Thanks to Archie’s awesome Godmum Gemma, we had a fantastic base in Putney, London for a week. They were away and they have 4 boys the same age as ours, so our 4 bears slotted into their beds perfectly. 10 years ago life here in London was very different – double income, no kids, working hard in the city, playing hard most nights….
This time the realities of travelling with kids came to light very clearly. Day 1, Jemima started vomiting and was out for the day’s adventures. So Em stayed ‘home’ with her and a day of R&R with a bit of baking, was a great novelty’for once.
For the boys, a trip to the Natural History Museum. Dinosaurs, earthquakes, volcanoes, investigation zones, meteorites, pizza and ice cream! Great place. We only touched the surface of it. And despite all the displays and exhibitions, perhaps the most excitement was within the first few seconds of entering the building, as Archie quickly spotted “this is where they filmed Paddington”!
On Day 2, Jemima was mostly better but Harry started vomiting and carried on all day! So this time he stayed back with Tim whilst I (Em) took the big boys and Mima out & about. We got sensational views of London on the massive ferris wheel that is the London Eye, we wandered a (very short) way down the southbank seeing the street performers, and then despite having grander plans, as it is with kids sometimes, we cut our losses and caught the tube to Hamley’s, the greatest toy store I know. 6 floors of toys! The kids got lost for hours, forgot to have lunch and had a ball discovering toys we’d never seen, but even they appreciated how pricey everything was, as they looked for something to spend their 5 pounds on.
I’d forgotten how amazing and accessible the theatre is in London, and we took the boys to Bugsy Malone one night in Hammersmith. Very entertaining, and seriously impressive given many of the stars were aged 9-12yrs. Back to an old haunt called the Ship in Wandsworth one night, to catch up with some great old friends on a gorgeous evening. Old mates and adult conversation was a huge treat!
Now London in the summer wouldn’t be complete in our case without a cricket match (thanks Charlie). So Day 4 was a trip to the Oval to see England v Pakistan. Archie & Tim lasted longer than the rest of us, staying long enough to see Moeen Ali hit a six to get his hundred before rushing back to the Ship for a drink with a few great mates.
And our final evening, was a very civilised grown-ups BBQ in the country, to celebrate the Henderson’s 15yr wedding anniversary. Again, so fun to catch up with old friends of mine (Em) from the Cricket Widow’s Golf Club, a club that a bunch of us girls set up 15 years ago to escape the boredom of being home alone every Saturday.
It is so easy to think of the bad side of London when you have left there. Additionally, living overseas, post Brexit, you only hear negative comment from one eyed commentators. And with the English self deprecating sense of humor, noone is left to talk positively about it! But London was buzzing for the week we saw it. A great atmosphere, helpful people everywhere we turned, fun vibes and so much to explore. It has more to offer, in terms of people, culture and entertainment than virtually anywhere we have explored.