If Downton Abbey were to have a catch phrase, it would have to be ‘if you’ll excuse me’. The Earl of Grantham, for example, hardly leaves a room without uttering these words. ‘If you’ll excuse me, I’ll be in the library’, he says as he leaves the dinning room. ‘If you’ll excuse me, Bates, while you fiddle with my cufflinks, I’ll tell you what’s really on my mind.’ And so on. As a huge fan of the Sunday night period drama, I’m going to borrow this phrase as an introduction to me, my life and my new home here, The Lady’s website. You see, I’m the magazine’s new blogger and, at present, you’ll have to excuse me as I have more than slipped out of the room.

Actually, I’ve slipped out of the country altogether and I’m currently on board a BA flight bound for New York. Unbelievably, I am being excused of my normal life for a WHOLE WEEKEND. That’s right: no homework, spelling tests, ballet run, recorder practice, laundry washing nor cooking for me. I’ve given Him and the Smalls the slip. Or at least I’ve fed them a good yarn and they’ve gone and swallowed it. Heading for the Big Apple, I’m destined for some precious time with my brother and his family, cleverly combined with a sprinkling of shopping and a line-up of interviews for my blog.

You can imagine how giddy with excitement I am. Mums, in general, are rarely given the freedom ticket and as a freelance working mum (i.e. no big fancy business trips), solo trips are most definitely few and far between. I’m determined to savour every moment of this adventure.

Of course, the troops back home have been instructed with military precision. A detailed document lists all that He could need. During a rushed goodbye, I thank Him profusely for my sneaky freedom, throwing in that as long as I return to a standing house with the same headcount, the rest is His ballgame. Meanwhile, I’m off to make the most of my blue moon where bath time, bedtime and long division quite simply don’t exist.

You can read more musings from Emma at www.lifeofyablon.com.