Children & babies · Friendship · fun · life · mental health · Motherhood · Travel

Palace Life

Since leaving #therealworld and becoming a fully-fledged #FTM, Mummy has had many hopes, dreams and aspirations. Aside from being swept off her feet by the tall, dark, handsome Adonis of her fantasies, being plucked from Prestwich and deposited on a cushioned sun-bed in the Dominican Republic for a month, or the very concept of a whole week without a single load of washing, sadly there are few of Mummy’s hopes, dreams and aspirations that have not been quashed. Except for one. Last week, Mummy decided that she wanted to become a Princess for the day. And apparently, she was not alone. For which woman has not, at some point in her life, dreamt of snogging a frog? 

Needless to say, it was not hard to gather together several other Wannabe Kates who shared Mummy’s vision and with whom Mummy could briefly “Go To The Ball,” before reality returned their polished pumpkins back to filthy people-carriers and their gorgeous gowns to frumpy, oversized frocks. So, after meticulous planning over a cheese-board and some stale mince-pies, off to The Big Smoke Mummy and her Princesses-in-waiting went, in search of a Palace, some dazzling dresses, a spot of Afternoon Tea and four jaw-droppingly fit Princes (we were feeling lucky). And with false-lashes, acrylic nails, contraception methods, playground politics and morning routines on the agenda, the short two-hour train journey to the capital whizzed by and before barely having stopped to take breath, we had arrived. Mummy and Co. had bloody arrived. The destination of our dreams was in touching distance. Flagship stores, bohemian boutiques, artisan cafés, makers’ markets, mansions, palaces and celebrity discotheques were now within reach. And there was only one way to travel it: The Tube.

The dreaded, dirty, smelly, claustrophobic yet cavernous conundrum that is The Tube.  Now, it would be a lie to say that Mummy and her Princess Pals were not remotely phased by the prospect of Going Underground. Quite the opposite! After all, such things don’t exist up North and the closest to “Underground” they had gone, was on a school trip to The Blue John Mines thirty years ago, in which hard hats, torches and maps had been supplied. But much to the delight and relief of the rest of the Prinny Pack, Mummy, who in a former life had been rather au fait with The Tube, took the lead and successfully navigated us in and around the Underground to the correct destinations and bang on schedule too. Apparently these days, one doesn’t need to queue for a ticket. And thank G-d for that! Instead, one can swipe one’s debit card in and out, on an unlimited basis, all for a bargainous capped fee of £6 something, which is a sodding good job, as Princesses don’t do queues. So I believe.

Having won at The Tube, a sumptuous brunch was next on the menu. But it became quite evident that Princesses don’t eat all that much either. And grand ideas of tucking into whatever delicious delicacies London had to offer on this once-in-a-lifetime day out, fizzled out as quick as the pop goes in champagne. A few salad leaves, poached eggs and sweet potato shards later, equipped with tiaras and wands, Mummy and her Monarchy paraded the promenades, walking it all off, in search of The Palace. “In search” being the operative word, because quite frankly, these Four Mamas from Manchester couldn’t see the sodding Palace for all of Kensington. It was easy to miss. In fact, it was only after shaming ourselves by asking the lone American tourist where Megs and Harry had had their recent photo-shoot, that we discovered IT. “See that huge house over there, that’s the one! Have a great day!” “How strange,” thought Mummy, “that doesn’t look at all like my house.” #Cringe.

Upon finally entering the Palace, Mummy and Co. experienced a case of mistaken identity. Instead of the glamorous Princesses we had dreamt of becoming for the day, apparently today we were Hens. A brood of old, cackling Hens in tiaras. “Which one is the Bride?” they asked of us. Now we might well be classy birds having a day out at The Palace, but this was no Hen Party and none of us were planning to remarry at the worst, or even get laid at the best. Well, unless of course that is, Harry swooped in, which he didn’t. The Diana’s Dresses exhibition was as fabulous as its namesake. And being the hormonally charged, nearly middle-aged women that we are, there was not a dry eye in sight and not a single moment when we didn’t secretly imagine ourselves in one of those very gowns. But the real world was calling and before we knew it, it was 3.30pm and our minds were on The School Run. Who was picking up? Could we trust them to collect our precious heirs to the throne and safely deliver them home? Who cares. It may as well have been approaching midnight and we may as well have been wearing glass slippers. The curtains were rapidly closing in on our dream, our feet were hurting like hell and we had a pumpkin to catch.

Needless to say, the train journey home was pretty dull and depressing. Silence prevailed, as we pondered the pauper lives that we were soon to be reunited with. But at least the glittering plastic tiaras, pink sparkly wands and blood-red blisters did all the talking. Sometimes being a Princess isn’t glamorous but it’s sure as hell worth it.

Does my scale of normality mean anything to you?

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