We've been to London. I don't mean to sound like the boy at school who'd never set foot outside Lincolnshire, and then went mental on the French class day trip to Paris, but, WE'VE BEEN TO LONDON! And now it feels like the world has suddenly opened up. We'd chosen a bit of a duff day to go, when half the train track between Brighton and Victoria was broken, so it took the best part of three hours to do a fifty minute journey, but still. We changed trains/ platforms/ seats about a hundred times. Breastfed opposite strangers on Southern Rail. Went on a London bus. Walked round an exhibition. And made it home again with minimal fuss.
We did go with a friend who is a veteran at taking her daughter to the big smoke, (I never used to call it the big smoke before becoming a mum/ when I used to go there/ anywhere regularly,) and two buggies is definitely better than one. Not if you're behind us, mind, like when the station master changed the platform for the London train for the second time and about three hundred people crammed in the underpass, desperately trying to run but headed up by us, meandering and chatting.
We all still made the train, but not before there was a bottle neck to get on at each of the doors, and I found myself shouting, 'for Gods sake, we've got kids here!' a bit too dramatically, like we were in some start of the second world war film and I was trying to get my children onto the evacuee carriage, instead of going up to the Grayson Perry exhibition at The British Museum at our leisure. So I shoved my way to the front, nervously dragging Nancy and the pram vertically up the steep train steps, before realising I'd have to spend the next two hours sat opposite the people I'd just shouted at.
And wearing a pair of high heeled boots I'd bought from a charity shop which are a size too big wasn't the best idea, even with three pairs of socks on for speed/ balance, but in the words of the teenage girl who I shared a bus stop with the other day, 'fuck it, I don't care what they say, I think I looked fucking brilliant.'
But not that brilliant. The jogging has gone to pot a bit. Following a not very bad cold I thought it would be irresponsible to encourage it into a proper cold so haven't been for three weeks. And what with yoga being cancelled for half term, I need to start doing something, because even if you lose weight, everything is so much softer after child birth. I was reminded of this fact this morning while holding Nancy up, as she kneaded her feet into my tummy like an over-sized stress ball.
It wouldn't hurt to start exercising the old brain muscle either to be honest. But even the pictures seems like a bit of a challenge at the mo. The films the cinema are screening for the mums and babies slot have all gone a bit arty again, which is a crying shame for a theatre full of sleep deprived women. I thought they'd got the message when last week they showed a film starring George Clooney, as the queue for tickets went round the block, but this week they showed a disturbing film about a girl who joined a cult, was so badly brainwashed that when she finally escaped she had trouble distinguishing reality from obscure memory. Again, a bad choice for people who have on average 4 hours sleep a night.
And so, feeling a bit anxious and nervy of strangers on leaving, Ulrika and I took Nancy and Ebba to one of our top three haunts- Boots on London road, to hang around the baby aisle and get photos of our children developed. The other two fav spots are Card Factory (4 cards for a pound? How do they make any money??) and big Sainsbury's for a cruise around when we have at least 20 minutes to spare.
Although it's not fashionable to say I'm going to start using big multi-national supermarkets as a matter of choice , I think I am - for the anonymity if nothing else. I'm trying now to avoid the shop at the top of the hill all together, as the man has taken customer chat to a new level of annoying. This morning he asked, as I popped in without Nancy to buy milk and bread for breakfast, 'you going to work?' 'no,' I reply, a bit more mardy than I'd intended as I'd been up three times during the night, 'I look after my baby,' and as he looked over the counter I explained, 'she's at home with her dad while I came here.' 'Oh, you still doing that then?' I'm not sure at what point I'd give up 'doing that' to start 'doing' something else. 'Yep. Yes I am,' resisting the temptation to beat him with the Kingsmill. 'Bit boring yeah?' Only wish I could have thought of something really quick witted and cutting to say. As it was I couldn't even remember what I'd come in for and he had to shout after me that I'd left the milk and my house keys on the counter. Wait till I have an undisturbed night of sleep. Then he's going to get it.