Wednesday, January 18, 2006

knight in woollen armour...

source:hollyspringhomespun.comLast night at the tram stop I noticed a woman with her (approximately nine-year-old) daughter. The girl was proudly wearing a plastic doll in a baby sling, blissfully unaware of all the attention she attracted from people who - like me - took a double take, having taken the doll for a genuine infant at first. The girl's Mum carried on as if it was nothing out of the ordinary, which for her it probably wasn't. I concluded that this woman must either be blessed with above-average self-confidence or be so resigned to her daughter's crazy ideas that nothing could possibly embarrass her any more.

That somewhat unusual sight triggered a flashback to a memorable excursion to Greenwich with public transport in the summer of 1991 when I had a summer job looking after a stubborn 5-year-old in London. It was only for two weeks to bridge the gap between the family's au pairs (one had just returned to France, the other hadn't arrived yet) and I didn't get any pay. For me, free food and accommodation in (almost) central London was incentive enough. Rory, my little charge, looked positively angelic with his blond hair, blue eyes and snub nose. Looks can be so deceiving as he was a stubborn little bugger if ever there was one. One day, Rory's mother instructed me to take her son and his best friend to Greenwich as the boys had been looking forward to seeing the Cutty Sark all summer. Little did I know that the little angel would insist on wearing the "chainmail helmet" his granny had recently knitted for him.

Either the dear granny did not know that a knight's armour was supposed to be a silvery grey or at least some other dark and at least slightly menacing-looking colour, or white wool had simply been on sale so she decided to bulk-buy it. In any case, a white woollen helmet and visor don't look remotely intimidating and knightly, now do they? This minor detail obviously was an utterly negligible one in little Rory's eyes and so he proudly squeezed his head into the knitted monstrosity regardless of the fact that it was an unusually (for Britain at least) hot summer day.

Off we went on the painstakingly long journey from Fulham to Greenwich, with Rory in his white knitwear-helmet, plastic sword in hand. Try to visualise a white, tight-fitting headdress made of angora wool. What does it look like? Right, a bandage! After the fifth or so adult had scrutinised the cute little boy for dried blood or other tell-tale signs of a recent disfiguring head-injury and asked "What happened to you, dear?" I stopped counting. Every time I looked the concerned equirer straight into the eye and explained "It's a helmet, you see" daring them to ask any further questions. Rory just brandished his sword to undermine this unlikely claim and I went back to stare out of the window, silently repeating my mantra: Nobdody knows you here and we're almost there anyway. After having admired the Cutty Sark and all other attractions Greenwich has to offer, Rory unceremoniously handed me his sweaty bandage/helmet and I quickly stuffed it into my bag before he could change his mind. Thus, I was mercifully spared the embarrassment on the return journey.

So far, I've been quite successful in drowing out the tick of the old biological clock (my Mum takes care of occasionally reminding me that I'm not getting any younger which indeed I am not), trying to convince myself that I'm obviously not ready for motherhood yet if my embarrassment-threshold is so pitifully low, never mind minor logistical details such as the potential father at hand being a student who is not allowed to legally work in this country because of his visa status.

Lunch-break-purchases: None, unless a caffee latte and a cinnamon raisin roll count. Speaking of children, I had a lunch-date with Amica who is my age and a married mother of three (two of them twins) already. It's a conspiracy, I'm telling you!

7 Comments:

Anonymous brainofbritain said...

well you could make an honest man of him and change his visa status...

1/18/2006 03:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Poulette said...

Hear, hear! Although the fact that TD is a student has me thinking you might be messing with some jail-bait too.

1/18/2006 10:11:00 PM  
Blogger onemorehandbag said...

Don't worry, Poulette, in spite of my cradle-snatching preferences TD's of marriageable age. Polite person that I am I just chose not to prefix "student" with "eternal" in my post...

1/18/2006 10:21:00 PM  
Blogger ka-ma said...

Out of my own experience...marriage works miracles on visa status..At first my hubby got a free supply of entry visas to Slo at the embassy here, than he was upgraded to temporary residence, which was soon upgraded to permanent residence and oh, yeah...did I mention he has a citizenship now? If you wanna keep the guy close, go for it girl!

1/18/2006 11:49:00 PM  
Blogger onemorehandbag said...

Although Austria's more strict (at least with Turkish citizens)than Slovenia obviously, I'm even stricter and won't even listen to anything remotely resembling a proposal until a certain person has his uni diploma in hand...

1/19/2006 08:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding embarrasment children of like some bodily excretions. Your own don't stink, your own don't embarras.

1/19/2006 09:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Approximately how much does it cost to have a nosejob? I know that price will vary but I had my nose broken and need bridge work. Any ideas? estimate? Range?

2/20/2008 04:15:00 PM  

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