Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Real World Sucks.

I had to wash that job right out of my hair and send it on its way. Time to reassess and lick my wounds and forget all about corporate bullies and petty rules. Idling my time away in a long queue for the Torpoint Ferry one day, I played with my phone. Having checked all my friends’ Facebook statuses, my emails and my messages my digits turned to Google. A dangerous place for all sorts of reasons, none of which are applicable here unless you subscribe to Hubby’s point of view and consider any type of holiday the work of the devil.
Months ago I had promised my two youngest daughters, once my job came to an end, an adventure to London, on the premise that we could do it in winter before school was fully back in the swing of things. So, sitting on the ferry that morning, I Googled ‘Travelodge’ and unbeknownst to me, there was a sale on. A three night stay at the Travelodge in Covent Garden was £19 per night, per room. Good grief, one can’t even park in the centre of London for that price. Breakfast was just over six pounds with two children eating free with one paying adult. A latte and two muffins in the piazza at Covent Garden would cost more than that. I was about to press ‘Book’ when the Libran in me took over. I had to weigh up the pros and cons; how would I travel? When should I go? Would we fit in a show? Could the other kids do without me for a few days?
I rang Mags. She, like most other people of my age was at work and clearly busy.
“Mmm?” she asked absently.
“Mags. It’s me. Alice”
“I can see that on my phone. What do you want?” I could hear her tapping at her computer; by any stretch of my imagination I did not have her full attention.
“I was thinking of going to London”.
“Mmhmm (then in a loud, stage whisper – ‘Thanks John, I’ll have an Americano. Cold, skimmed’) and when were you thinking of going to London and with whom?”
“Brad Bloody Pitt”.
“Now you are just being silly.”
“The kids”.
“What? All of them?” she asked.
“No, the youngest two”.
“Sounds fun. Thanks John. Yes of course, well he should, we contacted him yesterday. It’ll be on the ISBN file. Ask Charlotte to look it up..”. I waited.
“Ahem”, I said finally, having now driven off the ferry and pulled over on the Devonport side.
“Sorry Alice. Things are a little manic here at the mo. I’ll call in on the way home. Chill some Prosecco and we’ll discuss London at length” and she hung up. I didn’t have time to wait all day; the sale rooms would be sold out. Instead I brought the website up once more on my phone and pressed ‘Book’. I entered in my bank details and within seconds it was all confirmed. We were going on Sunday.
I drove as far as Ealing and left the car outside the house of a very old friend then took a tube and into the bowels of London we sank. The girls were very excited, more so when we reached the enormous hotel which dwarfed the surrounding buildings. The lift and the credit card style key elicited even more delight as did the flat screen TV and pull out trundle bed.
“Come on then, let’s go and explore”. It was beginning to get dark and, as we approached Leicester Square we could see a crowd gathered and quite a commotion. I wasn’t too sure what to expect as the girls jostled their way through the throng, nothing ghastly I prayed. Nothing of the sort. It transpired that it was the premiere of the film ‘War Horse’ and directly in front of us, as we emerged like blinking rabbits from the crowd, was the radiant beauty that is Kate Middleton. My girls both took a sharp intake of breath simultaneously. Being up close and personal with a princess is surely what being in London is all about. We waved and smiled and she waved and smiled before being whisked away to Princessland.
“Well how about that?” I beamed.
We ate our dim sum in China town later chatting furiously about all the things we’d already seen.
“What would you like to do tomorrow”, I asked slurping my noodles.
“Can we go to the Eifel Tower?” asked the Red-Head absent mindedly, focussing her efforts on her chop-sticks and pork dumpling. Her nine year old sister glanced at me and we rolled our eyes to heaven in despair.
Funnily enough we didn’t go to the Eifel Tower the following day but we did however go to the Museum of London, rode several red double-deckers, ice-skated at Somerset House and tried on ludicrously priced children’s clothes in Harrods. I have a rather disturbing picture of my nine year old in a pair of six inch, blue, suede, Jimmy Choos thinking she is the dog’s whatsits.
The following morning, fortified at breakfast, having had the best fun ever and made several rounds of toast in the conveyer belt style toasting machine, we walked miles and miles and miles and, as we watched the changing of the guards outside Buckingham Palace the Red-Head came out with another corker, “Are they German soldiers mummy?”
That night, the piece de resistance was to see Matilda the Musical – courtesy of my very generous dad. It was magical theatre, made even more special by the Red-Head’s insistence that we go autograph hunting at the stage door. The father of the girl who plays Lavender was waiting there too and he made sure that every member of the cast signed my daughter’s programme. It was the icing on a very thrilling, metropolitan cake.
This morning I awoke to face the real world. Laundry, school, unemployment. The Real World is nowhere near as much fun.

1 comment:

fashionbags said...

Can you believe it is not a difficult thing to add your name or whatever you want on a cambridge satchel usa bag any more? I have bought one online cambridge satchel 13 and found it has a good quality and cheaper than anyone, even the style is especially fit for students and they have many new products. So i want to introduce the website to you. You can get a
cambridge satchel company bag and enjoy yourself.