Blue and gold

>> Thursday, 14 February 2008

London - MY London - today is grey, cold, and rather gloomy, and not a little emotional. It feels as if it might burst into tears at any moment, rather like a premenstrual teenager. As if nobody understands it. As if it stayed out too long at the weekend and it's parents have withdrawn priviledges for the rest of the month.

The many tourists are banked up on street corners, shivering as they stub their cigarettes out on the pavement, and muttering mutinously to each other "But zey told me zis was a party town! 'Ave you seen ze prix of zat pastry? And Starbucks is much too bizzy! Excuse me, madame, where is ze tube station?" "That would be the building behind you. And please don't - spit your gum out on the street. Too late, I see..." At which point they look at me uncomprehendingly and I stomp crossly off down the road.

Maybe it's not London feeling pre-menstrual. Maybe it's actually me.

But yesterday, MY London was blue and gold.

The sun shone, glinting off the windows, reflecting back from the white paintwork, and warming the light brown bricks to a pale gold colour. The sky was a washed-out wintry blue, the blue of my convent-school summer dress (the one with a rather kinky zip down the front, which always caused much amusement and hilarity amonst the grammer boys from the school up the road. We loved that, of course. We were convent school girls, after all.) There was not a cloud to be seen in the high arch of the sky.

In our garden square, following 3 days of unseasonably warm weather, the birds were welcoming an early spring, making plans for redecorating their nests, earmarking plots where they could raise their hatchlings in safety. The French Mafia were absent (their off-spring all no doubt causing mayhem on the snowy slopes of the Alps), so there were no chic wrap-around sunglass clad mummies pushing Bugaboos, sipping lattees, and ignoring their nasty older children fighting and bullying each other on the swings, and we had it blissfully all to ourselves. The Boys ran around shrieking, playing Power Rangers (or Power Aynjers, as Boy #1 insists on calling them), hide and seek and football. The football, of course, ended in tears when as usual, Boy #2 missed the point and ran away with the ball.

I bought pretend cookie after pretend hot chocolate after pretend sausage roll from the two year old shop keeper in the playhouse. Trousers were muddied, wellington boots were lost and found, and crocuses studied.

Blue and gold.

I love London.


Elsie Button 14 February 2008 at 13:42  

ohhhh, i do miss london sometimes - specially on those cold crisp blue sky days.

Potty Mummy 14 February 2008 at 13:46  

Hi Elsie - such a shame we don't get so many of them nowadays. Don't worry though - it's still crowded, noisy and dirty most of the time. Feeling better?

Expatmum 14 February 2008 at 15:03  

Gosh, did all convent girls' schools have that same bloody blue summer dress? Mine was a rather fetching crimplene I seem to remember.

She's like the wind 14 February 2008 at 15:37  

Just catching up on all your posts, don't know where I've been, I seem to have missed a few. I'm having my first weekend in London at the end of the month. The story about boy #2 and the high chair was fantastic, well done mummy, love your writing. x

ped crossing 14 February 2008 at 16:29  

Sounds like it was a lovely couple of days. We have had the same where I live. I went and got a pedicure, now when it is springish, I can display my toes.

Potty Mummy 14 February 2008 at 16:40  

EPM, hi, I think that probably there was a head of buying nun who got a job lot of zip-fronted dresses on the cheap and sold them to gullible parents for a profit...

SLTW, thankyou, glad you liked my despatches. No doubt there will be more where they came from! Enjoy your first weekend down here, I hope the weather improves for you! (And if you should be tempted by shopping, don't go anywhere near Oxford Street - it will be just like home, but busier. Head for the Kings Road in Chelsea - Sloane Square Tube on the District Line. So much more civilised, darling...

Ped, that sounds great. Must get round to it myself!

aims 14 February 2008 at 16:48  

Your crocuses are studying while I was out shoveling the driveway for the second time in 2 days. What is wrong with this picture?

ExpatKat 14 February 2008 at 19:43  

My crocuses are just pushing through here, but they could still get suffocated by a thick layer of the old white stuff, so I'm not bounding around outside quite yet. 'Brass' and 'monkeys' spring more to mind!

GoneBackSouth 14 February 2008 at 23:04  

Oh gosh I love London too. I especially love how everyone can be uniquely stylish and nobody bats an eyelid.

Potty Mummy 15 February 2008 at 11:33  

Aims, we're the ones out of step, not you. And anyway, it's back down to 6 deg C today (which I know is tropical for you guys, but it feels pretty chilly to us!).

EPK, we just froze walking to the supermarket. I think the stories of spring arriving early may have been a little pre-emptive...

GBS, 'uniquely stylish' - how very diplomatic!

Iota 15 February 2008 at 14:35  

Well now, Potty Mummy has gone all romantic on us. I came for tales of small boy antics and rants about the health club, and oh, I got a verbal painting of the world's finest city. Love your writing, PM. Don't do it too often, though. You're making me all homesick. You'll be going to Patisserie Valerie without me and writing all about it next.

My spell check doesn't recognise the word "patisserie". This is a sad sad reflection on my life here. (Or is that Blogger's spell check?)

Potty Mummy 15 February 2008 at 16:43  

Don't worry Iota, normal service will be resumed shortly. And if I do go to Pat Val, I promise not to tell you about it... (and it's probably Blogger rather than your spell check. Philistines, Iota, we are surrounded by them). And thankyou for the compliment!

She's like the wind 15 February 2008 at 16:51  

Thanks for the tips on shopping, I would quite like to stay in my child free room for the weekend. Is that so bad? The weather can be any colder or wetter than it is in Glasgow, but clear blue skies would be nice. x

Potty Mummy 15 February 2008 at 17:19  

SLTW, any time and no of course it's not bad to want to stay in your room - that sounds just what the doctor ordered... If you do get clear blue skies though, venture out for just long enough to visit the London Eye (you can pre-book on-line). Very romantic if you're with the right person... Then head East along the South Bank to Gabriels Wharf for a browse through the ridiculously expensive trinket shops and a warming outside hot chocolate in the sunshine...

Sorry, will stop with ridiculous promotion of my city now! I mean, you are already coming...

Mya 15 February 2008 at 18:20  

I do miss London. A lot. There are days when I just want to pack it all in here and come running back. It's one of the most exciting cities in the world - if you feel like 'doing a city' - it's hard to beat. But you know all that, of course. Bon weekend!

Mya x

Potty Mummy 16 February 2008 at 14:20  

Aah yes Mya - but I bet those days are few and far between. And when they do arrive, just remind yourself that Ken is in charge at the moment, and I bet the feeling passes in an instant!

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