Sunday, 31 August 2008

Souvenirs of London

Last week Mr A gave me one of his looks. He was in the middle of planning for his Open University seminar on Saturday, while I was planning a treat for me and the kids.

He lifted his eyes from his computer, glanced in my direction with that look, the one that comes with semi-disapproval mixed with disbelief.

"Are you mad?" he said.

Followed by.

"I can't believe...

you're taking the boys...

.... single-handedly to London!"


I suppose, the fact I struggle to cope with taking the children anywhere single-handedly added to the element of surprise.

"Why on earth London?" He asked, trying to get to the bottom of it all. After all, the journey isn't the most straightforward, involving two train rides with a very prompt changeover in Cambridge.

I'm not quite sure whether I reassured him.

"I'm off to see the Baglady," I said.

"So, you're going to take the kids to London to see a baglady". By now he was getting a tad concerned.

I can't blame him really. I have been demonstrating bouts of odd behaviour of late. He's still bemused that two weeks ago I navigated through Essex despite the fact my car has hardly experienced life outside of Bury St Edmunds.

Anyway he needn't worry.

I'm perfectly sane.

And it wasn't any old baglady I was off to see, it was THE Baglady, my friend Shirley, from Northern Ireland, who was in London, making her West End debut.

And here she is, the fabulous Baglady herself, parading her gorgeous outfit in Trafalgar Square.

After a couple of months of phone-chat and emails, it was a true delight to meet her properly and after a quick interview for her TV channel GLO TV, I stood back and watched her interact with passers-by. With a background in journalism, she's a true natural and it was a real pleasure witnessing how people came up to her to chat about rubbish, offering their commitment to support measures for ending world waste.

Regrettably we had to part company after a very brief meeting. While Baglady wandered off to Buckingham Palace, the boys and I followed our noses in the direction of a kids' art workshop.

And on a very hot day in the middle of Trafalgar Square ... we sat and made a couple of cardboard buses, which were duly placed on a newspaper map of the capital city itself.

Of course the boys insisted we brought the buses home. So after getting the 91 bus back to Kings Cross, the train to Cambridge and the second train back to Bury St Edmunds, to Mr A's relief, we arrived safely ...

...with our very unusual souvenirs completely intact.

So a grand day was had by all, the last fling of Summer before going Back to School.

Yes the first week of September is a biggie. Not only are the kids going back go school, but it's the start of the Big Tidy Up to Keep Britain Tidy.

And what fantastic timing eh! Couldn't be better. Not only is Baglady talking about Ending World Waste this Monday at Stanfords in Covent Garden, but Mrs Green is embarking on her inaugural Zero Waste Week at

So whatever you're doing and wherever you are, please find a few minutes to pick up some litter, recycle it if possible, drop into Stanfords and pop over to support Mrs Green.

With so much to do, there's only one thing left to remember...

I mustn't forget to pick the kids up from school!

SIGH - no wonder Mr A was anxious about London. Who could blame him eh?



Tracey Smith said...

Hey - wonderful news you met up, did stuff and got back! LOLOL...

Baglady sounds like a great character. Glad you had a good day up in the hustle and bustle of the big smoke - speak in the week missus,


Mrs Green said...

fab hon - it sounds as if you had a wonderful time in the big capital. The Bag lady does indeed sound like a wonderful woman with a passion for her mission.

Bin lady meets bag lady :D

I love the boy's buses - they look like they have minimal emissions and I hope they enjoy their first week at school.

Much love,
Mrs Gx

John Costigane said...

Hi Mrs A,

Good to see you and boys enjoying London. What did they think of the Bag lady?

Making contact with other people in our field can only be a good thing.

Chris's month is over now. There were some nice comments on her last post.



Hi Tracey - fab to see you back in land of blog...and gorgeous photo too. Hope you're feeling better. Baglady is just like you...too faberoony for words. I'd love you and Mrs G to meet her and I have a sneaking suspicion it could all happen one day. Anyway, you'd be soooo proud of us...we took our cheese sarnies and tap water too and the only things we treated ourselves to were ice-lollies in St James Park and tea & cakes at the British Library...where your book will be residing soon. The only problem was, on packing up the pushchair in Trafalgar Square I realised that my lovely pink water bottle had escaped from the mesh basket and is now sitting somewhere abandoned in London...just shows it can never always go to plan ;-D

Hi Mrs G - lovely to get your comment when I got up. I took advantage of having my last lie-in before school starts tomorrow. Bag lady is most definitely on a mission and has found a great way of going about it too. You'd love her too...and as far as I'm concerned you're in the faberooney gang with her and Mrs Smith.

