As I sit here amongst the utter chaos that is a delay in Gatwick, I’m sitting here without a care. We may be delayed and i may not get to see my baby for a few hours but I feel relaxed and happy. The last week or so have been tough with another Christmas without Timmy, Ernest’s persistent cold and the delightful virus we both contracted.
Thankfully I think he’s coming out the other side, although he managed to pass it on to a number of people in the process. My dear mummy had the pleasure of projectile vomiting whilst my step dad got a good old bout of the shits.
They are always so good if i need a helping hand, or a little light relief to go to the shop without dragging Ernest around, and this last day is no exception. They never moan and even if Ernest was up all night they wouldn’t tell me. Well my mum wouldn’t, my step dad’s so deaf he wouldn’t hear a plane landing in his ear.
After I started writing this lovely beginnings of a blog post, although my mood was still calm, we ended up being delayed even further than expected. Timmy thought he would treat us to a little airport lounge scoff but I only managed three mouthfuls of my delicious Mac And Cheese and half a Diet Coke before Timmy demanded we leave immediately as they requested all passengers to report to the Main Desk. Is it bad that I was gutted I never got to finish my food?
Timmy asked me if i’d rather see my son or eat my food and for a split second I thought what would the harm be if I just polished it off? I hate leaving food. Needless to say I chose my child and actually (Sorry Ernest i love you really) I wish I never as we were no closer to getting any answers about when we were going to fly.
Eventually our flight was cancelled and we drive home for 5hrs instead. And it all started off with such promise……
I left Ernest with my mum the night before as I needed to be at the airport really early. He still wasn’t himself and rather than leave my mum to it, I hung around. I probably made it worse by doing that but I don’t generally let anyone other than Timmy put him to bed at night. I’m not sure if its because I don’t think he’ll settle with anyone else or if its a control thing, but actually he cried his bloody eyes out and was not going to sleep anytime soon. I had to leave him in the end, wide awake, in the hope he’d get so tired he’d give up the ghost.
I left absolutely everything to the last minute as I honestly didn’t think i’d make it to London. Timmy was due to meet me there but getting home from the North Sea at this time of year for him is notoriously treacherous. But luck was on our side and all was fine. Apart from an hours delay due to fog my flight landed in good time. As I turned the corner I could see this funny ginger face staring at me and holding a handmade sign saying “Birthday Girl”. I still get so excited nearly 8 years down the line when I see him for the first time after that long stint away. We usually exchange a very awkward kiss then immediately fart and burp in front of one another like old times.
It was really odd not having a child and all his shit attached to me for once. It was nice to do something for us as these days we’re lucky if we get a few hours off to go to the cinema. I was apprehensive about going to London but I’m so glad we had a chance to get to know each other again outside of being parents. We laughed, we held hands and we indulged.
I was planning to have a very strict timetable but it all went out the window when I assumed we wouldn’t even get there. So whilst I was waiting for my flight I put together a very small (large) list of all the places I wanted to go. Somehow, I’m not entirely sure how, but we managed to tick off pretty much everything without the use of the tube every 5 minutes. It was so lovely to just walk around London without thinking about when Ernest was due his next feed or where can we go that will be ideal for a pram. We didn’t take the baby as the thought of navigating the tube with him was just for crazy people. It happened to be during the strikes so chaos erupted and everyone seems to be in a bloody rush. You end up looking like Paula Radcliffe at the end of a race whilst you attempt to keep up with the pace.
I’m probably the only one, and this is pretty cringe to admit, but whenever I go to London I try to dress a little more like a local. I put alot of effort in looking average. How does a local dress you may ask? Well there is a possibility that Timmy opened up my laptop when we got back, to the google page request of ‘How to dress like a Londoner’. Sometimes I often question my choices in life and this search was one of those moments. What I did learn was that actually no one gives a flying fuck and they are more interested in their own lives to worry about whether your Nike trainers are on fleek. So I played it safe and went for comfort.
I always feel a little inferior anyway, especially when you’re walking through the department stores and there are people dripping in money. They are probably miserable as hell! Who am I kidding!? They’ve got money, they can buy happiness.
As soon as we go to London I always make a b line for Harrods. To me, its as much of a landmark as the Saatchi Gallery or The V and A. I just love the fact that you can find everything you want under one roof. I love to walk around all the ridiculously expensive beautifully embellished ball gowns and just brush my hands across them. I know there is no chance I will ever fit into one, let alone wear one, but a girl can dream. Its always tradition to go to the food hall and get a nice big slice of cake as everything in that place looks so delicious. I spotted some giant macarons and knew that’s what I wanted.
Me and Timmy had a little chuckle to ourselves. The girl behind the counter asked us if we wanted to buy some macarons that had been damaged at a discounted rate. I wonder who else she would have offered these broken items too? Maybe it was Timmies cheapie Sports Direct Slazenger sweatshirt that made her think ” They look like the type to buy the broken shite macarons” and she would have been correct! Of course I was going to take them. They were perfectly edible and bloody delicious. It still cost £10.50 for four of them but they were worth it.
We decided we were going to eat breakfast there so after circling the shop about 100 times we managed to find Luduree. I have always wanted to go to one if only to look at their beautiful packaging. There is no way in hell we would have fit a pram in the seating area, we were practically in our neighbours pockets. These are the little things that you take for granted when you have don’t have kids. You don’t have to think about your spatial awareness or whether they might piss other people off with their food flicking and high pitched scream, god love them.
Well breakfast wasn’t like the usual greasy spoon with free mug of tea i’m used to. It was definitely more refined and more expensive and lacking in portion size. I opted for the Omelette but didn’t manage to get a snap of it. Timmy was making me very aware I was taking lots of food pictures which totally put me off. We actually wasted a lot of our time there as it took ages for the order to be ready and time wasn’t on our side. So £50,00 later and still with pretty empty stomachs we headed towards Hyde Park for some festive cheer and hopefully some more grub. We stopped in a few shops on the way and bought Ernest some new clothes but I was yet to get anything for my birthday.
