Last Sunday saw Daddy P joining Monkey and I for his first blogging event – we spent a day in London. We were invited to the Join In and Play Tatty Puppy Launch, which you can read about here. We were going to a toy shop, not just any toy shop, THE toy shop! We were going to Hamleys! Not only were we going to Hamleys, we were going to be inside the shop for 2 whole hours before the doors opened. That fact alone, was enough to get Daddy P, up, dressed and out of the door ON TIME (a very rare thing).
I have wonderful memories of Hamleys from my childhood. I’d sometimes get to stay with my Auntie who lived on the outskirts of London, and we’d take day trips into the city; visit museums, Foyles (I have always been a bookworm), The Royal Opera House to see my first ballet performance (I was always going to be a prima ballerina – sadly that was all in my head – too tall, and a cruel mother who insisted I went to Brownies rather than Ballet lessons) and Hamleys. I have it in my head, that at that time anyway (well over 30 years ago) it was the largest toy store in the world? I could be wrong on that, so don’t jump on me with a ton of bricks. Whether it was or not is really immaterial – to a young girl, walking into that store it was like walking into heaven. Toys as far as the eye could see, floor after floor of excitement, colour, fun and you could actually touch things!! No trip to London was complete without a visit to Hamleys. I’m fairly sure I didn’t always come out with a present, just having a magical exploration was often enough.
So all these years later, the thought of taking my own little Monkey and seeing his little face – priceless. Daddy P had a deprived childhood – he never went to Hamleys until he was in his Twenties – that is just wrong!
Anyway, as part of the event we were invited to, we got a whole two hours to explore every nook and cranny of the store. No crowds, a major bonus as Monkey is not great when surrounded by strangers. We enjoyed the launch event and then went off to see what Hamleys had to offer.
The range of toys and games is just as impressive as I remember from my own childhood. monkey spent ages researching all the tractors, diggers, planes, trains and cars on offer – yes that was definately his favourite floor!
We were very lucky, we wondered around at our leisure and Monkey was very well-behaved. I was really impressed that at no point did Monkey, aged nearly 4 years old, say I WANT THAT!! He was really interested, don’t get me wrong, but he didn’t try to grab anything.
As the clock ticked nearer to opening time we asked Monkey what he would like if he was allowed to have something, how brave were we!! I’d really like Spencer Mummy. Wow, ok, do you know what I think you’ve probably deserve a little treat. He’d just finished his first few days at Nursery School and hadn’t cried once, so we treated him to Spencer for his Trackmaster Train set. Daddy P also slipped in something for Monkey’s birthday when he wasn’t looking. Ever the softie. As the doors opened we paid for our items ……