We had a lovely wakening this morning. The spud rambled into our room at a not-too-early hour (8:30am), clambered onto the bed, put a hand on either side of my face and said 'I love you SOOO much!' and then kissed me on the nose. He then ruined the effect by squishing me as he rolled over to do the same to his father.
We paddled off after a while to go swimming and then afterwards, as we were on our way to the Spud's girlfriend's house for lunch, I got a text from another great local mate saying that Santa was coming to Brixton Lido in an open top bus from 5 to 6pm.
No. Fucking. Way. Santa? In a bus? It's like something out of one of the Spud's more lurid day-dreams.
Anyway, so we pitched up to the Lido parking lot expecting a huge crowd; but due to Lambeth council's non-existent powers of marketing almost nobody knew about it. It was brilliant. There was a free carousel, salsa dancing, people dressed up as Christmas trees and elves, 10 year old boys on unicycles (ok, one small boy on one unicycle), fire juggling, mulled wine, roast chestnuts and we knew half the people there. Did I say it was brilliant?
By the time Santa rolled up however, there was quite a crowd. The spud caught sight of the bus and that was it. Open top. Double Decker. Red bus. Festoooooooned with lights. Ringed with police cars. To heck with Santa.
Spud wanted to get on the bus in a Very Very Big Way. First we had gawping, then we had begging, then we had whining and then we had a meltdown. I had to show him the police officer outside the bus before he accepted that he couldn't get on it. He was completely uninterested in Santa.
I love Brixton - I love that we live in one of the most notorious areas of Britain for gun crime and drugs and yet where-ever I go I know people, people smile, people sing in the streets. OK, Brixton is twenty shades of crazy and people are miserable here too but in general people go out of their way to make it great. I love that we have our own currency; the Brixton Pound which is legal - but only in Brixton. I love that there was a steel band and a lamb on a spit at the last nursery party. I love that Santa shows up here in a bus with a police escort. It's like living in a small, mad, extremely urban village.
After the Santa experience we took the spud to our local cafe for a treat and then he stayed up way way too late. In the end I got him to sleep by getting into his bed and kissing him on the forehead. 'I love you SOOO much' I said to the spud 'Yes', he said back and the two of us drifted off together blissfully. Until I got a cramp in my foot.
It started well, today. It hasn't ended that badly. And now it's the weekend. Life is good.