt and continues to feel rather strange - a bit like homesickness even before I've left. Not a bad sign, but rather a sense that we really are going to be gone before this time next year. And it really has been the most beautiful day.
I took the children into the Mill and Mateo was in heaven with all the books. I could have left him there for the rest of the afternoon but I'd promised the other two a milkshake in the Diner, so we had to drag him away. And despite the fact I haven't been there for more than 5 years, it was lovely to be greeted by the guy who still works there (after 17 years) as a long-lost friend.
We all agreed that we'd had a very good day and came home feeling quite sleepy from the sun and absolutely starving hungry. Mateo, recently trying out vegetarianism on humanitarian grounds, had said yesterday that he felt he could possibly eat chicken as long as it was free-range, so we'd bought one the day before. He was still a bit unsure when I was cooking it, but once it was on the table, between us, we ate the whole thing!
Yes, simple pleasures indeed - and today was the day we have missed FR the most.