Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A visit to the BIG SMOKE!

Eldest daughter had an interview.

Being the country types that we are nowadays, going up to London is a big thing for us. Bit of a treat really.

We got a coffee before we got on the train. Found ourselves a nice set of seats with a table, and got ourselves sitting comfortably, as you do.

It was fortunate that I had had a major crisis of confidence, prior to setting out, about my size and had therefore settled for "slimming" (don't be perusaded otherwise by Trinny and Susannah) black, because as eldest daughter arranged her work on the table, the first cup of coffee went over and landed in my skirt. I say "in", because that is what it was like. A massive black receptacle for a seemingly rather large cup of coffee. Lovely. It didn't show, and miraculously even the pink scarf and maroon coloured jacket (concessionary colour allowance to show not in mourning) missed the coffee completely. I was just a bit wet, and smelt slightly unpleasant. Coffee isn't good secondhand.

I had just mopped it up as best as I could when the train jolted and Eldest (being a very slim teenager) got some coffee down her white shirt. Thankfully, she had packed a spare (white) shirt in her bag, not because she was anticipating spilling coffee, but just in case she changed her mind about what to wear, which of course being a teenager, she frequently does and can.

And then the train jolted again and this time just caught my maroon jacket a little..... Thankfully again I had taken off the scarf to avoid it sitting in puddle of coffee and as such was able to replace it later to cover spillage on jacket.

So, we arrived in London, stinking of second hand coffee. Given that we had come up from Gloucestershire, and I am naturally a very late person for everything, when I have to do something important I always overcompensate for time. We practically ran to the tube, both thinking that we had just over 40 minutes to get to Oxford Circus from Paddington. It wasn't until we arrived at Oxford Circus that we realised that we had left Paddington an hour and forty minutes before the interview.

Eldest daughter was delighted because we visited the BIG Topshop at OC, had some great girly time trying on some clothes, got an extortionately expensive but I did have to (grudgingly) admit, very nice, gingerbread coffee from Starbucks all before the interview. Then afterwards we had a look at the Christmas decorations (was amused to see that they weren't very different to those they used 20 years ago) and spent far too much money on some Christmas presents from Hamleys. Maybe I thought that I was going to be late for Christmas this year so had to do some shopping early. Something like that.

We'd had a really great day, despite the vague coffee aroma that we carried with us wherever we went. And, as we went down the escalator at Oxford Circus, it didn't occur to me that vast black coffee smelling skirt might be a potential health hazzard, until I was walking off the bottom of the stairway and could go no further. I realised when I seemed to be staying static and going a little bit backwards, that I was a bit caught up and going the wrong way towards the stairs. Fast. A kind passerby pressed the emergency button, and nearly sent hundreds of people flying off the staircase as it drew to a sharp stop. He then pulled out what was left of my skirt for me. I was very grateful, and very apologetic. He did look at me as if really I was just a little bit VERY STUPID and as if it was definitely MY fault, which realistically it probably was. Perhaps after all there is a benefit to wearing a belt in the place of a skirt, as does my daughter and her friends, because then there is no danger of being sucked up in an escalator via a big black coffee smelling skirt.

And of course, had I worn a shorter version of said garment I wouldn't have then had to make my way from Oxford Circus to Paddington with a smelly skirt with a very large rip at the bottom. Perhaps I should have sat down and put out a hat. I may have raised my train fare.

All I need now I thought is to bump into someone that I haven't seen for ten years. We turned the corner and there .........................

No not really, but it would have been great for the blog.

Instead I just brazenly walked around Paddington for 3/4 hour (early again!) waiting for the train, and if anyone did notice a slightly strange coffee smelling woman with ripped skirt and very glamorous daughter waiting for the Gloucester train yesterday, thank you so much for not staring or commenting.


meredic said...

I can almost imagine people tutting about how some start to go downhill after a certain age.
Quite a nice follow on up to your last post. :)

Sally Lomax said...

Greetings Meredic!

Not quite ready to wear purple yet - but I love this sentiment!


Warning - When I Am an Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple

By Jenny Joseph

When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple

with a red hat that doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.

And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves

and satin candles, and say we've no money for butter.

I shall sit down on the pavement when I am tired

and gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells

and run my stick along the public railings

and make up for the sobriety of my youth.

I shall go out in my slippers in the rain

and pick the flowers in other people's gardens

and learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat

and eat three pounds of sausages at a go

or only bread and pickles for a week

and hoard pens and pencils and beer nuts and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry

and pay our rent and not swear in the street

and set a good example for the children.

We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?

So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised

When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

Beccy said...

Poor you, I can think of nothing worse then being the cause of stopping an escalator. You made me laugh on a cold day.

Sally Lomax said...

Glad to have given you a chuckle!

Happy birthday by the way!


Anonymous said...

that was really good!
it must hav been embarrassing

ChrisB said...

Despite all the mishaps it sounds like a good day. Hope your daughter's interview was successful.
By the way I love that poem

Sally Lomax said...

It was a brilliant day thanks Chris! And we wait to hear...


Ignorminious said...

Lol! Ok, you also write much better London posts than I do! Sounds like you are a tad accident prone :)

Look on the brightside though, at least the escalator stopped before it ate the skirt completely. All in all a ripped coffee smelling skirt is better than no skirt at all when you have to wait at Paddington for 45 minutes.

Sally Lomax said...

Yes Ignorminious you are so right! Lol at your comment. I have been having a quiet giggle to myself every time I think of walking around Paddington without a skirt. Thank Heavens for small mercies heh?!!