Friday 9 March 2018

Fearne Cotton you Were Worth It | My Stressful Day in London

It was no ordinary Tuesday

... for a start I met Fearne Cotton and second we got up at 03:30 a.m. We went to London, Somerset House no less, for the launch of Fearne's 2nd kids clothing collection, Spring Summer 2018 FEARNE for Boots Mini Club, having attended the launch of FEARNE Autumn Winter 2017 too. Except this wasn't even the first or second times I met her. Multiple Mummy (God rest her beautiful soul) and I had that pleasure all the way back in July 2011: Boots Christmas Press Show.

...resorted to my fail safe breastfeeding

So I'll rewind to the start of the day. We got up at 03:30 so that we could get the 5 am Snap Travel coach from Bristol to London return. I knew an early start would mean that Lottie would sleep the whole way, except the coach was so luxurious with bright neon lights everywhere and a microwave and toaster, so all she wanted to do was explore. After battling to keep her on my knee for ages, I resorted to my fail safe breastfeeding, and just like that, out like a light. She then slept for hours, which had there not been accidents on the motorway would have seen me arrive in London stress free. Except I was never ever going to arrive stress free was I, as it was the driver's 1st day and he'd asked me for directions and then 100% used sat nav to navigate his way from Bristol city centre to the motorway, when I said I wasn't a driver) which didn't fill me with any sense of security. I was also the only passenger, well Lottie and I, so no wonder I spent the journey with my eyes wide open, however strong the temptation to sleep was. Alas despite our expected time of arrival being 08:17 I think it was closer to 9:30 or 09:45 when we did arrive at Kings Cross. Lottie was awake for the last 25 minutes of the journey and as the driver didn't know the Wifi password (he was new) so I could put on Ben & Holly or Peppa Pig, that was interesting to say the least. Suffice to say I posted an Instagram story of her LITERALLY climbing on my head. It was like if I can't move horizontal passed you to get into the aisle and explore I'll go UP! Wow my poor neck. Luckily snacks and chat, once the excitement of waking up to being on a bus wore off, kept her seat-bound till we arrived.

... without our ordinary London entourage of cousins

Except that was the beginning of my anxiety and not the end of it as Lottie all out point blank physically refused to get in the buggy but the driver had dropped us literally on the side of the road (it was his 1st day, or did I say that already?) on busy Euston Road right outside a small pedestrian entrance to Kings Cross station so her being on foot was really not an option. I protested profusely saying umpteen times that this is a main road but he kept stating it was a "bus stop" - mate I think that is for buses not coaches.... le sigh... I banked my feelings on this journey and turned my sights to London except London was so very big which made my big girl seem SO very very small. The nerves of being in London with Lottie, with no Aaron to help, no Daddy to help and not our ordinary London entourage of cousins to help, hit me like a brick. I managed to get her in the buggy but the crying broke my heart. 