The Winter Wonderland was sooo big. I remember going years ago and it was a handful of wooden shacks and a few duff fair rides. Oh how its changed! It was like a full on operation. I couldn’t believe how many stalls there were. If only I didn’t eat that really expensive omelette I would have happily sunk a foot long sausage with fried onions. We tried and failed to locate somewhere that had hot chocolate covered waffles. We did find one place that had a fuck off great big sign saying “WAFFLES” but they didn’t sell waffles. So our whistle stop tour of this ‘Wonderland’ ended with dreams being shattered.
We then strolled through the leafy park and headed towards Regents Street. It was literally the most perfect winters day and everyone was in high spirits. It was one of those days where there was a slight chill in the air but the sun was shining. This above any day is my absolute favourite. You simply can’t beat it.
I wasn’t that keen or bothered about going to Oxford Street as I didn’t want to spend the day shopping. However somehow we ended up on there. Timmy managed to find himself lots of lovely new clothes (like he always does) and I was still empty handed. I knew that if I really wanted something he would buy it for me, but I just couldn’t think. It’s been so long since I thought about what I want that when put on the spot I went blank. Now I’m sat here writing this, I could give a million and one ideas.
We somehow managed to navigate ourselves through the crowds and got to Regents Street where I finally got a birthday gift. Timmy had a small heart attack when I told him three books from Anthropology would cost £65.00. So proceeded to shout at the top of his lungs “You what?” “Are they 1st Edition Dickens novels?” although he protested (and I put one back) he did get them for me. We walked through Carnaby Street and then onto my beloved Liberty. It’s such a wonderful rickety old building filled with treasures and I love that it just does its own thing. It isn’t like any other department store I’ve ever visited. We didn’t have a good look around as the day was running away with us and we still hadn’t checked into our hotel yet.
We had one last stop to Kenzo before we made our way back to Victoria. I already had one of their jumpers but even though its an XL its so small its like a crop top. Obviously this brand wasn’t built for ladies of a certain size so I had the idea of getting another one from the Men’s section. Timmy left me to it whilst he went to the bank. Once i’d found the Menswear I couldn’t find any jumpers. Then suddenly some appeared on the table. I found it a little odd that they had the tissue paper on them but thumbed my way through looking at the sizes and colours.
There were a couple of men there also looking at the jumpers, then looking at me looking at the jumpers, then looking at each other. I should have realised that something wasn’t right when I noticed the tissue paper. But I carried on looking through the pile whilst these gentlemen took pictures of themselves holding the jumpers to their chests. I eventually realised that I was looking through their own personal pile. I swiftly made a crab style exit into the next room.
I asked a very serious looking too cool for school sales assistance if they had any lion face jumpers. Yes they do he replied. “what size would you like?” Oh yea, what size? So I explained that I happened to be too fat for the ladies one and thought id trump for a men’s one in the hope it would be a better fit. He bought me out a nice selection of colours (tissue paper included) to look at. I was so glad I wasn’t the only one stupid enough as more people were arriving and every single one of them looked through my pile of jumpers. I am now the proud owner of a Men’s Large Kenzo Jumper with arms on it longer than a monkeys but I can work with that.
We headed to our hotel and it was so lovely. It was slightly out of the way but totally worth it. The room was filled with lots of lovely things, filament lightbulbs, a coffee machine and even an on the go breakfast of porridge and fresh juice. The bed was massive and I just knew when I sat on it that I was going to get immense pleasure out of sleeping in it that night.
I choose a Mexican restaurant for dinner and I was really looking forward to it. I had about 20 minutes to get ready so I frantically attempted to make myself look semi decent for my husband. He went down to the bar for a drinkie whilst I had a shower. As we were only staying one night I only bought one bra with me. This wonderful bra decided to give up the ghost and totally snapped. Basically not having a bra is like my life is over. I cannot be seen in public without a bra on. I managed to tie it up and although It probably looked like one tit was sitting waaay higher than the other it was far better to look like that than to look like they needed to be tucked into my Bridget’s. I’m only now regaining the feeling in my right arm due to the circulation being cut off.
Our restaurant was in Covent Garden so we decided to try our first Uber experience and I tell you what, it was bloody brilliant! It literally arrived within minutes and was cheap too.
I love going to Covent Garden. It always has a real buzz about it. The street performers, live music and market are always good for a visit. Although our visit was fairly short lived as although the map said the restaurant was there it was not. It was a good 10 minutes walk away, after realising we went down the wrong road. The Mexican food was amazing and if it was on offer I would have happily requested a wheel barrow assistance out the door. We were both so stuffed that actually we were happy just to head back to the hotel.
So by 10.30pm we were undressed, jammies on and in bed. It didn’t disappoint either. We only really had about 6 hrs sleep, but it was 6 hours uninterrupted sleep in a lovely spacious soft bed. I won’t be forgetting that moment anytime soon.
Although the next day was a complete disaster and we didn’t get home until 10pm rather than 10am, our day as adults, doing adult things, talking about adult things (with a lot of Ernest thrown in), drinking adult drinks was what i really needed. I wouldn’t change the hectic life of babying I now have for the world but i’ll never take for granted those small moments of peace, whether I’m in the loo or Ernest is having a nap, as its good to take time out for yourself.
I hope that this year we try and do something for ourselves more often. I realised that I shouldn’t feel guilty for wanting time away from Ernest every so often. It’s healthy and sometimes it’s well bloody deserved.
Happy 2017 everyone.