I had so much fun when I went shopping for the Pyjama Party Giveaway, and I thought you’d like to see some of the highlights. After a week of rain, we were lucky enough to be blessed with a sunny day.
Things started well at Fortnum and Mason for the buying of chocolate:
I even managed to snap a few of the lovely objects in this greengrocer – yes, greengrocer – until I was sternly told to stop:
If you’re ever lucky enough to visit Fortnum & Mason, you MUST walk around to the rear of the building. Across the road, you will discover a wonderful and extremely hidden away cheese shop of wondrousness:
Then it was a hop, skip and a jump through Burlington Arcade, where an old fella was having his shoes shined:
After that, I got a bit lost and ended up turning into Savile Row to get back to where I needed to be. Getting lost was one of the best things I could have done all day.
If you ever visit Savile Row, prepare to be underwhelmed. It’s all so terribly British. So discreet. So hidden. There’s nothing much to see. The upper classes don’t like to draw attention to themselves.
Then I walked past an unassuming frontage and happened to glance down. I stopped in my tracks and backed up. Peered. Was that…
I hope you can make this out. (Click on the image and it will go much bigger.) It’s a livery. That’s a tailor down there, and those look like uniforms of the Queen’s Guards. This man was working for royalty! Right there in front of my nose and behind the iron rails that were locked with a bike chain. (I know this because I tried to open the gate to go down and talk to him.)
I was utterly blown away – breathless. Now, you know there’s nothing I won’t do for this blog. So I climbed the stone steps to the grand front door and rang the bell. Waited. A much younger, terribly posh man in TWEED HALF JODHPURS came to speak to me. Can you guess how the story ended? I wasn’t allowed in, because they weren’t ‘technically open’. Yes! I wanted to scream. I know you’re not technically open, because you’re repairing uniforms for the Queen’s Guards, and the Queen doesn’t technically like people to know her business, but technically I have seen this wondrous sight and technically I want to share it with my readers. I didn’t say any of this. I tugged my forelock. I may have bobbed in a curtsey. And then I left. (You don’t argue with posh people. Or I don’t, at any rate. I’m too aware of my family heritage of Derbyshire mines and factories.)
For any readers who might at this stage be thinking, I don’t really understand the British class system, I have this to say: Don’t worry! We don’t understand it either! It’s a crazy, subtle, many layered mystery and nonsense that scores itself deep on our soul without any of us properly understanding it.
So, with that little adventure over, off I popped to Liberty of London for the handkerchief and lavender.
By this stage, carrying several bags, I knew my work here was done. What a happy day’s shopping for other people. Who knew I had this unselfish streak in me? Hey, guys! Buying stuff for strangers can be the best possible adventure.