Back to London, this time for the much-anticipated Natural History Museum, the outing of choice for our dino-obsessed boy. It was jam-packed, but the skeletons and fossils are amazing and many of them he could identify without reading the plaques.
Here is a video Louis made about his visit
In the afternoon the boys also visited the Science Museum next door, with its interactive Wonderlab exhibit. (Book in advance online).
While they experimented Lily and I took a tube to north London, to wander around the neighbourhood where we lived when she was a baby: Belsize Park. We rang the neighbour’s doorbell but alas she wasn’t home. Then we wandered up to my fave bookshop, Daunt Books, saw the hospital where she was born, then trotted through the pretty leafy streets to take in London from Primrose Hill, wander down Chalcot Cres, home of Paddington Bear and former home of our friend Belinda. Lily is quite chuffed that she once slept in Paddington’s street.
The next day we had another early start to meet friends who had travelled down from Manchester with their two small children, on the hottest day of the year, to see us. We met in Regent’s Park, and it was so hot we even rented those little pedalos in the hope of finding a breeze on the lake. Of course the boys tried to turn them into dodgems.
In the afternoon Simon and Tom went off to Lords for NZ vs Aus in the Cricket World Cup. The game began well, but went pear shaped in the second half. Nonetheless Tom was happy to be there, so happy that he was complimented by some Australian supporters on being New Zealand’s most outstanding supporter.
While they cooked in the stands at Lords, I was in air-conditioned comfort with the other two at the Lion King stage show, with Lily and Tom. It was superb and the animals were wonderfully characterized. The person who plays the giraffe walks on all fours on stilts. I still can’t imagine how.
If I was feeling nostalgic about London life that was put to rest when all the trains were cancelled in 34-degree heat and I had two tired kids to get to south London where their little friend was patiently waiting with her babysitter. A tube and an Uber later and we found our way to the cool of their garden and paddling pool. Bliss.
Sunday was a lazy start, then over to gorgeous leafy Dulwich for lunch with Jess, Dan and Rose, and Mitra and William, in a lovely pub, then a wander around the park. It was so nice to see their beautiful little ‘hood and have a taste of their London life.
And that was London complete – six catch ups and more activities than one should reasonably attempt in a week. The kids did AMAZINGLY well, better than I could have hoped really, they were real troopers and there were scarcely any meltdowns. Phew..