Okay, by Saturday it was no longer technically Friday the 13th.
But as I had commenced the trip on that day I guess the bad luck charm got stuck at the "rain shit on Hammie" setting.
It was another lovely day. I had a nice lie in, breakfast, another bath and checked out of my room. I put my bag in left luggage and headed out for a brisk stroll in the sunshine. Two seconds later I was back with my trench coat as the weather was so nice I didn't need it. The Desk clerk made me show my luggage ticket to retrieve my bag, so I could pack the coat away and then they locked it up again. Safe and Secure.
I walked along towards Parsons Green this time. Got a lovely Vercace blouse and some Bespoke Tailored shirts for Mr Hammie. I reported the phone at Fulham Broadway and then caught a bus into the westend again to visit the Holy Grail of my Journey; Christian Louboutin on Mount street in Mayfair.
You see I had read an editorial in women's magazine weeks before on how Louboutin was doing a diffusion line in wedges and espadrilles. I had actually booked the trip and saved up all my children's allowance specifically to buy a pair. A little dose of mental health on the end of your legs is how I view pretty shoes. And the designs in the article suited me perfectly. Just the thing for the school run!
Having eventually found the store I traipsed in past the doorman and shooshing my feet on the thick carpet, began to walk around. Hmmm, not a sign of the wedges. Then I asked an assistant. Nothing doing she says, it was a misprint in the article. The diffusion line is available in resorts only. As in Dubai, and the Maldives.....
Feck! I was crushed as you can imagine. There were a few plainer wedges and espadrille styles which I bravely tried,no dice. Just not pretty enough. So then for fun I tried on some real Louboutins (at 400 squids!) and paraded up and down the mirrors enjoying being an extra 5 inches taller.
I also enjoyed watching as a 6 foot tall Transexual with long blonde hair and a lispy but very man-ey spanish accent began demanding to try on all the pink patent and silk pumps and stilettos, In Size 42. And asking for whatever else they had in that size. Then she spoke loudly on the phone telling someone to come and meet her, before handing the phone to the shop assistant and demanding they give the friends directions.
I tried on the espadrilles again; this had to be worth waiting for.
Suddenly it was Trans-Sex in the City for real in there. 4 absolute knock out tall trannies (not sure if they still had their meat and 2 veg) bombarded our Shakira look alike (if Shakira was a man) and began gushing and lisping; loudly. The place is all mirrors so by now it looked like there were 20 tall elegant manish women with long hair and dark tans lisping excitedly all over the shop.
Shakira continued asking for even bigger shoes which unfortunately defeated the shop assistant as they simply didn't go up to that size. (missing a market there Mons Louboutin)
And then, like the wake of a retreating tidal wave. The Barcelona 5 left.
And sadly, I packed up my messages and left too. With only my Fitflops for company as I felt the black platform sandals were probably out of my price range.
And off I went to get my lunch.
Sadly, this was not going to happen as the Trooping of the Color was on and all the buses using Hyde park corner (which is most buses) were not going anywhere.
I sat in the thankfully rat free upperdeck watching and waiting until a shift in the weight of the bus indicated that the driver had opened the doors and was letting people out in the middle of the road to walk over to the park. I followed, catching the grenadier guardsmen in their fluffy hats as they rode through the arch past the Aussie and Kiwi war memorials. Now that was a sight.
Hyde park was chocoblock with people taking their shirts off to enjoy the Queen's Birthday parade. I wonder if she checks out all the Manboobs and points them out to Prince Phillip as they pass? "Hey Phil, (NUDGE), check those out, I reckon they are bigger than MINE!)
I was undecided as to what to do then as my day was quickly slipping away, so I walked around the park a bit, then reluctantly caught a tube to Notting Hill.
Hate catching the tube. All the world is above ground and it always feels like that scene in "the Time Machine" when the Eloi are walking blindly down to be eaten by Morlocks.
When I got to Notting Hill I checked out two more of my favourite shops and got some excellent videos for Boo. And more bespoke tailored shirts for Mr H. And a panama hat!
Then I was on a bus back to Chelsea, having decided to get the Juicy Couture Handbag I had seen the day before. After not getting the Louboutins, I was feeling well justified paying £60 for a €450 handbag. Got there, ran up the street at 5.35pm and oh FECK, the store was in darkness. Oh Feck oh Feck. I held on hoping against hope that the staff might be there and thankyou baby jesus, they were. And they hadnt cashed up, and they let me buy the bag (who wouldn't, £60 for Cancer Research).
