Friday, 22 August 2014

School countdown

The First Day of School

2 weeks before school started I wrote this: After a morning like we've just had I can honestly say I have no qualms about saying I'll be happy to have time to myself. Morning consisted of abandoned play date due to Caitlin screaming, crying & generally blaming me for every slight perceived annoyance - you're pushing the swing wrong, you've forgotten to bring a tissue for my nose which is now running due to excessive crying, things like that. Things that are either not my fault, or are most definitely hers.

Fast forward 2 weeks and I have the benefit of hindsight. I realise I may have been a little rash, not to mention all out of patience, but I can honestly say the start of school has come at the right time for all of us.

I spent the 1st day of school riding my bike around the neighbourhood getting things done that I haven't been able to achieve in months. 

Things like choosing tiles... in peace... without worrying that a small person was going to break the expensive merchandise.

For the first few weeks (months) I will mostly be watching films, reading books and generally doing as little as possible. In between working 3 days a week & school pick ups I shall be cycling round town singing 'freedom'!

Monday, 18 August 2014

Our First Festival - Lollibop 2014

At Glastonbury I marvelled at the mums and dads with babies front loaded in BabaSlings or dragging buggies laden with their toddlers through the mud. I marvelled and looked on with incredulity which morphed into a kind of respect. Hats off to you if you're prepared to do it. I'm not.

But what I didn't know back then is that there's a festival especially for the under 10s. Lollibop. Bookmark it, it's really rather good.

For our two 4 year olds it was everything a festival should be. There was a host of CBeebies characters on the two main stages - Hook and Line from Swashbuckles, Mister Maker, Mr Bloom with his veggies.

Straight after the pirate act we headed for the Science Museum tent where we completed three science-y tasks and earnt a sticker. It was a real bonus that venues like the Science Museum and Southbank Centre were there - adding some 'educational' aspect to sugar-y sweetness of the free Haribos being thrown into the crowd.

My two were face painted to become a glittery flower and a glittery spider man (free in the press bit, lucky us) where we could have met Alex Winters - the Welsh one on Cbeebies and presenting on the main stage - if only I'd been a bit more clued up.

As well as the main acts there was plenty more to do and see at the Duplo tent, the Ladybird books at the Lollibooks Arena which was right next to The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre bit where two performers did a brilliant rendition of The Three Pigs to a small but attentive audience.

We got festival-ised in the Southbank Centre's Charity DJ tent where Oscar made a crown out of gold card and Pritt Stick and took part in the hat parade. We saw Natalie Cassady having a hug with Postman Pat. And Caitlin bashed on an old car wheel with a stick as part of the Junk Orchestra - another sound Southbank initiative.

As I was trying to leave we got distracted by some colouring in tables by a yoghurt stand, and then the pair of them saw the Skylanders castle and ran off to have a go at that.

Such a great day out and, dare I say it, better than Glastonbury - if you've got under 10s.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Our day out on the South Bank

The Southbank Centre is doing a Summer of Love this year with lots of great free events, slides, silver art things, and Appearing Rooms fountains to explore.

We also went to the beach, had frozen yoghurt on the top deck of a pink Routemaster bus, and zoomed around the skateboard bit on scooters. A great day out. And the views from Hungerford Bridge are worth going there for too.

Our day in pictures:

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

First World War Poppies

We went to see a beautiful art installation at the Tower of London where ceramic poppies are used to mark each of the fallen soldiers killed during WW1. It's quite a sight, and so sad to think that each one represents a life lost.

Summer so far

We have been making the most of a sunny summer in London... the paddling pool has been in constant use/abuse, we've had picnics in parks and even swum in the Serpentine. Here are a few pictures to sum summer (so far) up.

Kensington Gardens after our swim in the Serpentine, a paddle round and round the Diana Memorial fountain, and a quick look at the Serpentine Summer Pavilion.

The pirate ship playground, Kensington Gardens

Sunshine in Wendell Park

Tree climbing in Richmond Park

Paddling pool & ponies in the garden