Lakshmi’s golden locks cover her eyes as she peers through them. I move them away to take a closer look at her twinkling eyes as she smiles her usual cheeky smile at me. The plan was to visit the once a year Epping Christmas market, see the decorated Christmas trees in the local church and round up the evening visiting Santa in his grotto. I couldn’t get to their house in time and so we are just going out for a nice meal in the local Thai restaurant instead.
The Christmas market is still open but the band playing Carols has stopped singing and they are packing their instruments away. The Mayor is chatting away with some of the town folk as we weave our way through the crowds. The entrance to the church is heaving with people who are pouring in to see the trees. Maybe next year, I will get here in time to do it all properly. Last year we walked around the market, but didn’t go into the church as it was too busy and gave Santa a miss. How time flies, it seems like it was yesterday.
Lakshmi is the model child in the restaurant. There is no tantrums today. She sits in her chair eating the sesame prawn toasts and drinking her glass of milk. When she is full enough, she walks around the restaurant and smiles at the customers who try to engage in a conversation with her. As we finish our desserts, her dad takes her home and gives her a bath. We get back just in time to put her to bed. It’s been a while since I’ve stayed at their place. The spare bed is covered in clothes. I decide to kip on a makeshift bed next to Lakshmi’s cot. The duvet is soft and snuggly and soon I’m away with the fairies with Lakshmi in tow. Tomorrow she is going to pick up her very first Mini to match her mum’s new car.
On Monday they are going on a trip and will be away for a few days. Next weekend I will miss my ‘Goldilocks’. It won’t be long again before she comes to visit, eat my porridge and share my bed. She is yet to break any chairs, but unlike the original Goldilocks, this one is here to stay.