After a brief rest in snowy Swindon with the Oldies and visiting my burgeoning (not to mention wet and cold) property empire, we have returned to Wycombe. The virtually clear M4 and Gulf Stream had obviously lulled us into a false sense of security. Traffic chaos and more of the white stuff greeted us on the A404, as did the randomly abandoned cars on Marlow Hill, strategically placed outside the entrance to the (now outsourced) maternity centre and mini roundabouts that lead into down town Wycombe.
Things (naturally) got worse the other side of the valley, with AHG thick in snow and the KA becoming snow bound in the turning circle (liberated after some digging and wheel spinning). The past two days, we have bunkered down, until venturing out today for Jensen’s Perform drama experience. Only it wasn’t.
Jensen decided he was having none of it.
He was about as impressed with the Perform customer experience as I was. Basically, this consisted of zero publicity, delay in responding to phone calls to find out what was happening given adverse weather conditions. Having finally established it was still on (one day later), we were then carolled into a narrow vestibule to complete a lengthy application form (presumably to be written in my own blood as nobody could stretch to a pen) whilst some bloated luvy breathed swine-flu over me. No health and safety awareness and no engagement with children who are not super-confident wannabes….
J Boy decided he didn’t want to join them and no amount of reasoning (like Mummy has to work/wants a break/forked out a small fortune so you could have this experience) cut any ice. Nor did Mr Swine-Flu’s belated and pretty half-hearted attempts to involve him. As this consisted largely of trying to get Jensen to wear a too-small T Shirt advertising Perform for when the local hack visited (and given the ambient temperatures and J’s pathological attachment to his Spiderman hoodie) this was pretty much doomed to end in failure. As were any attempts I made. It was a rip-off and a pile of the proverbial. And J knew it (or at least, sensing his advantage, knew that I knew it).
We left, Jensen promising to be good if I promised never to inflict drama lessons on him again. Instead,we spent the morning marvelling at the snow in St Michael’s Green in Beaconsfield (which is a sort-of greener, or currently snowier, more suburban version of Hampstead Garden Suburb). And waiting to get served in Jungs. It wasn’t busy (there were more waiters than customers). But we spent 30 minutes colouring in the menu and drooling at the pastries before leaving, hungry and full of resolve not to visit that stretch of Beaconsfield until Maison Blanc opens (and we can at last get a decent omelette).
Waitrose and the cake counter saved the day (again). As did the really super efficient and helpful staff in MacDonalds (we just wish they’d go into a joint venture with Monsieur Blanc, then I could actually eat food that I like…) And Jensen enjoyed watching Narnia (Voyage of the Dawn Treader with Sunday School). Even though he crawled onto my lap when it got to the dragon-scene (usually this only happens when he is trying to get into my handbag to find the sweets).
Having forgotten to pick up the filters for J’s nebuliser, we then walked to hospital, and back to the Eden Centre again (as half-way down Denmark Street, he decided he needed the toilet – unfortunately one of the side effects of the ciprofloxin he is on for the pseudomonus). Narrowly avoiding a collision with the Villeroy and Boch counter in House of Fraser in the rush, we made it….and wended our way home…chugging through the slush on the hill on the bus (we’re saving those calve muscles for the school disco!)
Tomorrow is another day, as they say. And, as Jensen will no doubt remind me, it is only four sleeps until Christmas.