Tag Archives: london

The last minute plans are the best!


Some time ago, about April, our choir master told us some news about a possible gig. It’s a biggie, if you can do it, it will be worth it.  Other than that he didn’t say much other than ‘save the date’.

A couple of weeks later, he mentioned it again, this time he was much more excited about it. “Guess what? We have been asked to sing at The BBC Proms in the Park in London. OH YEAH!!!!!”

“When?”

“September.”

“Oh.”

Boofuls, Lashes and I all looked at each other disappointed. “Well, that’s that then. September, we’ll still be busy with the lodging emporium. Boofuls is due his new hip on 10th September, we won’t be going.” We sat and tried not to look churlish as groups of people excitedly  made plans for coaches, overnight stays and weekend breaks.

There are times when I hate being a hotelier. All the good stuff happens in summer and we miss it all.

Every week for weeks and weeks all anyone talked about was the Proms and the big surprise. Pfffftttt. Still we smiled and listened to all the planning going on.

Summer flew by in a whirl of faces, sunshine, tons of bacon and eggs and quite a few screaming children.

Then. One day. A message popped up on the choir Facebook page. “I can’t go to the Proms now. If anyone would like my ticket and seat on the coach just pm me.”  I looked at the diary and said to Boofuls,”Look Boofuls, we could have gone. It’s quiet next week, your operation has been cancelled till October, we could have done it.” Talk about rubbing salt in the wound.

“You go.”

“What.”

“You go to the Proms. I know you really wanted to. You take the ticket.”

My mind raced. Torn between really wanting to go and leaving Boofuls, who also really wanted to go but wouldn’t have managed with his lack of mobility.

“No, Boofuls. I’m not going without you. No, it’s not right, we do everything together, No…no…no………………….oh ok then!”

AS much as I’d tried to pretend I wasn’t bothered, I really, really was. All our friends were going on the coach together. I got in touch with the organiser of the trip and asked if the seat on the coach and the ticket was still available. “Oh no! They’ve just gone!!!”

NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

“Wait! Wait! One woman hasn’t decided if she’s going on the train or the coach. If she decides it’s the train, the seat is yours. You can go and buy a Prom ticket online. It all depends on what her hospital consultant says this morning.

We waited and fidgeted until eventually, I got a call back. “She’s going on the train!!!! The seat is yours!!!!”

Happy days!!!

I very nearly exploded with excitement. I’ve never done anything like this in my life before.

The day arrived.

We met at the coach station at 9.00a.m. Every time another one of the group turned up we all leapt to our feet and started to sing, “It doesn’t matter what you wear, just as long as you are there.”

We got a few funny looks from other waiting passengers but we really didn’t care. There was singing, dancing, lots of laughter and a fair amount of giddiness. Twenty four women, and one man, all singing, chattering and getting stupidly excited that there was a toilet on board. The coach driver informed us sombrely, “Now ladies, I know you are terribly excited that there is a toilet on board but let me tell you, when it’s full, it’s full.”

The journey to London passed in a blur while we sang our entire repertoire. Mae videos to send to our choir master and took selfies, so many selfies. I did feel for the driver. His ears must have been bleeding by the time we arrive at Hyde Park.

I’m going to let the photos tell the rest of the story: Enjoy.

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In the presence of……


HRH The Duke of York.  That’s what it said on the invitation to the Royal Aero Club awards at the RAF museum in Hendon.

Admittedly they didn’t say how long we’d be in the presence of the Duke of York. We stupidly assumed he’d be presenting all the awards and then mingling with the peasants for a while as he has in the past. As it was he presented only 11 of the 41 awards and then buggered off after half an hour.  Very disappointing.

How gutted would you be if you were in line for an award presented by HRH only to find that he got a better offer  and cleared off early leaving Joe Bloggs to present it instead?  Very bad form in my book, that. In these days of waning respect and popularity for our royal family it certainly didn’t endear him to the hoards of people, many of whom had travelled many miles and spent sums of money they could ill afford to support their loved ones receiving their awards, when he left early.

On the plus side; our friend, Keith received his award proudly and with dignity. I know it meant a great deal to him and it certainly meant  a great deal to us to be there to support him as he’s been going through some tough times recently and is currently undergoing some horrendous medical treatments for a particularly aggressive for of cancer.

Eighteen of us from all over the UK attended the ceremony to see Keith get his award and after the ceremony we all went back to our hotel for a meal.All that is except for Keith who was exhausted and needed to get home.

