M is for Madly Running Up the Down Escalator


My memories of Saturday mornings are filled with skipping hand in hand with my Dad through the shopping mall and running together up the down escalators.

My Mum worked Saturday mornings, so Dad I would sneak out the house avoiding our congealing breakfast and descend upon his friend’s coffee shop – Stephanie’s. Stephanie was a force of nature. We would inevitably be joined by throngs of my father’s journalist friends and I’d eat meringues and cream while listening to their gossip.

Of course, we would visit my father’s favourite shoe shops and no Saturday morning would be complete without looking at about 100 pairs of khaki trousers, of which my father was a connoisseur. They all looked the same to me.

archieheartsSome nights, he’d arrive home when I was already in bed and wake me up with a Archie comic and a chocolate bar, which we’d eat in blissful secret.

My mother trained as a librarian and regarded comic books with utter scorn, so my secret stash of Archie and Veronica was hidden in the back of my closet.

The best times were when he’d come home early on a Friday night and spirit me away to pancakes and hot chocolate.

These nights would always necessitate a visit to the late night book store – a treasure trove of mystery and adventure.

This Saturday my family endured a hard day’s work of enforced DIY. Just an aside, cottage panes look really pretty when someone else has to put in the glass.

Miss Diva helped cook lunch, clean the kitchen and roll window putty into little sausages.

SunsetThe boys miraculously disappeared as soon as work was mentioned and remained unseen for the better part of the day.

So, when everyone else was distracted she and I hopped in the car and drove into the exquisite sunset.

We browsed around Exclusive Books in quiet contentment and then took our prizes to the Green Peppercorn for chocolate pancakes and chilli ice-cream.

macavityWe came home with the Collected Sherlock Holmes, Gerald Durrell’s Corfu Trilogy, Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats containing our favourite Macavity the Mystery Cat and a sticker book.

I hope when she grows up she’ll remember these little escapes to book stores and ice-cream parlours the way I do.

A little stolen luxury for just the two of us.