What a brilliant week I had with my husband at home and spending time with the children. And he was in a generous mood too throughout the whole week because he had passed some exams and somehow he decided, in order to give himself a treat, he will treat the family instead!
And so I got to buy lots of new clothes for myself – and NOT at car boot sales either! So, to my family and friends who have been reading about my despair of not getting to buy new clothes – you may now throw away your tissue papers and rest assured that I have had the pleasure to indulge in my repressed addiction and...I am happy. Alhamdulillah.
So where exactly did we go this last week? We went to a lot of shops obviously, because the summer sale started last week and so there were a lot of shops to visit and mountains of clothes under £5 to rummage through. I bought a few items at the Next sale – only to return half of them the next day- they close the changing rooms during these sales you see, so customers just horde in and get whatever they can and return whatever they don’t want the next day. At that point, I was actually cursing British fashion because of their current (and forever ongoing) shabby trend – has anybody noticed that we Asians dress better than these Brits? But I still managed to get from that shop and various others, a decent skirt, trousers, some blouses and a (really unnecessary) dress.
Alas, after being given the freedom to buy 'whatever I want' in clothes and going in and out of several changing rooms, I have decided that my love for buying new clothes has deserted me somewhere in between buying that dress and that skirt and I will not buy anymore in these high street shops (at least in the very near future). However, I still find buying cheap used clothes that still have plenty of wear in them at car boot sales irresistible.
And so we also went to a car boot sale in Chingford near the reservoir. The weather was fine – sun was shining but it was not too hot for there were plenty of clouds and it was very breezy walking down that sloping field where the sale took place. We came near closing time - the boot sale started at 6am and was supposed to end at noon - so some Mercedes and BMW driving sellers were already selling their goods very, very cheap – imagine 3 pieces of good quality adult clothing for 50p! (Yes, now you get it - these car boot sellers are rich people who just want to get richer by selling their own used stuff.) Now, that’s better than any summer sale in any high street shop. My children as usual got plenty of clothes and a few toys for themselves and they ended up playing with one on the grass, oblivious to all the people who passed by.
And was it on Thursday that we went to get some Malaysian food at Oriental City on the other side of London, in Colindale? The place is quite far from where we live but we didn’t have anything else planned so when I suggested the place, my husband simply shrugged, ‘Why not?’ There were some Malaysian faces there too. But the smiles exchanged went no further than just that as the food and drinks arrived. The children had their – ‘at home also got’ - nasi goreng, and we had kuey teow and roti canai. The first two dishes were cooked by our friend, a Takaful man turned chef, who's working part time there while his wife, a medical doctor is pursuing something or other in a university here in London. The roti canai came from a separate stall and was absolutely glorious. And I really have to say here, even better than some that I’ve tasted back home! And the drinks, THE DRINKS were fabulous! We had Fresh Orange Blended (£2.50) and Watermelon pearl drink (£3.00) – such thirst quenchers because it was a very hot day and there’s no air conditioning in the food court of Oriental City (beware if you plan to go in the summer!) And of course, my eldest son had to throw up in the last few drops of my watermelon juice – I nearly cried!
And there was a trip to the park at Ilford, a town nearby. The park is much better than any I’ve been to in central London, in my opinion – there was a large field where some people were flying their kites and kicking some balls – there were lots of shady trees, and a playground and a lake u can row boats in. It is a very large and nice place, indeed. My sons chased after a squirrel and played with their ‘magic sticks’ while my husband and I ate the nasi dagang we bought at a Malaysian Fest in the town centre – that was why we were there in Ilford, in the first place, you see.
In between these were of course shops, shops and more shops. We even went as far as Kent to go to the large and modern Bluewater shopping mall. Shoot me but I still feel that car boot sales are best.
Overall I had a very, very good time this last week but I pity my husband who just successfully jumped over another hurdle in his professional course but did not spare more than £5 for himself. Thank you, my darling, for the good time you showed us - I will repay you in the ways I know how.
Now, better get into the kitchen to cook something nice for his dinner...