After a week of being squeezed to death by vets and dentists. And not being able to bear to stand by the phone awaiting the specialist's second opinion, i leg it off to Westfield.
Being a high street girl, i am far from virtuous about shopping. I'm as "Had to Have" and "but it was a bargain!" as the next one. But I have never been driven to actually make a day of it and visit somewhere like Bluewater or Lakeside. Where you're literally in it for the day. I like shopping centres you can walk away from. And Westfield being next to Shepherds Bush tube seemed ideal.
Well, what a load of old rubbish. The "village" - what village? - half the shops hadn't opened yet. And its all "poncy stuff" as a local was quoted as saying. I have to say its a long way from Oil Drum lane. I can't see Harold Steptoe and his horse coming down here. (The extent of my knowledge of Shepherds Bush).
I mean, I know none of that designer stuff comes near me anyway. A size 12 is obese to them. But why does it have to look so stark? And i couldnt' find anything. There was no map of all the stores or anything. I just had to keep walking.
And actually, I eventually found out, they had every shop except the one i wanted. John Lewis. Began to forgive them slightly when i went in the huge M&S and even tho' their stock was horrendously squashed up, they had a huge square deli bar. Now i'm the first to slag off American things but this was an exception. All my heroes have sat at a deli drinking their coffee and eating American things. Columbo, Gene Hackman, Roy Schneider, Irene Carr. So I struggled up on that high stool and ordered the cooked breakfast that they serve before 12 noon. I mean, my poor lazy bowel , but I don't care.
Running out after paying the bill to have a fag - incidentally, that particular paved area was the busiest of the whole shopping centre - I walk back dejectedly to the tube. This time i go to Shepherds Bush market station a bit further along so i can get to Hammersmith. But whats this? What do i find as I walk by?? Shepherds Bush Market. A mirage in a cold desert. The voices are calling me. the stalls look so bright. I have to go in there.
What a fantastic place! I bought a long skirt, two metres of material, sweets, clemintines, the lot! Everyone so lovely and friendly. So I spent all my money after all. But whats better? To piss it away in a cold shopping centre or a lively humming market that supports the locals?
Husbands coming with me next time. He wants Foyles and the deli bar in Westfield and I want the market again!
I went home happy after all.