...going to anxiety levels 1,001%

Then I got all disorientated in the station. I didn't just want the Underground and not Kings Cross International, but I also specifically wanted the Circle and District Lines so I could get to Liverpool Street. I eventually found a step free access lovely lift and hit the call button on the lift and simultaneously on the phone to call Ruth RocknRollerBaby to let her know we'd meet her there except the minute the doors went to shut, the reception on my phone went so I jumped back out. I then tried again to ring Ruth, wanting to make sure she wouldn't have already left Liverpool Street when I would get there. Lottie took my distraction dealing with this as a chance to jump out of the buggy. By this time a really judgemental lady walked up and saw that I was (1) trying to be on the phone (2) get a baby in a buggy and (3) get in the lift all simultaneously. Her disdain with me just lead to me going to anxiety levels 1,001%. With hindsight there are so many things I could have done to avoid this situation (namely sending a message to Ruth whilst I was still "safely" on the coach to say I am so delayed can I meet you at Liverpool Street instead of the original plan?). Anyway we got to Liverpool Street easily as I knew we would, which is why I came up with the idea in the first place. Only trouble is, because Ruth said they'd arrive in 30 minutes I saw a Super Cuts upstairs and couldn't resist going up to have my fringe cut being that it was down at my waist. They fitted me in immediately and I came downstairs feeling great. Lottie was in high spirits too because she'd loved watching the pigeons. Except then I went to platform 16 and was having a great laugh with the chaps on duty asking when the next Norwich train would be in. I went on my phone to see the time of the text saying they'd be here in 30 minutes only to find there were by this time further texts saying that they'd already arrived. I was at platform 16 and they were at 10. Not a world away........ but.... Cue me, shouting Lottie in a shrill voice :-( .... bless her she'd been beautifully toddling around me while I chatted to the platform train staff and was actually being no bother but here I was shouting at her as I felt awful that I wasn't AT the right platform WHEN they arrived and God forbid they were now waiting for ME> anxiety went through the roof again, so I was a dishevelled mess when I went over to say hello. A hello that was meant to be full of joy and had been looked forward to SO MUCH. Meeting me must have been a rude awakening and no doubt Ruth and Cookie must have wanted to run in the other direction. Somehow we made our way to the Central Line and order was restored (I think), even if my dignity wasn't. I focused on Cookie's quirky fun self and videoed all of her fun goings on, except always hitting the record button after something brilliant had happened. Anyway Lottie ADORED Cookie, which provided the distraction I needed to start breathing  again and getting my heart back to its normal rhythms. Cookie has already blogged about the day at 100% Fearne Cotton.

... here come the Mums

First we went to a coffee shop and got much needed coffee and cake. It was only a chain, but as you can see above had a certain charm about it. As we entered a chap departing said "here come the Mums" as we had 3 buggies with us. Our time in there was a riot as Lottie and Cookie played Star Wars with coffee stirrer sticks. When Cookie wasn't doing a great party trick with them that is. You'll see it in my video vlog of the day - I think the link is in the tweet below. Boots now want to emulate ha ha! After this though Lottie started to run around and as the door was open it was no longer funny. There were only so many times we could bring her back to her seat on repeat.

... much needed chance to let off steam

At this point, for my ails, I suggested a prescription of a trip to the park Ruth had mentioned earlier, with no idea if we really still had time for it. It turned out to be Drury Lane Gardens Park which gave us a much needed chance to let off steam. So spooky though as I had a feeling I would know it and I did, having been there  with Kate from I am Wit Wit Woo many years before: Covent Garden for Boys. I remember that time Aaron was only 1.5 years and I was in worried awe about how easily he could navigate the steps and slide. You can just about make out Lottie below at the telescope, recreating Aaron's steps all these many years later. We had a laugh in the park as you'll also see in the vlog.

...knowing she'd follow, except she didn't

We finally left the park, oh except Lottie point blank refused to get off the slide and cleverly moved her body so I couldn't even reach her to carry her down. The steps are steps and easy to navigate with railings each side as you see above, so I felt fully confident to walk out of the park knowing she'd follow, except she didn't. Cue Cookie coming to the rescue AGAIN (which you can also see in the vlog). I promise I can normally parent my child without assistance LOL. Luckily the venue, the magnificent Somerset House, was within walking distance which was heaven sent as I no longer had the wherewithal or faculties to navigate trains, lifts or escalators. Joyful meetings were had and we made our way to the Spring room, which was very glitzy indeed, with both Boots and Red providing a hospitable and warm welcome for us all. They were thrilled to see that Lottie of course was fully on brand, not just in Boots Mini Club but FEARNE Autumn Winter 2017 too, which thankfully still fitted, also being seasonal too given that Spring has not yet actually SPRUNG....... Cookie meeting Harriet from Toby and Roo below

You'll actually feel like you were there...

What immediately hit me after refreshments was that this wasn't just a showroom of FEARNE's range but they'd also done a mock shop of the whole of Spring Summer 2018 Mini Club too, so it was a real treat to see ALL of this having it all explained to us, by Boots heads of department. All of the talks are in my videos. You'll actually feel like you were there if you watch it. It's uncut too, no fancy editing. It's not called virtual REALITY for nothing, this whole social media world. The Boots team and the Red PR team were all amazing with Lottie which was JUST what the Doctor ordered and I didn't even need to go to their Pharmacy with a prescription to get just what I was looking for at that moment.
Thank God for balloons eh. Apart from that Lottie let go of two and there was a very high ceiling ooooops.

