The wrong side of town by Jo

[advert:mpu]It all started with a school coffee morning at my house. It has taken two years for me to host such a morning largely out of fear that no one would turn up. We live just outside the school catchment area, we live in a different borough, we live on the wrong side of town.

To put this in perspective the school catchment area has traditionally been just a few select local streets, but now it has gone two-form, they have allowed the ‘outsiders’ from the neighbouring area in. A risky strategy one might say, but East Finchley isn’t exactly the Bronx. We are just slightly less cool and slightly less organic than our trendy neighbours. But no, I rallied the troops and I was pleased to see a really good turn out, even if it meant them coming over to the ‘dark side.’

It was all going really well, home-made lemon cake eaten, biscuits masquerading as home-made, munched, conversation about Mistresses - "What does Sarah Parish think she is doing?" flowing - when the phone rang.

For some really weird reason, the phone ringtone went mental. It rang in one continuous tone, sounding like a strangulated cat, I picked it up just because it annoyed me, and was ready to slam it down (I really was enjoying the Mistresses conversation) when I heard Katy, another mum from the class, leave a bizarre message...

“ Jo, did you mean to leave two buggies in your front garden to be picked up by a white van?”

“No” I answered.

Katy replied urgently “Well I’ve pulled up in front of the van, and am blocking them in round the corner, come now.” Hats off Katy you’ve got proverbial balls of steel!

I bolted out the door leaving suburbia behind, I ran like I was 11 years old and running the 100 metres at Sports Day, I approached the battered white pick up van and…(here the part that is just not me).

I yanked on the door of the van, eyed up the three robbers, and screamed at them in my best fish-wife voice “Give us our buggies back” (I knew all that screaming at the kids would pay off some day).

I think they were quite taken aback. I’m not sure how often they get a deranged housewife mid-coffee morning, calling the odds about buggies.

Quietly and looking scared but slightly bemused they got on to the back of the van and gave the items back.
We marched back, triumphant, We marched back, proud, but most importantly we marched back with the buggies in hand.

I returned to the coffee morning, turned to everyone and said in true British style “ Anyone for tea.?

Well I’m not quite sure I’ve done much for improving the image of East Finchley. But it did make me laugh that the robbers didn’t even bother taking my crappy Maclaren.

And so my kids think I’m a real live superhero (merchandise coming soon at exorbitant prices), who am I to shatter any illusions?

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