Minding my own business as you do and pottering around the blogosphere I chanced upon Marsha Moore via Expat Mum’s blog. Marsha has hit upon a great idea whereby she tells you what you can do in London for every hour of the day! I mean there you have it 24-hour London or as Marsha calls it: - 24 Hours: London - an insiders guide to London's Best Kept Secrets,.
The idea got picked up by Mike from Postcards Across the Pond, who did one for Horsham – I never knew that you could do anything in Horsham by the way but obviously you have to do something, then Brit in Bosnia did one for Tuzla. Exotic – well cold actually. And now for your edification I shall try my hand for my neck of the woods…
24 hours Rookyard…
6am: For those of you of an energetic frame of mind on a winter’s morning, a bracing jog round the village is what’s called for. And for those of you who elect to stay in bed: FORGET IT! The Boys heard Dad leave and despite the fact it’s still dark outside they need to get up – NOW!
7am: Indulge your inner child and your outer one’s too with Breakfast by Candlelight because all the lights have fused yet again and Dad took the torch with him on his early morning jaunt to see where he was going – he has yet to return…
8am: For the more adventurous this is the best time to see the only traffic jam in town while you do the school run. The powers that be put on a special show of closing the railway crossing for no apparent reason ten minutes before the train is due to pull into the station. After this delight the excitement intensifies as you try to beat the clock to the school gates avoiding all the traffic lights that are bound to be against you and not running over any of the ducks that always seem to have to cross the road when you are already a quarter of an hour late.
9am: Play Russian roulette with your hands and try to push the broody hen off the eggs. This hilarious pastime can last for hours as you pluck up the courage to thrust your hand underneath the hen one more time in search of eggs that may or may not be there.
10am: Exploration is the order of the hour. Traipse over to the dilapidated ruins, which purport to be barns and stables, as you search for the main power switch for the house. Don’t forget your karabiners, hardhat and climbing harness. Mind the old bats – No! Not me! The Pipistrelles!
11am: Exclusive Goat Herding unique to Rookyard takes place every morning at coffee time. Learn how to identify individual goat breeds and what they like best to eat. Watch in amazement as they opt for prized specimen plants instead of the brambles and nettles you are assured by their Keeper that they prefer. Learn the local Anglo Saxon dialect first hand from your hostess. Help the Keeper take the Goats to pasture and chain them there.
12pm: Get connected or not as the case maybe depending on if there are “works” being carried out on the mainframe/server/aerial/satellite dish. Opt for landline connection and become an expert Lexulous player in the time it takes to download a 1kb e-mail.
1pm: Lunch at the “Like it or Lump it Café” – speciality of the House; piatto di spaghetti al pomodoro served al dente. Possibly luke warm as well.
2pm: Escape to the countryside without leaving the house. Nip to the upstairs privy to pick your own toadstools in the damp corner by the window and to get better acquainted with a family of Starlings, via a small gap in the plasterboard, who for reasons of their own insist on having a concierge service to exit to the outside world.
3pm: Fashionistas, it’s time to dress up to the nines for the Yummy Mummy Run to collect the kids from School. Watch out for Christian Dior, Chanel, Ben de Lisi, YSL and Burberry. For those on a tighter budget there’s Crew, Jack Wills and of course every Mummy’s favourite Boden! (Please note that those wearing St Michel, De Nim and George are not necessarily the blood relatives of the children they are picking up and/or not desperately popular and yes I know nobody is paying me the slightest bit of attention…thanks for pointing it out.)
4pm: Musical interlude: marvel at the dexterity and aptitude of your hostess as she pins her eldest to the piano stool for the “5 Minute Practice” sonata. Please note that this modern piece is accompanied by whines and moans from both hostess and 6-year old pianist.
5pm: Feeding time at the Zoo. A family favourite. Watch how the mother lovingly slaves over a hot stove to provide a nutritious and visually delightful dinner for her two younglings. Chortle as they demand Beans on Toast. Laugh as they refuse to eat anything without lashings of tomato Ketchup and promises of cake and sweeties for afters. Smile discreetly as you notice how much is passed beneath the table to the ever-hopeful hounds…
6pm: Thank God! It’s Drink Time! Raid the under stairs cupboard for your favourite tipple. Gin can be supplied neat and in emergencies intravenously….
7pm: Try to remember if you’ve helped to put the kids to bed. Note that hostess is slumped over the Kitchen table face down in a plate of tomato Ketchup still clasping an empty bottle of gin in her right hand….
8pm – 9pm: Join in with the grown up rituals of TV supper and bed – the night is never long enough and the morning comes too soon.
Why not have a go yourself? Take up the meme, and let Marsha (the author of the original book) know as she is putting together a list of these guides.
PS: Picture shows: Francois Boucher's Interrupted Sleep painted in 1750. The painting can be found in the Met Museum of New York.