Now, when I say hotel I really mean motorway services pit stop. The menu had a choice of er.. one starter.  The choice element there being ‘take it or leave it’  Carrot soup? I’ll leave it, thanks. Main courses were: pie and chips, fish and chips…. you get the idea. Pudding was none existent as the chef, clearly not used to catering for lots of people at the same time, closed the kitchen and went home. Fine dining it was not. It was lovely to meet up with old friends and make a few new ones as well. In actual fact we had a lovely evening.

Funny place, London. Love to visit it, love to get home more. It is so NOISY!!!!!!!

Funnily enough, as we got of the tube at Euston station on our way back home yesterday, there was just a moment when there were no announcements over the tannoy, no sirens, music, shouting or traffic noises or voices. The only noise was of the hundreds of feet trudging up the steps towards the exit. It struck me as really quite eerie that there could be so many people in one place and yet no one spoke or made any kind of contact with anyone else. It only lasted about 10 seconds before the tannoy kicked in agin with it’s earsplittingly loud safety announcements.

Feeling the need to check out the ‘facilities’ at the station I was appalled to discover that it now costs 30p to spend a penny. 30p!!!!  For that kind of money I expect to sit on a golden, jewel encrusted toilet and have eunuchs anoint my feet with precious oils while I pee!  As it was, it took three attempts to find one with a locking door – easier for the eunuchs to get in if it’s not locked, I suppose.

On the train, we plonked ourselves into our reserved seats and decided that the best plan would be to get a bit of shut eye on the journey home. Just at that a gaggle of foreign women got on the train and proceeded to hold a Mothers’ Union meeting in whatever language they were speaking. A group of them stood right next to us as we studiously attempted to ignore them and sleep. I don’t know what country they came from, I didn’t recognise that language. On just about every other word they made a sound that sounded like they were about to hack up large amounts of phlegm. It makes it terribly difficult to sleep when ten women are all hacking at the same time.

Eventually, they drifted off to their seats. Once again me and B relaxed and were just drifting off to sleep when a huge THUD woke us both up with a start. The woman who’d decided to sit with us had dropped the fold down table. We gave her the evil eye, rolled our eyes to the heavens at each other while she looked innocently at us as if to say, ‘What? It wasn’t me!’  We settled down again for another attempt at a bit of shut eye.

Bugger me- she did it again!!

In grave danger of getting a rolled up magazine round her lughole she obviously realised  we were annoyed, she hacked something by way of apology and then settled down for a sleep herself. The rest of the journey passed by fairly uneventfully.

Now we are both in the process of recovering. It’s been a busy week one way and another. This weekend will be a busy one as well. We have a wedding booked for Saturday, followed by an overnight babysitting stint while C and her friend go to see Derren Brown in Blackpool.

Right. Time to go, it’s dog obedience training tonight. We’ve missed three weeks while she was in season so we’ve a bit of catching up to do. Bye for now.

This’ll be my last post…..


Because I have to eat my computer now as I promised I would if that couple didn’t buy our house.

Well, the estate agent phoned to tell us that they’d put in an offer on a different house. Whoop de sodding doo.  I’d better get the tomato ketchup ready . To say I’m shocked is putting it lightly, the pair of them walked round googly eyed, telling us how perfect it all was. I’m gutted.

*****

Thanks to J in France for her fab birthday card, that made me chuckle during an otherwise totally grim day.   Well, actually it wasn’t totally grim, I picked up a delicious pair of sandals for my holi’s and a fab pair of wedges in brown and turqouise, both at less than half price – you have to love TK Maxx.

C and Gembolina are making me a birthday tea tomorrow. We were going to go out for a meal in a big fancy restaurant but as we’re all brassic at the moment we thought better of it.

When we were all young and old people (the age I am now) told us that we wouldn’t feel any different when we got older we never believed them. Now I’m here I’ve realised that it’s true: older but absolutely no wiser. the only thing that gives the game away is the haggard, care worn face and the slightly (be nice!) saggy  and chubby body.

P is going down to London on a jolly tomorrow. Good for him, bless him – he even considered not going because it was my birthday.  I’m not absolutely sure what it is he’s going to but I think it’s a geek fest fuelled by lots of beer, computer games  and junk food. Sounds like his perfect day out to me!  Son – get gone and fill yer boots.