Pop up porch cafe

It has been 299 days (not that I’m counting) since we last had a child-free dinner. It is a meditated sacrifice as we spend the first year inculcating a foundation of sleep, eat play, repeat. Every child is different, I know. But man, anklebiter 1 sleeps like a dream and we attribute that to the routine. So not to jinx anything, we persevere. I know of one mum who dines with her partner after the children sleep aka the grown-up dinner. That’s fantastic but our tummies generally close shop circa 7pm and it’s not something we’d like to change. Also, as that mum realised, there’s something about gathering round the table together…

Anyways, it so happened that the stars aligned and we found ourselves with a bottle of bubbles, some smoked salmon and cheese, strawberries and raspberries and a decadent chocolate tart inviting us to feast.  As it was quite the celebration and the evening sunshadows proved inviting, we took it outside. It was memorable enough to warrant a photograph. Yes, on our porch/ public footpath/ neighbourhood street.

pop up porch cafe
pop up porch cafe

Our very own pop up porch cafe. The husband laughed, “You know when you have kids when you use their furniture..” Yep that’s their table. That’s the only thing that would fit on the footpath and meet our dining requirements. Quite impromptu and as the best times are usually spontaneous, this proved to be magical (maybe it was the glow of the candle and the buzz of the bubbles). A few cars rambled home to their garages and I couldn’t help but think our candle was a little beacon home. Our neighbour returned from a late night at work and chuckled, “You on holiday?” It did feel like a holiday and feeling a bit of guilty mischief, we felt compelled to reason our presence. “It’s our anniversary.”

It’s true. It was. We even invited him over for a glass of bubbles. But why did we need to hide behind the fact that we needed a special occasion to celebrate outside? Every day is a special occasion and my urban imagined has us 227 style (dating myself) feasting with our neighbours. I might be on to something. I’d like to see if I can, within the year, have neighbours imbibing on good times off little chairs in our pop up porch cafe. Talk about random neighbourhood acts of wonder and connection.

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growing up with autonomy

“part of the process of growing up is learning to do without our parents to move bit by bit from their nurturance and watchful eyes and to test ourselves in those parts of the environment that are ‘not home’.”

-Clare Cooper Marcus, House as a mirror of self: Exploring the deeper meaning of home