Bin lady meets bag lady...LOL...that did make me chuckle.

Good luck with your own mission this week and I'll be popping over in a minute to say hello ;-D xxx

Morning John - I see you're up with the larks too. How do you fancy a meet-up in London as well? I can see a real party happening. [For those not aware, John is making things happen too...not just an active commenter but pushing the Zero Waste messages through a number of strategic a round of applause is needed for John too, especially for his 208 week binbag challenge. See for details].

It was so funny seeing how the boys would react to the Baglady. I thought they'd think her odd, or look at her in amusement. It was lovely that they were neither amused or bemused, which is great. They see the message as normal, perhaps because that's what they're used to. LOL...might shed some light on my attire behind closed doors at home. ;-D

LOL chaps and chapesses...I think we're all getting a bit of a reputation don't you? ;-D

katyboo1 said...

Great buses and well done on not losing them and you in the middle of the smoke :)
Stanfords is an awesome place. They have a very fab, eco friendly cafe there. I only have one complaint however. They use sustainable wood cutlery which can be recycled easily, which is brilliant. Unfortunately it is also very porous and sucks up all moisture, including that in your mouth as you shovel food into it. I ate a jacket potato with alarming difficulty despite the fact the food was lovely. So if you do go, and you fancy a snack, please take your own cutlery, which would probably be even more environmentally friendly and stop you looking like you've sucked a lemon.

John Costigane said...

Hi Mrs A,

Glad the boys appreciated the sustainability issue with the Bag lady. The next generation will be way ahead of us, particularly me, in their environmental knowledge.

A meet up in London is a fab idea. By no stretch of the imagination can you be considered other than a glam doll.

I will send you an email, today


Jo Beaufoix said...

Wow, that looked fantastic. So glad you had such a good time and what a brilliant experience for the boys.

mel said...

Hi Mrs A, sounds like you had a fun day out! On a completely different topic, do you know anything about recycling photos?

I've just sorted through about 30 years worth of photos, and have a stack of prints that are boring/ bad/ I can't remember who they are of that I want rid of ASAP, but I'm not sure how... They apparently can't go in the paper recycling, but maybe the compost heap? Or must I suck it up & bin them?

(And if I hear "craft project" one more time, I may scream! Though I could offer up the least-worst ones on Freecycle for someone else to get crafty with...)

Mel x


Hi Katyboo - LOL, thanks for the reminder and such a fabulous description that makes me want to take my own cutlery everywhere ;-D x

Hi John - yehey, glad you're up for the idea...I'm thinking we should get the group together and perhaps a few blog readers to hold a real celebration. All waste-free of course. Will be in touch soon. ;-D

Hi Jo - it was fab...and I haven't forgotten about our own get-together, will be in touch soon honey ;-D x

Hi Mel - LOL at yet another craft project, hee hee, I know what you mean. I've got in touch with a photographer and will let you know as soon as I find out unless someone else has an idea. Have you seen any sign of Ruby by the way? Hope she pops in soon ;-D

mel said...

I haven't seen anything of Ruby yet, but I guess she's probably a bit busy at the moment - I'll drop her a line & see if she fancies a coffee once she's settled.

We're having a big clear-out (mostly without-throwing-out, of course!) this week, and I'm falling ever more in love with Freecycle* - I've got to make room for all my homemade jam: the allotment has come up trumps for blackberries, and I've been "diverting" my neighbour's empty jars from recycling...

M x

* though no-one's requested my rubbish photos yet!

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Certainly sounds as though you all had a lovely time D - memorable for many reasons. Love the buses and The Baglady looks fabulous.
Hope 'back to school' goes well.

A x


Hi Mel - you sound like you're having the most fabulous time. I wish you had a blog so we could see what you're up to. Regarding recycling photos, I have come across the idea of shredding them so that they can be used for packing material. Found that on But the other discovery I've made is an address that you can send them to (including postcards, which will sift, sort, include in archives, or distribute to charity shops. Not sure how you feel about that, but if you want to find out more, check out:

Hi Anne - it was great. I now think I should organise and audience with baglady...I think everyone would love her. Back to school day was good for all thank you, including Mr A who worked from home so he could accompany the little ones to school ;-D

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