I know. This sounds like craziness. But I’m still giddy from a) being able to travel around London without Roo and all his stuff (bless nursery!) and b) being able to leave the house at all after Roo’s crazy stomach-antics. So I’m in a gutsy mood. Primark holds no fear for me. I took Reuben there at 5 weeks (albeit with a winggirl) and even tried things on, with him struggling in a baby bjorn. I could do this.
Anyway, Primark wasn’t really the aim of the expedition. The aim was to get to “Computer Exchange” and procure a copy of “Bad Santa” for a mere 80p. Computer Exchange is commonly known as “CeX” and sells DVDs as well as computer games but this was the original store, so still has the original name. It’s also retained that computer-shop vibe. I’m pretty sure I was the first unaccompanied woman to ever set foot in it. Obviously I was accompanied by Eva, but that doesn’t count. I think she was probably the first girl-baby to set strawberry-hatted head inside. But scariness aside, we succeeded in our mission and are now proud “Bad Santa” owners.
At this point, you may be wondering just how economical it is to spend £4.00 on getting the tube to Tottenham Court Road, in order to spend 80p on a DVD. It’s not. I could have bought it from Amazon for £4.19. So, I justified the trip out by going to Primark and looking for a new skirt. I have a Christmas party followed by a wedding reception on Saturday and was looking for a magical skirt that would work for both. Yknow, Christmassy but fancy at the same time. Obviously, dresses are out due to the whole breastfeeding situation. The new Primark at Tottenham Court Road promised |”Four floors of fashion”, so I should be able to find one magical skirt there, right?
Wrong! I’m obviously well out of touch with what’s fashionable because there was nothing I liked. Maybe I’m just 31. But this was just one example of the bizarre outfits out there at the moment:
Now, the sparkly jumper I can get on board with…it is Christmas after all (though doesn’t it look itchy?). But the see-through skirt made out of child’s dressing-up material? With fishnets? I don’t get it. I would have brought you more marvellous ensemble photos, but I was sharply rebuked by a security guard for taking this one. Primark, much like communist police states, has a strict no-photos policy.
Bizarre clothes aside, it wasn’t a bad shopping experience. Seeing as this trip combined three of the most stressful variables for a shopping trip (Oxford Street, Primark, small child) it went pretty well. The new store has a fairly spacious layout and wasn’t too crowded (maybe cause I didn’t add the “Saturday afternoon” variable in) and there were no huge queues for the tills or fitting rooms. Not that I needed the fitting rooms, as I didn’t find anything I wanted to buy for myself. I did, however, pick up cheap t-shirts for my niece and nephews and some other present-y bits. The kids department was decorated in a funky way, with a huge multicoloured London map on the wall, and there were two buggy lifts behind the different levels. So it was almost doable with a buggy. Don’t hold me to that though. I’m still glad I didn’t have one. I’m also glad Eva was asleep all the way through.
As a by-the-by, it still makes me feel incredibly sad every time I see what’s become of Tottenham Court Rd. The block that housed the Astoria and a couple of other clubs is now a giant building site (see top photo). There are bulldozers all over my happy memories of dancing at Bedrock and seeing such amazing bands as blur, Ash ooberman and Gay Dad. OK, so not all the gigs I went to there were amazing. It wasn’t even a great blur gig (2003. no Graham Coxon). But Ash were pretty special – it was at a clubnight called Frog which, being a clubnight didn’t have any of the barriers or security you would expect at a real gig. So we leant on the monitors at Tim Wheeler’s feet. At the end, Tim leaned over and slipped his plectrum into Nathan’s hand using a secret handshake. The plectrum is still on display in our “Rock n Roll Hall of Fame”, along with Mark Morriss’ setlist and Bernard Butler’s guitar string. Good times.
But now, it’s all just rubble. I wonder what Freddie makes of it all?