It has been a peculiar Monday. Started well in that I managed to get a bunch of boring stuff done before 9am and then set off for the park with the boy wrapped in the sling on my back. It’s a bit of a hill to get up to the park, a bit of a steep hill. I had just reached the top and could see a slither of tree through cast iron across Highgate Hill when I was kicked by a shoeless child.

Looking down at the one-shoe-on-one-shoe-off feet that were swinging over either hip, my heart sank. Brand new shoes and one has gone. My Mother-in-Law purchase them a week ago and they looked good, not like the usual correctional-style choice we have.  A heavy sigh and 180 degree turn sees me manically scanning the pavement I have just climbed in search of the missing shoe.

I reach the main road, take a quick check of the boy in a car window reflection to check he is not too distraught at his park time being cruelly withdrawn and he’s bleeding well gone to sleep. Before 10am and on my back at that. There was no sign of the shoe on the way home, I accidentally picked up coleslaw for his dinner and not cottage cheese as intended but that’s nothing new. By a miracle I manage to unwrap him into his cot without waking, go into the living room and see the missing shoe sat on the floor. Well that’s saved us £16.

As he had decided to take an early nap, we had a large chunk of the afternoon to fill. For some reason I thought that going into Olympic-filled town to the Transport Museum would be the best way to fill the afternoon. Foolish me, not listening to my own advice to never step foot in central London during events, weekends or school holidays.

Actually it was really good fun. It seems everything I dislike about living in London (street performers, Covent Garden market, tourist packed places and Disney-style events), are all the things that my son loves. He screamed with joy on the bus being allowed to sit on a proper seat, walked holding my hand from Tottenham Court Road to Covent Garden, loved the cobbles, charged around the tube station ticket hall, wanted to touch all the ridiculous silver-painted people, had more attention from tourists than ever (included a very strange South Korean man dressed as a cowboy making bizaare ‘pooh’ noises at him for ages), then stormed around the Transport Museum screaming with joy.

Although I could throttle the person who put the small balls at toddler-level in the shop. He made a bee-line for them and refused to give it up so I ended up forking out £4 for something that’s worth about 50p.

On the way back I was muttering under my breath about not being offered the free skincare sample from one of the skincare boutiques along the lines of ‘i may not look it but I can bloody afford that stuff’. At which point a salesman from another store offered me a free sample of what he was peddling and ushered me into the store for a demonstration.

‘Er, ok but only until the child on my back gets fed up,’ I say as he pull me in and starts rubbing some dayglo orange gel on my arm. It’s some manner of gold face peel. 24 carot according to the guy; sure I’ve drunk that stuff in shots but I am not convinced I want to scrub it onto my face. It did make it look like I hadn’t washed my arm in a week though. He went through his sales patter, ‘on special offer for today only…’ etc. Then told me the price. £120 for some orange gel?

I laughed.

‘Yes but it’s gold in there. Real gold.’

‘I don’t doubt it, but you’re never convincing me to spend that kind of money on this.’

Turns out it was 50 quid per pot for that day but you had to buy both pots. Sounds like some Fountain of Youth chasing to me. I chuckled as i walked off and into Forbidden Planet where I lusted over this:

Amongst other things that I hope to afford when I have extra days of work coming in.


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