There are foxes in our garden. I bloody hate them. I hate having to check the garden for their 'offerings' before letting The Princess and Master C out to play, and hate hate hate having to clear up what I find. I hate the way they stop dead and stare at me through the kitchen window. I hate how they only run a few paces when I clap my hands to shoo them off. And I wasn't too keen on the fact that, last summer, they got stuck into the shoes that the children had left in the garden, leaving behind mangled, gruesome-looking shreds of straps and soles.
Where Master C is concerned, it's kind of irrelevant since his feet seem to have taken on the qualities of the Yeti with which he is currently obsessed; added to this, he's going through the boy-version of what The Princess went through at the same age - an insistence on everything being blue (predictably, it was pink in her case). So even without the fox incident, last year's khaki Crocs would have had to make way for new, larger, blue ones.
The Bearded One walks out of the surf shop, shaking his head. "None in his size. There's another shop down the road; they might have them."
"No point in losing the parking space," I say gallantly. "You wait here with the kids; I'll just run down the road and check."
Run? I skip. Straight into the charity shop where, you never know, a gem might be waiting for me. Gold!! A trench coat, pristine, more Chung than Dirty Old Man - well, one hopes. But you know what, for £4.95, I'll risk it: I've been eyeing them up on the high street for about 25 times as much. I mean, they're a bit British for me, and I don't like that Chung girl but you've got to hand it to her, she knows how to rock a trench.
No blue Crocs next door, sorry Master C. I tune out his half-hearted complaints by mentally creating outfits, topping each with the trench. All of a sudden I'm thinking satchels. Dammit, am I really that susceptible? Do I not have an original fashion thought in my head? I don't even like Alexa Chung, why do I want to 'channel' her? I don't. But I do like those Cambridge Satchels. I mean, they're classics, right?
A week or so later, we're en route to lunch past one of my favourite little vintage stores. My eagle eyes are trained on the rails outside, which would be fine, were it not for the fact that I'm driving. I spot something and swerve dangerously. Straight into a parking space outside the door. Wow! That never happens.
My radar was right. It's a tan leather cross-body bag, not a satchel, definitely with satchel overtones but not a satchel, which means it can be worn with trench and hopefully without allegations of wannabe Chunginess. And it's £25 but for some reason the assistant says I can have it for £15. I'm back in the car within minutes; The Bearded One is not sure whether to be impressed or terrified by my shopping skills.
There's a store down the road that sells Crocs. "No point in losing the parking space," I say gallantly. "You wait here with the kids; I'll just run down the road and check." Sound familiar? It does to The Bearded One; his look drips skepticism. I'm off. Result!! Blue Crocs!! Back at the car, Master C has fallen asleep. I ease his shoes off his feet and slip the Crocs on. Twenty minutes or so later, he stirs, stretches, whimpers. His eyes open, brow furrowed, grumpy and confused. Then his soul slips back into his beautiful big brown eyes as he focuses. On me, his dad, his sister, his brother. And then on his feet. The light that dances across his face is pure magic. "My Crocs!!" he gasps. "My blue ones!! Blue Crocs!!"
The Bearded One and I exchange a smile. "See how happy he is?" I mutter sideways. "You ought to try that one with me and a pair of Choos sometime."
The Bearded One has the smug, bottled-up look of someone who is about to have the last word. "Choos?" he questions. "Wouldn't that be Chanel clogs, Ms Wannabe Chung?"