Sunday, 25 September 2011

Regal Regale.

“Aren’t you going to get up with me then?”, I asked Hubby last Saturday as the alarm on my mobile phone went off at 5.20am. There was a text.
“Mags’s hubby has made her a cuppa”, I read.
He mumbled “traitor” from beneath the duvet.
“I’ll take that as a no then”, I answered tip-toeing as quietly as possible around our bedroom whilst looking for my underwear. I’d laid everything out the night before, but couldn’t for the life of me now locate my bra. I lifted various other garments off the ottoman at the foot of our bed and felt beneath them for the tell tale silkiness of my M&S 36D and shrieked in disgust as my hand felt something cold and yucky.
“Aargh, what the hell?”, I wailed and ran over to the light switch. As my eyes adjusted to the light I realised that I’d put my hand through a mound of cold, cat sick.
“Oh dear God”, I shivered, “That is bloody revolting, how long has it been there?”
Hubby was by now most aggrieved that the light was on and that his wife was making far too much noise this early in the morning and that, now he was awake, he’d have to go to the loo.
“Flaming Nora Alice, how many times have I managed perfectly well to go to work in the pitch dark and never disturb you?”, he said pulling my dressing around him.
“You can’t go to the loo yet”, I said barging in front of him, “I have cat sick on my hand, I’ve got to wash it off”.
“Can’t we do both simultaneously? Kill two birds with one stone”, he offered.
“Eww. No thanks, besides the way I feel I’d rather kill two cats with one stone”. I patiently waited on the landing as he relieved himself, my hand at arm’s length as though I had some ticking bomb in it. Infernal cats.
The doorbell rang.
“That’ll be Mags then?”, said Hubby as he exited the bathroom yawning, “Is there any more noise you can muster between you? You may as well put the radio on”.
“There’s no need to be sarcastic is there.”
“Hello mummy”, said the Red-Head, emerging from her bedroom and rubbing her eyes, “Why have you got sick on your hand?”. The doorbell rang again.
“Well?”, I said to Hubby, “You’re going to have to answer it, I can’t stand it any longer, I’ve got to wash my hands”. Looking utterly beleaguered at not only having been woken up before dawn but now having the added encumbrance of going down and back up the stairs and then persuading the Red-Head back to sleep, Hubby sighed very heavily indeed.
The Red-Head sat on the loo as I scrubbed away at my hands.
“Will the queen be at her Palace mummy?”, she asked.
“No darling, she’s at Balmoral”.
“What’s that?”
I dried my hands. From downstairs Mags’s excited chatter could be heard. Hubby was going to be less than thrilled.
“It’s a castle sweetie, where she has her summer holidays”.
“It’s a bit greedy of the queen to have lots of palaces and castles isn’t it? Why can’t she have a holiday in a caravan?”
“I don’t suppose Queens go in for caravanning that much”, I replied lifting her up and carrying her into our bed.
“Why not? She’s got a Range Rover. It could easily pull a caravan”. The image of HRH Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh towing a six berth Bailey up to the Highlands made me laugh.
“Or”, added the Red-Head, seriously contemplating alternative holiday destinations for our monarch, “what about Center Parcs? The whole family could go then; all the grandchildren and the corgis. There would be plenty for everyone to do. Nobody would be bored. In fact they could go horse-riding like we did. They like horses don’t they, the Royal Family?”
A further image of Zara Phillips, Olympic horse jumping hopeful and dear nonagenarian Philip, fellow champion equestrian embarking on a gentle pony trek, being led by a rope by a teenage girl around the country lanes of Wiltshire made me laugh even harder.
“Ah but which corgi would they chose?”, I said, wiping my eyes as I tucked her in, “There is only one dog allowed per lodge”. I left her cuddled up considering this canine conundrum.
I passed Hubby on the stairs.
“She’s in our bed”, I explained kissing him, “Will you pick us up from the train station later?” Hubby nodded.
“Please just go now”.
For once, the railway journey was entirely without incident, it even pulled into Paddington early. Mags and I had a coffee in Fortnum and Mason’s and then strolled across the park to Buckingham Palace.
“Do you think we should have worn a hat?”, I asked Mags as we approached the Palace.
“Alice, this isn’t a bloody garden party we’re going to; think of it as a super-enhanced National Trust Property”.
Not bleedin’ likely. Not with the Faberge exhibition, the priceless private art collection and Kate’s wedding dress, shoes and cake, well, Cotehele it ain’t. We walked around gawping like kids in a sweet shop and like every kid on a school trip, we had the best time in the gift shop. Where Mags plans to use her gold plated teaspoons with carved, royal dwellings at the end of the handle, God alone knows. At least my God Save the Queen tea towel is practical.
Hubby met two weary women off the 22.41 train. His delight that we weren’t laden with shopping bags and thus hadn’t spent any money was palpable.
“No shopping then girls?”, he asked brightly.
“We didn’t have time” said Mags, “Too much to see”.
“I only bought this”, I said and showed him the tea-towel.
“Oh God Save the Queen indeed”, cried Hubby, as though praying, “God Save the Queen”.

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