Come along for the ride!!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

“I’m not asking for 10, I’m not asking for 8 ….”

Our bargain hunter of a son woke up very excited this morning. No, not because it is Saturday and not because today is the day that he gets his Crazybones either.

No, today he was excited because it is the day of his school Christmas fair, the reason for Mufti day recently, the reason for my personally walking bottles of booze to school lest they should get broken. The exact reason for his excitement lay in the fact that he has an eye for a bargain and every time we have attended a school fair, he invariably walks away with something lovely/smashing/super for not a lot of wonga and he is keen to keep up this tradition.

But, first things first, and Saturday morning after breakfast means “Annabel time” or, to put it more accurately, ballet class.

Yes, Annabel and a small group of (mostly) girls of similar ages gather together in a small, cold hall at the back of a church to point their toes, hold the hems of their little skirts out to the side and do a little curtsy.

The teacher has unfortunately taken to confusing Annabel’s name with that of another child. This other child hasn’t quite got the hang of it …

(What? It’s true!)

… and when they were all practising their ‘point’, I was thinking to myself, “wow, Annabel is actually very good at this”. The other child was (not to put too fine appoint on it), utter rubbish (what!?!) but the teacher praised little Miss Other, albeit while looking at Annabel.

Even Annabel looked a little put out at this oversight and she looked down at her own feet, across at ‘the Other’s’ feet and looked over at me, frowning.

Obviously I had to stifle my laugh, lest she might storm off in an embarrassed huff.

Sweet Missy, pretty as a picture!

On with the show and hi ho, hi ho, to the Christmas fair we go!

I could go into lots of detail but i might bore you to death so I will summarise for sanity’s sake.

Joseph didn’t get the bargain of the day, well, not technically anyhow. That trophy fell to my good self thanks to me spotting a lovely girls bicycle hidden half under a table. After checking that it was in fact for sale and I wouldn’t get lynched when walking out with it, I relieved the proprietor of said bicycle for a meagre sum, much to Annabel’s delight. She now has a bike with stabilisers “just like Jou-Jou’s”.

Thankfully however, Joseph was blissfully unaware of this purchase as I had smuggled it to the car and therefore still laid claim to the find of the day. Unlike in the past when he has exhibited more than a passing resemblance to Arthur Daley (or Derek Trotter if you’re a bit too young for Minder), Joseph did not enter into a haggling war over this lovely, wooden boxed toy.

“I don't know. What do you think, £3?” said the woman on the stall.

“Co-o-ol”, said Joseph, reaching into his pocket to pull out the change he had earlier raided from his money box.

I was going to step in on his behalf but the damage had been done. She had seen his eagerness straight away and held out her hand. TO be fair, she did give him back 50p which never fails to impress Joseph. Hand over money and get a toy and some money in return?


I think my favourite bit of the fair however, was watching Joseph and his friends standing round in a huddle, comparing the bits and pieces they had bought for 10p from a bag of broken odds and ends. Joseph was proudly showing his peers how the car he had bought turned into a gun car, flicking down the front grill with one hand and soaking up the admiring “ooh’s and aahs”, smiling just a little too smugly.

Oh, to be a 6 year old boy again!


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