NOTE: This is affectionately written fiction. Any resemblance to royals, living or dead, is purely coincidental. This piece is copyright protected.
Need to catch up or know who is who? Check out the first installment of 'Milla's Diary.
16 January 2014
How I got so behind on this when the days here go by like slowly moving glaciers--only slower, is beyond me. Slower still since we're down to a number of hours that even Dear One can handle with mental arithmetic. Poor lamb, numbers frighten him so and maths! Well, if I told you he STILL wakes up shuddering at his O level results, you'd be much more compassionate. We are still "in waiting" upon the Mother-in-law and Pip only now we are at Wood Farm, the bolt hole they use when staying here alone. It costs the Earth to open the Big House, you see. This is where Dear One's late Great-Uncle John was hidden away for his last few years. Poor child. Queen Mary was told he needed quite and he got it. It's like a tomb here. Makes the Masoluem seem exciting. Dear One and I used to come her when we were young--driving out in his little MG. Such fun memories. But we were alone then.
It's a non-stop bicker-fest in the sitting room. Pip watching sport with the volume blaring, the Mother-in-law doing her boxes, Dear One trying to read some doorstop of a tome on global warming. I gave up trying to hear the Street on my earbuds as Dear One kept telling me not to shout. I couldn't even focus on a good old Barbara Cartland I found stashed in the pocket of an ancient Barbour that must have been left by some equerry in the 1960s. So, I'm crocheting these adorable little washing up rags. I feel quite like a resident in some 1940s institution for the over-worked aristocratic wife of old. Of course the snag is there's no staff the next few days--they've got to play the Crawley's have gone to Scotland so the Big House must be deep cleaned, checked for damp (is there a new spot left?) and dust sheeted in the same sheets used by Queen Alexandra's staff in the days of Queen Victoria. Check the cipher on them--VRI. What a hoot!
The ride over here was the worst part--Pip driving and H.M all "I-was-an-ATS-driver-in-the war," correcting him while he shot back "yes, but I had a gun and all you had was a photographer." That did not go over well. In fact, the Mother-in-law, waited for him to slow for a curve and threw open the door. Well, naturally, not wanting to have lived 92 years only to be the first soverigns's consort to kill his spouse, he slammed the breaks on. And she who won't wear a seatbelt (you'd think SWMNBN brought THAT lesson home rather loudly and clearly, wouldn't you?) slammed against the windscreen. Pip stopped the car, bolted and I mean bolted, and was around to her side in and instant. Crouching over her, tenderly, as she screamed "Sod off--I'm fine. Just drive like a human being--preferably one without need of a service dog." She even accepted Dear One's hand to hold from the back seat.
So it'll be midnight funeral practice in the street in London again just to be safe.We were all rather subdued when we arrived. Groceries had been dropped off. They always think it's adorable to play house--cooking something together that Pip's seen on tv and printed from the internet. But today I took the opportunity to return to some sanity and did up a roast chicken and veg and frozen pudding. Went over a treat, I can tell you.
That night, as Dear One was in the bath with the Navy, I went down to check on them and overheard them talking:
P: "Dear God, when are they all leaving??"
M-in-l: "Hush, they might hear you."
P: "Good! We'd be alone finally!"
M-in-l: "They mean well, darling. Duty. It's so important, just humor them a little longer."
P: "Why? He's been here since 1948 for the love of...."
M-in-l: [that look]
P: "Well, aren't you a ready for us to have some alone time?"
[You could tell she was choosing words in the way she'd have to if nuclear war needed declared.]
M-in-l: 'Yes, of course, but it's FAMILY. They're only doing their bit to care for us--you know, like that time Nanny was sick and we had them for 12 full hours?"
P: "Not bloody likely I'd forget that nightmare! Him crying, [the OTH] tormenting him, Randy running around like dervish, Edith being cross and horrid!"
M-in-l: "There, there darling--it's only a memory. Well, put on the sport, I've got one more box."
P: "Oh sod the bleeding boxes--put the telly on and lets have a cuddle."
M-in-l: "ME? Touch the remote? I'd have a better chance of touching the PM's ...."
P: "Point made...."
TV VOICE: Today we're making these adorable daisies!!
M-in-l: Quick put the sex channel, anything but that! Crochet!"
Hilarious laughter from the two of them.
P: "Do you mean it old thing?" [He means the sex channel apparently.]
M-in-l: "Of course not, you know that sort of thing puts me off--I mean who actually behaves like that...."
[All quiet from Pip]
P: "What was that darling?"
Well, I left it there and sprinted upstairs to tell Dear One the good news that we were definitely not wanted on the voyage and we alerted the staff that we were being sprung in the morning.
18 January 2014
Home to the Mausoleum bright and early! Dear One was off to the study, his beloved hi-fi and a glorious old opera recording, while the dogs and I had a marvelous time catching up the street. Its so good to be home. I ran out in the Filipino kitchen maid's little Fiat (had a lovely card from her mother, thanking me for the long holiday with her--what a lamb) and caught up with the grands. They missed Granny and we had such fun with all the toys they'd already forgotten about from Christmas. That night I laid on a 5 star meal from that new restaurant everyone is raving about--quite good, too, and all organic and free-this and free-that, but with REAL wine. Lovely. Wore a grand deep decolletage evening gown and Great Granny's diamonds from Edward VII. Simply perfect in this dining room, where as my jeans and trainers.....well, time to be a lady for a while, we've got a tour to prepare for an a likely increase in duties.
Haza rang to moan about a staff job he's being made to take. Having been an Army wife I talked and talked about his desire to be a regular serving officer and that desk jobs were simply part of it. Dear One and I both praised his service--so frightfully brave, our Haza. And, I told him how utterly proud I knew his mother would have been. It was a lovely evening. Then the OTH rang up to tell us about the new baby--her third granddaughter! So exciting. Dear One over-the-moom to have another sweet little girl in the family. We're off back on the Royal Round again this week and frankly we're both ready. We watched the Kumars for a while and then went up to sleep. Bliss to sleep in our own bed again. We were soundly sleeping when we heard them all begin to arrive. Finally we gave up and went to the windows. There, in ordinary battle dress, was the funeral team practicing. It was too much for Dear One. I ask you? Who else has had to watch his own mother's funeral practiced? We went back to bed and snuggled together. Its becoming so real that the day is approaching when both Pip and the Mother--n-law will be gone. Can we bear it? They're really such lambs.