Tesco fever

Sydenham Leave has returned to work. So really it’s not Sydenham Leave any more. Too late to change the title though.

After a very busy few weeks and a long and busy bank holiday weekend I tidied my sock drawer this evening. It was like one of those expeditions to previously undiscovered caves you read about in the Metro, illustrated by fabulous photographs of strange creatures and guano encrusted cave walls. On the hazardous journey through my sock drawer I found a lot of guano, also socks and pants unknown to science. A species of ankle sock formerly believed extinct turned out to be actually quite numerous. Bikini bottoms like the coelocanth came up from the depths, to public incredulity. There were even breeding pairs of stripy ski socks though they are going to be returned to the wild.

Tidying my sock drawer, and for the first time in two years, creates a fine sense of calm and wellbeing. I’m leaving the drawer of running tops for another time. Can’t leave it too long though as my jogging bottoms loll out of the drawer like a panting tongue and there is very little gap between the chest of drawers and end of the bed, so it’s kind of a tripping hazard. Perhaps the contents of this drawer when revealed will in some way solve the mystery of why there were paperclips in the sock drawer.

I have been feeling rather queer today, like all achy and sore. I did a bit of gardening and then retired to have a nap on a big pile of clean laundry (aka the bed). I am totally terrified of getting ‘swine flu’ (now rebranded as the blandly clinical H something N something) not because I think it will prove fatal, but because you are currently expected to put yourself in quarantine if you are suspected of having it. So if say I got it, we would all have to stay home together driving each other up the wall – and the worry about Rose catching something WOULD kill me. Whenever you hear about someone having it in this country, the report always says ‘the symptoms are mild’. But mild compared to what? Is swine flu mild compared to the normal flu? If so why the big palaver? Or are the UK people’s symptoms mild compared to those of the Mexican flu sufferers, who are dead? We just don’t know.

Rose is as always totally rambunctious and noisy, delightful, enthusiastic, always hungry, always moving and cuddly. She eats strawberries as if in a World’s Strongest Baby competition – she holds it in one fist, squeezes til crushed (with accompanying effort grunts, like Geoff Capes lifting a ship’s anchor), and then rips the dripping flesh into shreds which she stuffs in her mouth. In this way she can turn a single strawberry into an event rather like an entire medieval feast. We need to get some straw down on the floor. And some bread pitchers would be a great idea. On the floor to catch the drips from the high chair.

There is a Tesco express opening round the corner from here. This will mean the end of the slightly dusty local mini-supermarkets, including our newsagent Rams. I have very mixed feelings about this. One one hand, it will take away their livelihoods. On the other hand, they make most of their money selling tobacco and strong lager to the local down and outs, I think the odd time I get baking powder from them in a baking emergency doesn’t make that much of a contribution to the local economy. Mr and Mrs Ram spend a lot of time bantering with the lunatics such as the guy with his face tatooed in blue biro, for instance. So really they provide a social care service and should get funded by Lewisham PCT not by sales of Marlborough Light. Although I don’t like Tesco or their products that much, it definitely makes this area seem a lot smarter and may even buoy up property prices. Can’t wait for a Waitrose Local.

Rose has been a bit bitey recently. I was full of panic and shame when they told me she has been chewing nursery nurses and even a child who unwisely put her finger near Rose’s mouth. On reflection though I just think she will grow out of it soon enough and the nursery are old hands at this sort of thing, so no need to go overboard worrying.

Rose and I went up to the Horniman Museum on Saturday, to see the Robot Zoo exhibition which was brilliant. There were lots of other small children and parents there. One lady was sitting on the floor keeping an eye on her two year old zooming round the tortoise race track. Rose crawled up to the woman and gave her an enormous hug, flinging herself at her neck and burying her head in the lady’s bosom. I was a bit embarassed though the woman thought it was hilarious (as I would have done if it had been the other way round). I’m quite proud to have such a friendly and confident child, so nice that she expects nothing but the best from everyone she meets. Long may it continue.


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