Once upon a time in a land not far from here at all, there lived a maiden not as young as she liked to think. In fact, she was less maiden and more matron... but that's the start of another story.
She did not spend hours sweeping out chimneys and emptying the ashes. In fact, rather than having to while away the hours yearning for a ticket, she was invited to the ball. Prince Charming had turned up many years before, had assumed the role of Senior Recipe Tester and added Junior Recipe Testers to the tribe as well.
But, given that the prince was still cute as ever, she decided to take him along.
It was a friend, rather than a fairy godmother, who loaned her a gown to wear. As for shoes, they looked like they did indeed belong to poor Cinderella (before the fairy godmother showed up). Some of the straps were rather flapping in the breeze and required repair. The local cobbler made assurances that he could sort this out in plenty of time for the event.
Her locks, were not particularly Cinderella-esque: being neither blonde nor curly. Again, in the absence of a nearby fairy godmother, she went to see the hairdresser, to have her tresses tamed.
On the way home from the hairdresser, there was just enough time to call in to the cobbler to retrieve the golden (rather than glass) slippers she was to wear that evening. Congratulating herself on a) finding a handy parking spot and b) her speed and agility getting through the crowded shopping centre, without ruining her hair, Cinderella raced back to her chariot. (the one with the car seat in the back seat).
The golden slippers were something to behold, once mended. She thanked the cobbler kindly, knowing they would suit the gown perfectly, and raced back to the chariot in the handy parking spot.
On the turn of the key, the chariot made a peculiar noise. Cinderella tried again. It made less noise. On the third try the chariot was completely silent.
In the land far away, it is hard to say how a pumpkin chariot would be remediated if the horses refused to pull it. In the land of quite near here, the NRMA battery service appeared to be the best option. She also phoned Prince Charming.
Because he really is, Prince Charming offered to come and wait with the chariot so that Cinderella could go home for a pre-ball snooze. For this she was exceedingly grateful, even if it did mean she had to sleep on her face for fear of ruining her recently combed tresses.
Many hours passed. Eventually Prince Charming appeared, now somewhat thin on patience. He arrived not on a steed, but in the chariot. The one with the car seat in the back and the new battery in the front.
In record time, they made it to the ball.
I'm sure Cinderella was dropped at the door of the ball, the footmen rushing to assist her from her carriage. My Prince Charming found a parking spot and we made our way to the function. It was a lovely evening.
The walk from the car was just far enough for the recently mended slipper to become completely detached from itself and disintegrate entirely. And so, like Cinderella, I left the ball with only one shoe.