Sunday, 7 August 2011

Just Popped Out

Wow!  I need a quiet day today as I'm dog beat.   Luckily, I'm at home alone so this can be acheived.  I'm still in bed preparing this unusually late post.  Mr Lovelygrey is off-road cycling on Exmoor with the lads and Louis...well he's gone! Yesterday I just popped him off down to London.   Now before Social Services are called, let me explain.  Although my super confident son would have no doubt relished finding his own way around the Big Smoke and probably made his fame and fortune on the way,  I'm not that much of an irresponsible parent.  Instead we met up with Nana and Grandpa Lovelygrey who've whisked him off to that childhood heaven that is Southend-on-Sea. 

Apart from the cost of a couple of cups of coffee and an ice cream we had a lovely free day out.  I didn't even to have to buy a tube ticket for myself as our daytrip destination was only five minutes walk from Paddington Station.  To anyone else who's considering spending time in London with kids on a fine-ish day, you couldn't go far wrong  packing a picnic and mooching around Hyde Park and Kensington Palace Gardens, as I'd planned a few weeks back.  Adults in the party might want to bring a book if they're not prepared to hang around and chat for long periods of time as the children will be off entertaining themselves.

First stop, three hours in the Princess Diana Memorial Playground watching small immaculately dressed Japanese children playing appropriately and quietly.  One  sounded like he was giving a recital in the musical play area as his thoughtful composition was so darned perfect.  I watched another receiving a telling off for an incident that looked as if it would have been classified in my book as at the high end of extremely good behaviour!  Now let's compare and contrast the cultural differences between East and West.  Whilst this was going on,   Louis swang on the ropes of the playground's pirate-y centrepiece and grubbed around in the bushes with a herd of  equally dirty small boys who seemed intent on reenacting the 'Lord of the Flies'.

Then a jaunt across the parks, with an unintended extra loop for the directionally challenged Lovelygrey family, before we reached another Princess Diana Memorial, this time the fountain.  Now this is not really a fountain in a traditional sense.  It's more of an elaborate water course.  If you want to see the aqua equvalent of fireworks, you're better off seating yourself by the feature near Lancaster Gate.  You might recall that when this attraction opened it furred up quickly with slime and represented such a hip fracture risk that it was closed off for a while.  Happily the problem has now been rectified and it's another excellent play resource, although not the haven for quiet wading and contemplation as intended in school holidays!  Just remember towels and spare clothing.

By chance on the way back to our public transport links, we passed the Peter Pan Statue.  There, the slightly eccentric 'Birdman of Hyde Park' helped  Louis feed a coal tit by hand and then gave   him the teeny tiny amount of encouragement that he needed to make a summit attempt.  This chap was a fount of knowledge about the statue  and was insistent that it had been designed for children to climb.  Hmm!  Seeing this beautiful bronze masterpiece represented one of the highlights of my day and I was so impressed  with its history and workmanship that  I think  it deserves a post on its own on another day!

1 comment:

  1. It sounds like you had a lovely day out without it costing the earth. When my girls were young those seemed to be the days that they enjoyed the most - running around, a picnic and an icecream and they were happy.