We Four in Egypt

Now back in the US!

Fake snow and other joys of London shopping

Last week, our friend Mike recommended I stop in at Hamley’s Toy Store here in London, so when I saw it last night, my mom and I went in. What an amazing toy store! I could have spent half a day there. My mom said it reminded her of FAO Schwarz (think Tom Hangs in “Big”) in the old days.

The store has something like six stories, with staff demoing toys everywhere. Some kids were playing with a hover disc on one floor (really cute but a bit pricey at fifteen pounds), while the remote controlled monster trucks zipped around another.

But the coolest thing ever was fake snow. My mom bought some for my boys for Christmas. It’s white powder, and when you pour water on it, it expands into a sort of rubbery snow-like substance. A little bit goes a long way, and apparently it lasts for about two weeks, at which point it reverts to the powder. Is this making any sense?

Mr. Four said he bought a Charlie Brown-esque artificial Christmas tree, and so now I can’t wait to get back and spread fake snow around our fake tree. My mom and I were mesmerized by the stuff, so I think Mr. Four and the boys will love it. I’ll see if I can take and post a video of the snow. It’s really weird.

I didn’t spend that much myself at Hamley’s but did get a cute puzzle and a nice Thomas game for Bug and Giggle for Christmas. It’s so great having access to all this nice stuff. I am a true American consumer, eh?

I also found some Thomas stuff at another store earlier in the day. Individual trains cost about $10 each in the US, so I thought they’d be about £5 each here in the UK. Nope, they were £10 each, so more like $20! I bought a double set (Max and Monty the trucks, if you’re interested) for a reduced price per vehicle, and that’ll be the boys’ presents when I get back.

On a related note, one of the London papers this afternoon had an article about how Brits are flocking to New York City for their holiday shopping because of the great deals they can get because of the low value of the dollar. Bah humbug says this American.

Lest you think all I am doing is drinking beer, shopping, and eating fish and chips, which I’ll confess does demand much of my time, I should also share that my conference is going well, and I went on a walking tour of the British Museum this afternoon, where I was reminded that the Brits really are the pillagers of the world. I saw more ancient Egyptian stuff there than I’ve seen in Egypt.


5 December 2007 - Posted by | family, fun


  1. Oh, I am jealous! Of you being in London–I guess not of the prices I know you have to pay for everything there! I’ve never been to that toy store but it sounds fabulous, especially if you have children to shop for!

    Comment by Libby | 8 December 2007

  2. Hint about dress offers clue

    I don’t want anyone to not come because of the dress requirement.” Hhmmmm, could the evening be a celebration of

    Trackback by dress new party | 30 January 2008

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