I finally smiled for the first time in hours as I tucked my treasure under my arm, TIGHTLY under my arm and headed back on the bus to my hotel.
Got my bag, checked my flight details on line and then did some judicious repacking as I wanted to use the Juicy Couture bag. and shed a couple of layers for the journey home. Got the bus to the tube, tube to heathrow and then guarding my suitcase all the way, ate a lovely Steak au poivre and Pommes Frittes at the French Bistro in Terminal one. Boarded, got a nice man to send a text on my behalf to Mr Hammie and then relaxed and tolerated the flight. (Does anybody enjoy a short flight in economy??)
Arrived on time, rushed through the terminal with my cabin bag on wheels and then got through immigration, customs and was in plenty of time for the aircoach home.
So I went to the ladies and rearranged a few bits in my cabin bag, changed out of my shorts and grabbed my most favourite Ralph Lauren Trenchcoat out of the bag, to bring on board the aircoach. I then rang home, and went outside the terminal to the aircoach. The coach was waiting but not leaving for another half hour (last coach of the night) so I put my cabin bag in the luggage hold and boarded. I had asked going out if I could bring my little bag on board with me, but the driver had got narky about it, so seeing it was the same driver going back, I didnt try.
The luggage hold was almost empty, but there were two very large heavy cases kind of at the front of the compartment so I had to put mine at the very front. Then I found my seat and settled down to listen to Coldplay on my Mp3, tucking myself under the Ralph coat and clutching my juicy bag; fell asleep.
The bus filled up and at 11pm, rolled out towards home, I semi dozed all the way, but noticed a few stops where almost everyone was getting off until it was just me and another fellow heading out towards Wickla and home.
When he got off I moved down the front to tell the driver it was my stop next and he commented casually; "you don't have any luggage."
I do! I squarked. Panic building, my stomach plunging, OH NO not more shit!!!!!
He stopped, we both got off and looked into the empty and echoing luggage compartment with no little roll on cabin bag full of pretties and treasures.
I just burst into tears.
The big meanie of a bus driver told me that someone might have taken it by mistake (HA) and I should ring the Aircoach office in the morning.
I actually cried like a baby all the way home. Wah Wah WaHHHHHHH, my GHDs were in that bag, my most favourite DVF crossover floral dress that everyone compliments me on, WaHHHHHHH! My favourite Vera modal white trousers that actually make my arse look smallerrrrrrr Wahhhhhhh (white trousers with magic woven in to them I tell ya)
My reading glasses, My Jackie O glasses, my second favourite leather handbag (scorned in favour of Juicy so cruelly earlier in the day) my silk givenchy scarf...
WaH Wah WAAAAAAAAH!
Okay, I am not proud. I know they are only possesions and material ones at that but it is the whole purpose of the trip for me. I go to a great big city and dress up in my vintage designer treasures and walk around looking and feeling like someone who is NOT a stay at home special needs mum. Not that there is anything wrong with that.
And I buy more treasures (or almost buy them, one small silverish lining -no louboutins) And then for the 6 months following the trip I feel a bit special getting dressed in the morning, or to go out with the other Mummies, or to the pub with Mr Hammie and Boo.
And it was all just gone.
I got home and Mr Hammie comforted me best he could (he had a 5am start next day) Boo bombarded me looking for his new videos (GONE!!)
With the help of Mr Jameson again, I got to sleep about 3am and dreamed that they found the case. Mr Hammie got up at 5 and caught his plane. And by 9am I had two kids to care for and a day to get through. Grey skies to match my mood.
In the afternoon I took Boo to the cinema where we asked the Manager if we could watch JUST the credits of Indiana Jones and not only did he let us, we also got to see the The Hulk credits too. For Free.
Boo is already planning which credits we will be catchin' next Sunday.
I took Bratty swimming, her little smiles and squeals cheered me up. And I managed to get a my sim card replaced and activated so I could start texting Mr Hammie on the Costa. From my crappy last year's phone.
By this morning I had put things in perspective. It was only things. In neither incident had I been personally attacked or harmed. I hadn't lost my credit cards or current acccount cards, so no skimmed off bank balance.
And as they say, I have my health. My family were safe and well. I have annual travel insurance.
OH, and Bratty had a great first day today at ABA school.
Dedicated With love to Mrs Doyle* who after reading Part 1, drove out to Wickla tonight to deliver flowers and 2 bottles of wine!! What a girl. Thankyou.xxxxxxx
*(So named because you have to wrestle with her to stop her trying to pay for everything all the time and she loves a cup of tea, BUT is Much much prettier than the real Mrs Doyle)