It was a very, very long week, last week.
Kids were off school on half term holiday, which is tiring enough as it is, but for part of it my complicated boy was in France on a school trip, so I had a lonely, needy little girl. Luckily a lovely, lovely friend lent me her daughter for one day and took mine for another.
I was also a bit of a nutter and took on heaps of extra work as lots of my co-workers needed time off for their children. I also needed the money and to be very honest, I had forgotten all I had said yes too – DUH.
Anyway the point of it all, was that by Friday, I was shaking, I was so exhausted and the house was a filthy pigsty. So I went to bed at 9pm and quietly left a sleeping house the next morning at 8.30am. I left a note saying please clean the house, do your homework, I will be back LATE!
WOOHOO I ran away….to London for the day to meet some friends. I love London, it reminds me of why I live here. I could just sit and people watch all day. You can dress and be anything in London and no one bats an eye. It makes me smile. I only ever walk or catch the bus in London, as you miss soooo much on the Tube. I always give myself extra time, so I can get the front seat at the top of the lovely red double decker buses, just so I can watch, see and absorb.
I spent the first half of the day with one friend, just having coffee and wandering and a bit of shopping, but mostly talking. She then took me to a little alleyway just off Oxford Street for lunch – St Christopher’s Place. Now I used to work in Oxford Street and I had NO IDEA this little place existed. That is the wonderful thing about London, there is so much history, higgledy piggledy little streets, and more history just everywhere. The entrance is tiny and even my knowledgeable English friend had to hunt for it and it was like a separate little village with hanging plants, wooden bench seats, quaint (expensive shops) and little restaurants and coffee shops. GORGEOUS! We just had to have a glass of prosecco to celebrate.
Next I met another friend for a night of movies and sushi. Even the cinema oozed history – it was an old Theatre that has been converted to a cinema, all confusing corridors and ornate staircases. Fab.
And after all that I felt better. Less exhausted, less stained crumpled working mummy, even a little bit Londonfied and cosmopolitan. I had talked and talked and chatted and dumped all my worries and emotions on my lovely friends.
I sat on the train going home, peeking into people’s lit houses as I flew past, and I knew that I was all back together again and could cope with the piles of washing, the crunchy floors, the lost homework and the general endless mundanity that is my life. Bless London and bless my friends.