Six am and my eyes snapped awake without the aid of any alarm clock. A few seconds passed until my memory restored itself and realised why I was conscious, then my legs swung into excited action.
I had plans for the weekend, ones that involved sun, a city, a hotel, a theatre and at least one glass of Pimms.
I dressed in silence, careful not to wake my still dozing husband. I crept past the doors to the children’s rooms on tip toes, my shoes dangling from my fingertips, an overnight bag swinging on my arm.
I caught my toe on the door frame and forced my hand over my mouth to silence the expletive that threaten to spill out and I limped into the kitchen to fill up my flask with tea before leaving the house and getting in the car.
Safely away from the homestead I turned the radio to loud and sang with gay abandon to Radio Two. I pulled up outside my best friends house and leapt from the car. I skipped through the gate, knocked on the door, gave her cat some morning cuddles, and enthusiastically hugged all her children and then dragged their mother and her oversized suitcase into the car.
The next stop was the station, after that, London town.
We planned to arrive early to avoid the trauma of trailing round the city with bags in the stinging heat. By ten am we had left our bags in our residence for the evening, the County Hall Premier Inn, and were en route for adventure.
We were staying in the heart of tourist-ville. The London Eye was our neighbour and the sun made the South Bank seem more appealing than ever. I introduced my friend to our mode of travel for the weekend and sniggered as she raised her eyebrows in surprise when I passed her an activation code for her very own Boris Bike.
We set off to ride the city. We flew past tourists, hearing different accents fill the air. We swerved past buses, darted down side streets, and waved at Westminster as we pedaled furiously by. In my opinion, you can only see London when you see it on a bike.
Our travels took us far and wide, we met celebrities, drank Pimms in the park, ate dinner in the sun, cried and laughed throug Billy Elliot, and then cycled back through Horse guards Parade.
London turned into a city of lights.
Too happy to sleep, we ended the night leaning on a piano under the arches of Charing Cross. Singing tunes long since forgotten, we danced and laughed till the early hours before walking home barefoot along Millennium Bridge to our beds.
We slept like mothers who had the luxury or a rare night away from home. The Premier Inn kept its promise of giving us a good nights kip.
Sunday arrived, much later than usual. The sun shone once more and we stole an hour of life to lay on the grass and simply do nothing.
It was sheer pleasure, a weekend of singing, sleeping and cycling the capital’s streets.
Every mother should have a weekend like this.
*Apologies for the poor quality pictures, the Pimms was good *cough*
**As a Premier Inn Ambassador I received one nights free stay in the County Hall Premier Inn. Great location for those wanting to be in the heart of the action near to Covent Garden, South Bank and Trafalgar Square.