Tuesday, 26 April 2011

A Fancy Bank Holiday

Does anyone else appreciate the irony of a “Bank Holiday?” You know the one group of people to whom this extra day of lollygagging and lunchtime beer doesn’t apply, right? Yes. The Bankers. Well, actually, anyone in finance or senior business management. Doctors and nurses, ambulance drivers, firemen and Starbucks barristas too. But the irony for the bankers, that kills me. H isn’t a banker per se, but close enough. And he’d made it very clear that he’d be working from 8 to 8. So yesterday was meant to be just like any other at the Fancy home. Oh, minus a Nanny. Because, yes, Nannies get bank holidays too. Sigh.

But what a delightful surprise we had instead. I had the Minis all packed up and ready for a 10-mile walk around London (since I wouldn’t be getting to the gym. No Nanny, remember?), when my phone rang.

“Didn’t you check your emails? I’m staying home until 11 so you can go work out.”

Okay, never mind the obvious facts here: 1) H was still asleep when I left the house (no holiday?) and 2) he expects to communicate with me via email which I should urgently check immediately upon awakening (which requires reaching across his snoring self to get my phone.) Ignoring all that, wow! So back home we marched, small people deposited in front of the telly while their father “supervised” from behind a computer screen, and Frau Fancy went for a quick workout.

Now, hold your hats. This amazing day was about to get even more shocking. Mini Fancies down for naps, H declared he was off to the office. “Got calls ‘til 9 tonight. See you late.” And off to the showers he trotted, clearly needing a hot steam after his morning of great effort.

When the girls woke, I reloaded the Fancy Pram and headed off to the park for a bit of “pedestrian mingling” with the locals. (I think it’s good for the girls to play with kids of all types, even those who reek of cigarettes and urine. Seriously. That’s why we get a bath at bedtime. Nothing out there I can’t wash off.) I assumed that H would just head to the office but then my phone rang again.

“Where are you guys? I’m bringing the camera.”


I know, you can barely control your excitement. Yesterday, The Fancy Family had a day just like everyone else. A proper bank holiday.

I was beside myself. Never mind that he spent most of the afternoon lying on the grass alternating between taking photos and conference calls while I raced around the park, steering the Minis away from cigarette butts and dog poo. It was almost like a regular family. Maybe you even spotted us? Yes, that was TC and the Princess, stripped down to their diapers and splashing in that dirty water. (“Planter warts and E. coli be damned!” I yelled, ripping off my own designer sandals and wading in after them.) Yes, that was Frau Fancy, picking rocks and sticks off her child’s naked butt while trying to dry her offspring with her Fancy Sweater (why God made dry cleaners!). And oh yeah, that was us, lying in the sun nibbling on organic fruit snacks, right next to that lady smacking her Chihuahua for barking. (Like anyone could even hear him!).

For one glorious day, we were just a family of four. No Nannies. No Housekeepers. No one but us. And half of east London. But still. It was lovely.

Happy Easter, everyone. 


  1. So glad you had such a great day - loved the image of you getting in the water.

  2. Brilliant visuals!!! Gosh I miss London. I always felt so...fancy...hahahahaha!!! Even as a scummy Aussie barmaid in the dodgy part of Paddington, who fraternised with people who smelled of cigarettes and urine....
    Your day sounds gorgeous. So glad H joined you all xxxx

  3. sounds a perfect London afternoon. I also had the unexpected pleasure of having the Other Half not working this weekend so I identify. Lovely.

  4. Oh the dog poo parks, now you're really talking London. I feel so nostaligic right now for my 15 years in Notting Hill, many of them scraping my shoes or the kids. What a lovely day you had though. Bankers don't get holidays here either mores the pity.

  5. I'm very happy for you, these surprise days are the best aren't they! Makes it almost worth not have the nanny for a day! And kudos to H for putting work on the back burner, sometimes workaholics forget how fun hanging out with the family can be.