Emergency Shopping

I had an emergency shopping trip yesterday. Usually avoid these trips like the plague because I find them draining on my energy and self-esteem. Had to look for a birthday present for James' niece and an interview outfit though, so I had no choice but shop. 

I stopped off at Regent Street to London's version of FAO Shwartz: Hamley's toy shop. Its 5 floors of kids on sugar highs and parents trying to avoid spending an absolute fortune on toys that will be broken in a week. My mission for buying a present for James' niece was to get something girly cause she's turning SIX. So, after much searching and disappointment at how much the housewife and mother role were like in practically every girls' toy (not that there's nothing wrong with being a housewife/mother)... I caved and got a Barbie doll. It wasn't just any Barbie though, it was Doctor Barbie. I thought if I had to get some stereotypical girl doll I'd at least give James' niece the message that she could be something more than Malibu Barbie, Fashion Barbie or Wedding Gown Barbie. I'm hoping Gloria Steinham would approve.

On the way to Covent Garden to look for clothes....I stopped in the National Geographic Store. I always like going places that feed my inner traveller. They've got great pictures lined everywhere for inspiration. One day I hope to have one of my pictures hanging in their store.

Leicester Square (next to Covent Garden) was busy . Its tourist season and also when loads of school groups from Europe come over for school trips (beats the lousy stops to the state capitol I had in school). I always find it interesting how many half-price ticket booths for the theatre there are in the square. I would never use one of those booths...you can never guarantee what you're going to get.

Covent Garden was a painful shopping experience. After convincing from James I popped to Canary Wharf and managed to find something for my interview last minute. I did manage to take a few pictures whilst perusing the shops. Don't you love the 'street piano' where anyone can sit down and play?

So it took me nearly 6 hours to find one barbie doll, a pair of trousers and a top.  I can see why my preferred means of shopping is online.  I don't know how some girls do it with these long shopping excursions.  They must build up their endurance with little trips to flex the ole' muscles.  If you have secrets on how to shop better...do tell.  I could use any tips on improving my technique. 



Chanda said...

I have no tips for shopping cause I mostly hate doing it. It usually takes way to long and it drains me of every bit of my energy. I can tell you that my 6 year old loves any thing artsy as a present. Coloring books, any kind of cool crayons or markers, stickers, you name it she loves it. But nice pick with the doctor barbie.

Sydney Shop Girl said...

We had the wondering pianos in Sydney too!

SSG xxx

Veronika said...

These photos remind me of living and working in London, the crowds, reading Metro while being squished between hordes of tourists on the underground, window shopping on the way to work in Liverpool street...the good old days :)

Anonymous said...


love the piano. United states needs things like that. I agree with Dr. barbie, good luck with your interview. Shopping in general is tiring. I think window shopping in short trips is great so you can see whats out there and come back to it later when you need something.

beth said...

Apparently its all in the shoes, and the timing of the tea breaks!

christine said...

Oh I agree Beth...the shoes and the tea breaks definitely help!