I don’t know what you spent your Bank Holiday weekend doing but, in the Single Mum household, we indulged in the family tradition of not knowing exactly what was going on or where we were headed only, in honour of the holidays, instead of it being a vague, generic lifestyle cluelessness, we took our show onto the road.
Adventures are taken very seriously round our yard.
Adventures are a definite activity all in their own right and come complete with guidelines.
Hard and fast rules would run contrary to the whole theme of the events so we prefer to stick to fuzzy, non-restrictive lingo.
To begin with you only decide where you hope to end up at about half past eleven on the day of departure.
It goes something like this:
Wait for someone to approach and ask you ‘What are we doing today?’
You then dash outside and log your old laptop into next door’s Wi-Fi or, if they’ll let you, borrow your kid’s iPhone 7 and ask the internet for a list of days out suggestions for Summer 2017.
Next you get dressed in three seconds flat, tame your Marge Simpson hair-do into a pony tail (no time for showers today mate) plug the address into your Sat-Nav and hit the road.
So, for us, Sunday’s adventure was headed in the direction of a boat show in rural Northamptonshire. We were intrigued to discover what an inland marina could possibly be all about and the chance to legally nose about inside luxury yachts instead of the way we normally nose about inside expensive stuff was too good to miss.
The owners would know and the lights would be on for a start which, trust me, makes all the difference.
Any-hoo, when we got to the site of the show, which, shockingly enough we did actually manage to do, we discovered from an elderly gaggle-toothed chap that yes, the show had been scheduled for a Bank Holiday weekend but that no, it wasn’t the August one, it had been the May one.
Now you may be thinking ‘Oh no, day ruined’ and that’s where you rookies get it all wrong.
We took this as a sign that there was something better to be doing and headed off in any direction other than the one we’d arrived from.
Just five minutes later we happened upon a sign that pointed to the right and advised us us that Althorp House was located up there. I remembered that I’d wanted to go there for a while but also recollected that it wasn’t usually open nevertheless, in the spirit of the occasion, I swerved in its general direction and we whizzed up the lane.
So, long story short; Althorp was open.
We spent four happy hours ambling about, in a slice of the England of yesteryear where it was sunny, easy on the eye and surprisingly peaceful since apparently it’s not just me who is unclear on the opening hours enjoyed by the stately home.
Well, no other riff-raff would be more accurate.
The other visitors looked very respectable which Annabelle was quick to both observe and indeed leverage by means of lurking around next to random family groups and asking me to quickly snap happy group shots of her behind them waving cheerfully, or positioned just to the left of them laughing at an imaginary joke they were all imaginarily loll-ing at.
She advised me that her behaviour wasn’t in fact remotely sociopathic but was quite clearly ‘bants’ and anyway, as she pointed out, her Instagram story won’t write itself.
So ultimately, we found ourselves on the banks of the lake where Diana was laid to rest on that autumn day back in 1997 and timing wise, in view of today being the twentieth anniversary of her death; it couldn’t have been more poignant.
Perhaps would have been slightly more respectful if Annabelle hadn’t been gesturing at the floor and asking a bewildered Dutch woman if this was the right stop for the Hogwarts Express in order to fraudulently obtain a new Facebook profile picture of them both in front of Diana’s memorial.
But then, to be perfectly honest, if I’ve learned anything at all about Diana Spencer, I think I’m right in guessing that irreverence and laughter wouldn’t offend her at all.
Not the Princess who visited a Norfolk care home by jumping over the wall in her wellies one afternoon around tea-time.
No, I reckon she’d have agreed with Annabelle.
Adventures are lit.