No Ones Looking….

11 09 2016


My daughter has a very Scandinavian attitude towards nakedness and nudity in general.

I won’t say that she is naked now but we are in a well-known London department store, in the jeans department, and she has just removed her trousers in order to try on a new pair.
‘There’s a changing room over there’.
‘I know but it’s quicker to do it here. Anyway nobody’s looking’.

I’d barely noticed the man on the ladder not far away from us, but now he appears to be teetering. First left, then right, then finally steady as he scampers down the ladder and disappears.

From the black half dome in the centre ceiling my now super sensitive ears detect the unmistakable noise of a security camera swivelling, no doubt in our direction.

To my left a man is doing his best to stop the manikin he has just walked into from toppling onto a meticulously arranged display of expensive perfumes. It looks like a rehearsal for ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ from where I am standing, although his dance partner does looks rather stiff, and should I say, unbalanced.

My daughter doesn’t buy the jeans.

Up a floor mother announces that she is feeling a bit weary. The good girl that she is my daughter went off looking for somewhere for mother to sit and found the only chair in the entire department. Unfortunately there was a rather weary looking man sitting on it with piles of shopping bags at his feet.

We overhear my daughter in a rather loud voice telling the man that her granny was such and such an age, felt tired, and needed to sit down.

Now seated in a chair still warm from the previous occupant mother scolds my daughter for broadcasting her age to every one within earshot. My daughter smiles. ‘But at least now you have somewhere to sit’. Factually correct as always.

We are now on the top floor and my daughter is in love. I can read the signs. Red cheeks, wide eyes, and a quivering hand as she reads the label on the sole of a new pair of shoes. “Half Price”.

She finally reappears, hyper, stuttering, with six pairs of shoes in her basket.
‘You’re not buying all those?’
‘I err .. don’t know yet I err …have to try them’.

We wait, and we wait, watch a changing room curtain billowing in and out in various different places – mother nearly celebrating another birthday in the interim period.

My daughter looks disappointed as she re-enters the real world. ‘No’.

She doesn’t buy any of the shoes.

We are now outside and the bus arrives. Mother boards first, followed by my daughter, who announces to the driver in a loud voice that she is going to Bromley, to which the bus driver replies, ‘That’s funny so am I’.

I step back a bit and allow a few more passengers to go ahead of me.

Mother’s house is eerily quiet now. My daughter left about an hour ago and mother has taken the opportunity to soak her feet in soapy water. She scrunches her toes up. ‘Your daughter is always such good company’.

‘Yes,’ I reply, but for some inexplicable reason my left eyelid starts twitching.















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