I knew I needed to get out of the flat today. I love my balcony, I love my balcony sofa, I love being able to get outside without taking more than ten steps or changing out of my pyjamas. I love that there is a supermarket downstairs and a pub, and a cake shop, and THE RIVER THAMES, so even on days I am feeling crap, I can still get outside.
But the last two weeks, I’ve just been back and forward to work. I’ve been away a lot, again for work, but it’s been literally weeks since I’ve been outside the flat, and the vicinity of the flat, for relaxation.
Crippledom will do that to you.
So yesterday I planned a jaunt to the exotic climes of the shops near my local station, and I was right not to go, but I knew I needed to get outside outside today.
I spent all evening fantasising about owning more Grass bubble bars – I am in love. And I was thinking I am a bit low on indulgent baths with summer scents. My current stash involves a lot of smoky, spicy, heavy mossy scents – Cyanide Pill, Guardian of the Forest, Little Dragon – and very little in the way of happy sunny scents.
So I made a plan: I hate the tube, but I can get to Lush Oxford Street if I double bus it: one to Victoria; one from Victoria to Oxford Street, with very little walking until I get there. Even in my current half-dead state that’s do-able. It’s not fast, but the people watching’s good – the difference between the bus and the tube is that you get a view of London along the way.
I’d also made a shopping list: Grass Bubble Bars (multiple, obviously), Dragon’s Egg Ballistic, Brightside Bubble Bar, which I’ve wanted to try for ages, because I suspect it smells like Tweet, and a Windmill Bubble Bar because I love ginger, and I love lime, and I’m not quite sure how I missed it last time I went to Oxford Street.
On the way there, I had to share the priority seat with a drunk Irishman who was making racist jokes and complaining about Muslims and immigrants and scroungers. Everyone else was moving away from him, I couldn’t, I just fantasised about punching him in the face, repeatedly. He told me it was nice to meet a ‘proper British person’ and I wanted to explain to him that I’m really, really not one of those – and while we’re on the subject I’m a bit of a scrounger, too.
And so it was with relief that I found my way onto the shop floor of Lush, where hijabis and transgender folk, and cripples, and immigrants, all mix freely. I don’t want to be all happy clappy about this, but I don’t like sharing my bus with racists. Maybe it was the joy of getting off that bus that led me to accidentally over-purchase: I swear the first time I smelt Plum Rain I was a bit disappointed by its diluted jolly rancher elements. Today I had another sniff and was hit full in the face by not-too-sweet damson, so now I own a bottle; my Avoshower is nearly over, and it won’t be long before I’m in another dodgy hotel, without a bath.
There were other accidental decadences as well – what can I say, I am a hedonist.
On the way back, I decided to stop off at John Lewis, in case the basement food hall / Waitrose stocked those cheap rebranded bath foams I keep banging on about. It didn’t – it stocked very little in the way of bath stuff – but I did end up in the roof garden drinking a Julep.
There were no racists on my bus home, but my ankles have blown up like sumo wrestlers, and I feel like I have been hit by a truck. I’m also on a spending ban, possibly for the rest of my life.