A Carriage Unfit For A Princess

Yesterday evening, I drove my daughter Rachel to a fancy dress party, which had been organised to celebrate her and a group of friends birthdays.

Sitting next to me in the car looking resplendent in her Princess Leia costume, I couldn’t help but feel I’d let the princess down somehow. After all, this agent of the Rebel Alliance is used to journeying in style; not traveling in a seven year old Vauxhall Astra with 50,000 miles on the clock, a full service history and MOT’d until October.

I don’t wish to disrespect my trusty old motor, but it hardly has the swagger of the Millennium Falcon. There isn’t the same kudos of arriving at you destination in a middle range General Motors vehicle, especially if you compare it to making an entrance in Hans Solo’s spaceship.

Shamefully, I didn’t even make the effort to at least ensure the royal transport was in a well valeted vehicle. My only provision of Star Wars authenticity being my hirsuteness, which made it did look like the princess from planet Alderaan was being driven by Chewbacca.

In her defence, Rachel never complained that I hadn’t made more of an effort to make her arrival at the party more memorable. She had been fairly philosophical earlier on hearing there wasn’t an available vehicle at the Millennium Falcon hire shop in Halton.

They’d all been snapped up by organisers of the Boston Spa Yoda Convention, which shouldn’t be mistaken for the following weeks Boston Spa Yoga Convention when spaceships will be conspicuous by their absence.

The Halton hire store did have some Millennium Vultures available, which had just been returned after spending the afternoon circling around the Scottish rugby team at Twickenham. Rachel declined the offer, though, deeming them scruffier than my unwashed Astra…… Incidentally, that’s the Millennium Vultures, not the Scottish rugby team.


Being one of the few people in the western world not to have seen Star Wars all the way through, I’m unable to give an informed view on the movie. I did start watching it one Christmas afternoon as a kid, but got bored and wandered off to play the Subbuteo football game that my brother and I had received that morning.

I found making crowd noises and kneeling on plastic football players far more fulfilling than the antics of Luke Skywalker and his cronies.

I wasn’t really into sci-fi as a kid, although I did watch Star Trek occasionally. As a nipper, I was fascinated by the amazing coincidence of the Enterprise’s doctor being named Bones. As I got older, though, I cottoned on to it being a nickname for being a medical man and not coincidental after all…… I felt foolish, but I got over it when I discovered marmite.

When she alighted my car on arrival of the party destination, I couldn’t help but think Rachel made a striking Princess Leia.

Her cinnamon bun hairstyle, white outfit and no outward fear of hairy people brought back memories of that Christmas Day in the 1970’s when I half watched the iconic movie.

It evoked nostalgic thoughts of when I was an accomplished crowd noise maker and a hard fought Subbuteo game with our Ian.

If I remember correctly, Ian beat me 3-2 that day. However, I recall breaking more Subbuteo players than my brother and produced far more authentic crowd noises…… He may have won the battle, but he didn’t win the war!

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