And yes that's not me exaggerating, it's all true. (If you are reading this for the first time this post is about my trip to London to buy the green Cath Kidston blanket that I have yearned for for over a year. I had only seen it in magazines/catalogues and have taken a year to save for it, as well as trying to make my own.)
I have returned absolutely exhausted but have learned from my mistakes! My first mistake was made in the first 5 minutes of arriving at Salisbury railway station. I was merrily waiting for our train on the wrong platform, which is so unlike me as I'm a 'checking the tickets/details every 5 minutes' person. We caught the train and I thought I would take loads of photos to show you but only managed this photo of the wrong platform the entire time we were in London!
On arriving in London we hot footed it straight to Cath Kidston's shop in Marylebone High Street where my blanket was awaiting. The assistant unraveled it for me to see it in all it's glory and it almost took over the shop. It's huge. Second mistake - should have listened to my husband and given him the blanket to go back to our hotel to check in and leave the blanket on the bed. As our hotel was miles out (cheaper but yet another mistake) I begged him not to leave me and wanted to keep the blanket near me to have little peeks at it whenever we stopped. My peeks were mainly due to the terrible guilt I felt at buying something so expensive which really shouldn't be as it has not been made very well. When I say 'very well', I certainly don't blame the poor person in India who was probably paid a pittance - more the quality of yarn and the way it was put together. I am using my Nectar reward points to cover it but it still makes me feel bad spending so much on one item. I do love it though, the green is lovely.
So stupidly Anth stayed with me and that meant we lumped this huge, huge blanket all around London as well as our overnight bag and Anth's man bag - it was even squashed at our feet at the Prince Edward theatre when we watched Mary Poppins, which incidentally was wonderful. We walked miles and miles and it was hot. I was wearing a skirt (with a nylon lining) and after awhile I realised I had a problem...the very top of my thighs were rubbing together (diet already started) and were agony. I was so hot and this just made it worse. We left the theatre at 10.30pm and started the long, long journey out to our hotel. Me trying to walk with my legs apart and just so tired that I didn't really care that I was getting funny looks. The Underground was packed as people surged onto trains, our bags getting heavier by the second and all the time I worried about how I could stop my poor thighs from chaffing! I had only bought a change of underwear as I knew we would have to carry our bags all day, so didn't have any trousers to change into. Oh the predicament! By the time we got to our tube stop it was after 11.30 and my poor thighs were horrendous so as we had another half mile walk to the hotel I had a brain wave. I would put on Anth clean boxer shorts (they're the clinging leg sort!) which should cover the tops of my thighs so I could make that last final walk. So in the dark outside the station I put them on only to discover that they didn't help at all so I practically limped all the way to the hotel. We staggered in only to be told that they had overbooked and even though we had paid in advance and confirmed the previous day, they had given our room to someone else..
It took a little while to sink in as we couldn't believe it but the man behind the desk said he would find us another room in another hotel. "But I can't walk!" I wailed. The time was 12.30am and as we waited for our taxi 3 woman arrived. The same thing had happened to them and they had been taken to 3 other hotels which had apparently had a room for them but on arrival had nothing. This got me very angry as I thought that the same would happen to us so we joined forces and asked for the 2 available rooms in the Covent Garden branch.
So that's how I ended up at 1.15am going back into London, sitting in the pull down seat in the boot of a taxi with 3 strangers being driven by a man who must have been Borat's cousin. I sat with my blanket on my knee praying we would not have an accident as how on earth would I explain why I was wearing a pair of men's underpants over my own knickers! When we past the same road for the 5th time driving in an endless circle we asked if he knew where the hotel was. He did, just and at 1.45am we finally opened the door to a hotel bedroom. Tired and sore was an understatement!
Saturday was more of the same..trudging up and down escalators, battling with the crowds at Portobello Road market, visiting another CK shop, hoping to find some US magazines in Borders (alas nothing took my fancy they had sold out of Romantic Homes) and visiting Ian Mankin's shop (blimey what a walk with chaffed thighs I tell you!) and such a disappointment to find that it took so long to get there I only had 10 minutes before they closed and didn't find any fabric. We caught the 7pm train back to Salisbury where I slept like a log. That was after I smothered poor thighs in cream and vowed to learn from my mistakes;
- always check you're standing on the correct platform at the station.
- always check in to your hotel the moment you arrive or they will sell it on to someone else before you arrive in the early hours.
- always listen to your husband and either leave enormous blanket at shop 'till the next day, or take back to above hotel.
- lose weight seriously to prevent serious chaffing problem.
- wear cool cotton and remember one's deodorant.
- carry as few bags as possible.
- Visit London regularly so one doesn't try to cram too much into one day because you hadn't been to London in 2 years.
So there you have it. Our day and a half in London. No pictures to tell the story but despite it all I loved spending time with my best beloved whose patience knows no bounds and having learned from all those mistakes our next trip will be perfect..
And here it is... ta da..the blanket..it swamps our king size bed..
..and now, after I've settled back at home, I'm back in love with it and keep reminding the children that I'm now the proud owner of a Cath Kidson blanket!