Be a social butterfly...

I love the big smoke!  I love the sights, the sounds, the smells; I love the variety, the history and the chaos.  I love my friends that live there, I love how my knowledge of the tube makes me feel clever and I love that there something for EVERYONE!

I had wanted to take Beth away during half term.  All those last minute holiday deals looked so tantalising, but I had to put it off because I was waiting for some big news.  I can’t tell you everything, as I’ve signed a contract to say that I won’t :-O but it was a big deal that would have changed my family’s lives.  Sadly the decision didn’t go my way.  So there I was, the losing end of a big deal and I had missed the opportunity to jet off with my girl.  But all was not lost.  I decided to take her to London.  It would be the first time since she was a toddler, that just the two of us had travelled down there, so it was very exciting!

Wrapping up warm!

Phill (probably glad of a little peace and quiet for a couple of days!) treated us to a meal and a show.  We ate at Ruby Blue on Leicester Square, which is one of those ‘if you aren’t on the guest list, you aren’t coming in’ kinda places.  Indeed there were people being turned away as we arrived :-S but we were on the list!

As we sat drinking our drinks, Pinot Grigio for me Coca-cola for Mini-me, we talked and giggled about everything and nothing.  I was overwhelmed by how grown up Beth was, how sophisticated she was for a ten year old……and then she blew bubbles in her drink :-/

Beth is growing up so quickly.  She rarely plays with things like dolls, I don’t think she really believes in Father Christmas anymore and there are times when it’s not ‘cool’ to hold her Mummy’s hand.  Slowly but surely, my baby has become a pre-teen and I can almost visibly see her growing up.  I know that raising a teenager, when we get to that stage, will be challenging and that there will be times when I’m no longer her best friend.  The latter breaks my heart.

Promise x

So when she looked at me, with that beautiful face and quite like a young lady and not a little girl said: “This is brilliant, we should do this once a year.  Just me and you.  Let’s promise, we’ll come back to London and see a show once every year, just us two, every year, even when we get old, forever.  Promise?” inside I was jumping for joy.  On the outside of course I retained my current ‘cool Mum’ status, by remaining calm before holding out my pinky.  “Promise.”

From the restaurant we made our way to Wyndham’s Theatre and took our seats to watch a spectacular show.  The theatre is quite small in size but grand in decor and my goodness it well kept!! I have been to some magnificent venues that clearly aren’t cared for properly; grand old buildings with peeling wall paper, tired carpets and curtains that could do with a wash.  It’s such a shame.  But not this theatre.  You could smell the polish on the wood and the furniture was as immaculate as the performance.

On the edge of her seat!

Dreamboats and Petticoats is about as close to Beth’s perfect West End show as any is likely to get.  With a funky set, beautiful mid 20th century costumes and late 50s early 60s songs that the whole audience was clapping along to, it will be hard to beat next year.

The next morning we decided to visit the Victoria and Albert Museum and then do a little shopping in Hamley’s before heading back up North.  The V & A was fantastic!!  It wasn’t the most interactive Museum, but for children Beth’s age (and my age) it was just perfect, with enough variety to keep us interested for hours.

We especially loved the clothing exhibitions…can you tell? 🙂

My favourite dress 

Beth’s favourite dress

As you can see, my child has fabulous taste!  But we didn’t just love the clothing, we loved the architecture exhibits, especially the Middle Eastern architecture.

But the architecture of the building itself was just as stunning.

Beth’s favourite room.  She said it reminded her of an episode of Doctor Who with Madame de Pompadour.

We also loved the exhibition showcasing 20th century design.

Despite all these fantastic designs, my Beth was terribly distracted by…….the books.

There must have been 10s of 1000s of them lining every wall!  This little lot would keep our book worm going for a couple of weeks!!  The only thing she loved more than their books was their jewellery.

Luckily, The Victoria and Albert Museum had an awful lot!

After a yummy lunch with my lovely friend Helen, we met my sixth form friend Laura.  Beth hadn’t seen Laura since she was two, so it was really sweet to see them chatting away together.  The three of us headed to Hamleys, which isn’t called the greatest toy shop in the World for nothing!  A huge sign reminded us that it was a mere 51 days until Christmas, not that we could forget with all those people!  It was madness inside, just the way we like it!

After blowing plastic bubbles, getting matching glitter tatoos and saying hi to a lego Will and Kate, we quickly paid for our goodies and rushed to the tube, arriving just in time for our ride home.

It was a fantastic weekend and the perfect end to half term.  I can’t wait to do it all again….next year in fact…..and the year after and the year after that and……

Love Rachel


Be a social butterfly...