I’m observing the UK “Early May Bank Holiday” (I think that means: we have no idea what to celebrate, but we need a paid holiday about right here on the calendar) with an extra Americano on this rainy Monday afternoon. But hey, I’ve earned my caffeine today. Clay is working, because he does business with a whole lot of folks who aren’t in England having a jolly-holiday-for-no-apparent-reason. That means, not only do we not have the pleasure of his company, but Quinn, Claire and I had to schlep out to Quinn’s holiday t-ball game this morning– at a place called Little Wormwood Scrubs. Really, that’s the name.
Wait– it gets better. Not only is there a recreational park there, but there’s also a big prison– Her Majesty’s Prison at Wormwood Scrubs. Let me say it once more, hear the sinister British accent with me: Her Majesty’s Prison at Wormwood Scrubs. This has the ring of something straight from Dickens, right? Imagine the dismal scene: perennial clouds or a drizzling rain, an overgrown field with escaped prisoners hiding in the marsh, perhaps a nearby orphanage or boys’ school with hungry children peering out the windows, an old rag-and-bone shop around the corner, and a street urchin sweeping the crosswalk…
Now superimpose a bunch of American kids playing baseball. There’s just something jarringly off about the whole scenario. And in truth, I saw no escaped prisoners, orphans or street urchins of any kind; but merely a couple of small dogs– called Nigel and Esmé– chasing balls into the baseball games. Highbrow dogs for a Dickens scene, no?
Because I am stubbornly independent, I didn’t call a car company to transport us to the game. Have I mentioned all the bullet holes in my feet from my years of independence? I walked the children to the nearest overground rail station and took a train, then caught a bus to the approximate location of the ballpark. The park is enormous, so choosing the right place to get off the bus involved some guesswork, but we did pretty well. After two hours of baseball, we did the trip in reverse, with a stop for lunch. All-in-all, our baseball game took 5+ hours. (Now hand over my coffee!)
While I try to revive, I’ll tell you some fun things from the weekend. First, Liberty. Liberty of London (really, click the link and check out the photo!). How have I lived in London for nine months without going there? This place is like a Disney World of Design for grownup ladies– but everything there is real! It’s in an enormous, Tudor-style building, with an Arts and Crafts interior and just gorgeous stuff packed to the rafters. Liberty is famous for its textile prints, and I remember reading about it in various novels set in London. I guess I thought it was defunct, or that it was just a textile place, or I don’t know what. But there it sits, right on Regent Street and Marlborough, and I met Chloe there with bff Bretta and her mom, Nancy, for the very last part of prom dress shopping on Saturday. With the help of a perfectly professional and personable salesperson (say it five times fast) in the women’s dress department, Chloe found something gorgeous, unique, and even versatile enough to wear on a range of occasions in the future. Stay tuned for pics, FB friends, as American School prom is in a couple of weeks. Uhh– that is, if she ever lets me take another picture of her after what I’m about to post…
Prior to the success at Liberty, Chloe and I scoured two lesser department stores, and Chloe skimmed another more prestigious one (Selfridge’s) with Bretta and Nancy. We tried, we really did, to find something that would work at John Lewis. But as there was nothing even in serious contention, we ended up in the hat department– where Chloe had a blast.
I mean, this is a girl who hates having her picture taken. I must’ve taken twenty pics in various hats, with her smiling and posing all the way through! Secretly, I feared we would get booted from the department, and she later admitted to wondering that, too.
I never did confess to her my other secret fear: Lice. In the hats. She was having way too much fun for me to mention the L-word! And in a high-end department store? Surely not. Right? Right, friends?