Sabbatical in a Teacup: Day Seven. Christmas in Britain, Follow the Money.

Ladies who Lunch, Lunch at Harrods.My mother became a ‘lady who could lunch’ in her later years. Her business became successful, she sold it to a larger company, and could have spent the rest of her time at ease.

Harrods is a shopping mecca for the British aristocracy.

But what would have been the point? These last two days have been fascinating. Many of you know that Faith and I had parts in the a local musical theatre company a year ago. The play was ‘Evita’ and Faith and I played members of the ‘aristocracy’. There was a line in a song we sang “…..No, we wouldn’t mind, seeing her in Harrod’s, but behind the jewelry counter, not in front!”

So, naturally, we had to go to Harrods. This place is huge, and the shopgirls are everywhere. I don’t know anything about retail or floor design, but I think space has something to do with it. All of my pictures had to be surreptitious, so I don’t have any of the floor to show you, but gracious, we could have brought a hamper, sat down and had dinner.

Window shopping for us!

Harrods has many wings, or ‘rooms.’ Here is a picture of the food wing, where 100 grams of chocolate (small by US standards, would run about eleven US dollars) A plate fish and chips? A mere thirty pounds, or about 43 US. A single apple? Three US dollars. Amazing, and the place was crowded. Who has money to eat like that?

Answer? Actually, more than we think. My daughters and I got to talking about this when we left. I asked them if they would like to have dinner at Harrods, simply for the experience of it. I had budgeted the money, and thought that were Nana here, she would have gotten a kick out of it, once.

There are key words there, I keep rediscovering. “Budgeting” and “Once”. Many of you know this story, but when Chris and I were first married, we were family budget counselors for a Christian organization. We helped dozens of families get rid of credit card debt, and simply get organized.

Nana, being a depression era gal, had this forced on her. Here are some things that would have made her double over in laughter, even in her wheelchair.

It’s a nice bag. I’d like to have it. But 900$ nice? C’mon!

Nine hundred dollar Prada bag, anyone? That’s just silly.

Speaking of silly, how about four hundred POUND earmuffs? (about 575$ US) Or something from this table for me to lose straightaway ?

You have to admit the Alexander McQueen brass detail was pretty cool, but 400 US cool? Nope!

Nana would have been digging Camden Town Market, even in her wheelchair. Hip and low rent, tattoo parlours and fabulous food adorn the place.

Vintage and unique shops adorned the place. Fabulous!

North Africans bark at you to come look at their wares, and Abi found me a hipster, three quarter length sweater trimmed in faux fur. Forty bucks, instead of three hundred.

Lastly, meet my new friend Ayush. A shop keeper with two little kids, Ayush ran a booth with Desigual ripoffs, and fitted me into THIS adorable piece.

Very, very cute, unique, and forty bucks. Find THAT in Target.

I guess it’s pretty much the same with all of us in first world countries, wouldn’t you agree? Even excluding people like me, we all have more than we think we do, and with a little reorganizing, can give away a lot more than we thought possible.

It’s fun, really. Who the hell wants a three hundred dollar dinner at Harrod’s anyway? For now, this is what I’d rather be buying.

The Lierheimer Women, making memories.

Much love,


PS. The girls said “No.” We ate at Camden.  Much love, V


6 thoughts on “Sabbatical in a Teacup: Day Seven. Christmas in Britain, Follow the Money.

  1. In Camden, I particularly like the shop fronts with a dragon, or a scorpion, sticking out. Weird and beautiful.

    The $3 apple is no problem for some people, but keeps me out. Perhaps that is the point.


    • Camden was the best. People of all languages, flavors and colors. Bales of ganja everywhere, of course, but my children were raised to be trusted. As far as keeping you out? Well! Harrod’s loss, Clare, dear. I saw several faux fur designs you and I would have been lovely in, but at 2000 quid? I think not! Daughter Abi found a vintage shop in Camden with faux fur for a fraction of the price. Where do you like to shop?


      • All British shops? Haven’t seen any of those in US except Guess. Nice is a lot of fun to run around in Clare. I saw a brave, skinny Frenchman actually go swimming (in a Speedo of course 😉 in a bout 40 degree weather on the beach. Brrrrr! 🙂


      • Guess I am not sure of. Marks and Spencer is utterly British, and until the bitter end sold mostly clothes made in Britain, though now everything is made in China. Though, to get all political, another utterly British chain, Boots, was bought up and management relocated abroad in order to avoid tax. You cannot say anything is British.

        Sometimes I shop in Zara, a Spanish chain which takes care to consider local fashions- so Zara in Madrid, Cardiff or Marseilles will be quite different.


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