As I have just suggested to my editor, we really should move the weekend or extend it to include Monday, as the weather then is invariably beautiful! However, it's official, as from break of day tomorrow (Wednesday) you will all have blue skies and blistering heat until I return from Rhodes the following week – it would be unkind of me not to organise it with those who know
I am – as always prior to a holiday – in a state of organised chaos, which has been exacerbated due to the excessive rainfall overnight and forecast to continue throughout the day. It's taken Sam a week to decide what he wants to take to wear on holiday, and having worn all of said items over the last week, I was presented with them (in grubby form) last night! I now have wet washing draped over anything that offers an elevated surface, while the tumble dryer is complaining bitterly about having to work 'out of season'!
Lucy and I were suited and booted last Thursday when we had a day out at Buckingham Palace! Personal invitation no less! Yes, Lucy had bought tickets for a tour around the Royal Rooms, and invited me to join her :) It was fab! I highly recommend it, and we had great fun synchronising our audio guides to start at exactly the same time so we could exclaim in harmony when a particular fact was articulated in our earphones!
It was rather a loud exclamation on my part when I learned that there are 78 bathrooms in Buck House and over 350 staff! How many people does it take to clean a loo I ask you! Similarly to learn that in the second world war, a bomber flew down The Mall and unloaded all its bombs at the gates of the Palace!
Steeped in history, we handed back our audio guides and headed off to the gift shop where we paid a Queen's ransom for some trinkets. We also met a lovely couple of ladies who were avid QVC viewers. I spoke for a while with the lovely Dawn before Lucy and I hopped in a cab and met up with Rich and Colin for cocktails and supper (I LOVE happy hour!).
Having eaten far too much (but soaked up some of the alcohol), we settled down to watch that night's performance of Chicago at the Cambridge Theatre. It was brilliant. My sixth time and Colin's second, although he agreed he found the present 'Roxy Hart' a little more alluring than Bonnie Langford whom we'd seen last time… I think unfairly that it's the enduring memory of her as Violet Elizabeth Bott from the Just William stories that stopped her from smouldering!
I sang all the way home, and then found my CD and have been playing it in the car ever since. There's a Roxy Hart in me somewhere… And somewhere in the country lanes, or the fields, or our neighbouring gardens is where Dodge decided to spend a full 36 hours without coming home once…
We were frantic. The thought of leaving for our holiday without him being safely back was purgatory, and so when the cat flap opened gingerly around 11.30 last night and his little face peeped in, there was mighty relief all round.
Look after yourselves, and I will return in a week's time with photographic evidence of all that can occur on a family holiday in Rhodes – with the 12 of us!!
Love Ali xx