... that was bliss!

By this point I had put a bottle of Aveeno on the end of the string to stop her balloons flying. It was the only "weight" I had in a brand new handbag (not having transferred anything other than essentials the day before). It seemed like the grandest of ideas and it worked except I wanted to film the whole of Fearne's talk and all the way through it Lottie was squeezing the moisturiser all over her hands in plentiful amounts. Thank you Essex Kate for all of the many tissues you provided that I somehow managed to pass to Lottie without breaking the continuity of filming - wow Motherhood is a juggle and it wasn't like I had something sensible like a tripod with me. My footage of Fearne talking doesn't look too wobbly so I am thrilled. Glad I got her on camera saying she remembered us from last time as THAT made my DAY especially with how low I have been feeling lately, that was bliss! Considering I was meant to bring bubbles for Lottie to blow I am actually DELIGHTED she came up with the idea of squeezing the moisturiser out, because as messy as it indeed was, it kept her in one place AND relatively quiet. You'll see in my vlog though that she DID explore the room and was quite free reign but luckily she didn't cause any havoc. I'm actually glad I brought her and didn't insist that Daddy had her for the day. He stayed home doing both school runs as well as gifting us a lift to the city centre and collecting us, saying "you need to take Lottie as she's breastfeeding" yeah right he wanted a deserved day off and minus the taxi service and school runs he got one.
Let me give you a photo tour of the room

 This was Essex Kate waiting for me as we decided to go get something to eat:

We ended up in a pub to get a delicious inexpensive warming much needed meal. It was upstairs and posed a problem for the buggy but as rain by this time was starting, I couldn't get in there quick enough. It was a lovely opportunity for some heartfelt convo and so busy was I with that and a Lottie that still kept running off I actually did no Instagram stories and took no food pics or anything during this time. We went off grid and just connected in real time which was LOVELY! Thank you Kate. Kate blogs at Counting to Ten and has already blogged about the day Highlihts from the SS18 Boots Mini Club Collection.

Three things gave up the will to live simultaneously...

It was a wonderful day but I only realised how tired I was, only after leaving Kate. I walked for about 30 minutes with Lottie taking up the rear. I was looking for Farringdon Street from which my Snap Travel coach would depart for home. Thankfully Kate gave me directions before she left me so there was no cause for anxiety or at least there should not have been. You see Snap provides a link which shows you a PHOTO of the bus stop. Had I fully digested this I wouldn't have walked up and down Farringdon Street four times, each time with it turning into Farringdon Road. But I was focused on looking for the door numbers they'd given. Anyway when I finally spotted the bus stop I also spotted a Pret a Manger opposite it. Three things gave up the will to live simultaneously. Lottie fell asleep, as I'd earlier enroute bought her a McDonald's to bribe her into the buggy and as soon as it was consumed she was sparko. No wonder after a long day and all the London walking shown below. Always falls asleep after a full tummy if tired. My phone also died and I, when Pret gave me a complimentary FREE latte coffee burst into tears. I literally asked for a Turmeric Latte (yeah who knew?!?!?) and a chocolate croissant and he said the coffee is in the house. I said "won't you get in trouble" and he was like "no this is our way of marketing" well he said lots of lovely others things first but that is the summary. So in exchange I am featuring him and his lovely colleague below as wow it blew me away. After I had a good cry I sat down at a table with a plug socket and recharged myself and my phone whilst I awaited my coach.

Thank you Pret a Manger for your random act of kindness

I can't go without saying what a lovely afternoon I had chatting with Lilinha. She is very pregnant and due soon - we had SUCH a giggle discussing C sections.

Emma from the Cheshire Wife was also with us but we didn't get chance to chat.

I'll leave you with my video memories of the day

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