This month, in The Adventures of Lara and Luther, we travel up to London for a casting!
The day started at around 5am, because it always does. It is remarkable, given we were up so early, that it was still a rush for the train! I'd put Luther back to nap around 7.30am and remarkably he was still asleep at 9.30am. I was ready, the Greentom buggy was packed with everything we could possibly need, but I still needed to feed and dress Luther. I started being a bit noisier and he stirred slightly so I whipped him out of the buggy as soon as his eyes started to open. As we were having a 'big' day I shovelled a whole packet of Ella's spaghetti bolognese down him followed by a whole packet of strawberry and apple. I changed him into his Bonnie Mob top, leggings and sweet little socks, popped him back in his buggy and we flew down the hill to the station.
The husband had kindly bought my ticket in advance and luckily the train was running. We settled ourselves in for the journey and Luther smiled and gurgled at everyone that got on, but luckily the train stayed fairly empty. The journey passed smoothly with a bit more food for Luther and much staring at people for both of us. I had dip dyed my hair a sort of raspberry colour the day before, dying the bathroom sink and my hands in the process, and as I snapped some mummy and baby selfies I realised my hair matched the train seat fabric. I'm a Southern Rail style icon. That's a good thing, right?
We were London-bound for a TV advert casting for Luther. I signed him up with Bonnie & Betty when he was very small and this was his first casting through them. We stopped off at daddy's office for a quick hello and then walked through St. James's Park in the sunshine. Luther stared up at the trees then promptly fell asleep, so I stopped to eat and look at the birds. I love the vegetable garden at the cottage in St James's Park - it's straight out of a book! You wouldn't be surprised to see Peter Rabbit wave at you.
Part way through the park I realised I was going to struggle to get up the steps leading from The Mall up to Waterloo Place past The Royal Society, and had a dither as to whether to do a detour round them. In the end I asked a police medic sat on a motorbike for help and he picked the sleeping Luther up in his buggy and deposited him at the top for me. Help like this really changes one's day, and with a smile and a spring in my step I continued up towards Piccadilly.
It was nice to be back in London. The husband and I lived there for years and it was lovely to return with fresh eyes and new appreciation. The crisp, sunny day helped! I walked up a surprisingly empty Regent St, past the famous Hamley's toy shop - where I used to work as an elf - and then past Liberty's. I'd have loved a poke round both stores but even though I'd left hours and hours for the journey I was cutting it too fine for a shopping trip.
I'd planned to get to the studio and give Luther his lunch, then breastfeed him and change his nappy. The studio was tiny and I was asked to leave the buggy upstairs and carry everything downstairs. The toilet was really tiny and there was no baby changing so I took him into the small and busy waiting room, and started to change him there. He was cross about this and was trying to roll off the seat, this is the time when, in a busy, cramped, airless space, you start to sweat and wish there was someone there to help you. Luther was trouser-less and nappy-less and not wanting either item replacing but we still had half an hour before his casting was due to start. The door opened, "Luther? We are ready for you". *You're joking right!* "I just need to put a nappy on him", I replied.
So with a swift turn around and no food inside him he was suddenly thrust into a brightly lit room full of people. Of course he rocked it! He smiled and reached out to touch everyone's faces. He was manoeuvred into a swing bouncer and off he went, laughing and bouncing his way around much to everyone's delight. After two minutes the producer said they'd seen enough and it didn't get much better! My dear little boy! His Bonnie Mob rabbit socks were also much admired.
The day felt very successful and we made our way back towards Victoria on foot, managing to find help from two German students to get back down the stairs to The Mall. We stopped in the park for an al fresco breastfeed and then onwards to our train. I was hoping Luther would fall asleep for the train journey back, but he didn't, and spent the journey clawing his way all over me and pulling himself up to standing by my hair. With the aid of an iPad and some air drumming along to LOOPIMAL we made it back to Brighton without a meltdown. He was totally hyped up and refused to fall asleep until 7pm but I felt rather proud that we'd not only survived but enjoyed the trip up to town.
The next day I had a call saying that Luther had been selected for the TV advert.... more on that in the next episode of our adventures!
Lara and Luther run www.frankieandthelamb.com and you can follow their adventures on the blog or via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.