Tuesday we had an early start and all 6 of us too k the train to London. Much as i love London, and i do, i’ve been avoiding going with all of us for ages from the sheer horror of trying to keep track of everyone on deep underground stations like the Victoria and Picadilly lines. I actually do rather love those lines but i’m not great at being deep underground and the times i have been with kids, they pulled all my strings. Lots of escalators, people, a long way down and busy – and absolutely nowhere to run to should something unthinkable happen. I am a totalÂ coward, i do admit it, but i did live in London when the IRA were bombing it and even on an ordinary day, things just happen. In one year i was on a platform twice when someone jumped, on a platform when it suddenly smelt of smoke (rubbish alight in tunnel), i’ve been run back on to a train by guards when a security alert went off, been in Kings Cross and separated from my boyfriend during a security alert and the station i went through everyday, Finchley Road, was blown up. They were kind of everyday, ordinary things when i lived there and didn’t bother me at all really, but they do tend to build up into things that you know do happen and would prefer not to have 4 children with you when they do! SO i’ve gradually let fear take over and not gone. Pathetic really. Anyway, we’d decided to go (and over the last 3 years i’ve shaken a lot of fears off) and i had a brainwave the night before – avoid all my biggest anxiety trippers by taking the circle line-Â less busy, no changes, near the surface and often overground. It worked a treat – and because i wasn’t stressed, we all had a fab day. In fact, i didn’t even check on my fellow passengers or look for suspicious bags 😉
We got to the NHM and did dinosaurs first; children either impressed, awed or terrified by moving T-rex, liked all the bones, were reasonably intelligent and interested in it all – though mostly impressed that in the final display cabinets, there were dinosaur cuddlies that we also sell 😆 Maddy was able to rest a bit easier once we’d seen dinosaurs but not fully able to relax till we had also seen volcanoes. Those were both fairly successful visits, so was all the rock stuff and the walls full of dino bones. We spent quite a while in the mammals section but Maddy in particular was quite affected and saddened by the sight of stuffed animals. Josie was very impressed by the blue whale.
After lunch we did the Darwin exhibition which was excellent and interesting for adults but a bit above the heads of anyone else except maybe Fran – slightly on the expensive side too. In fairness though, i think while it is true that my kids are completely blind to anything that doesn’t move and have buttons to press, i think even i’m getting a bit like it. I should have been impressed by seeing Darwin’s actual rock hammer and instead i was wanting something more interactive. 🙄 Still, plenty of good stuff (i liked the stuffed pigeon varieties!) and some good films including a no holds barred rebuttal of creationism and intelligent designÂ and some well written and displayed things to look at. Not sure it was worth the £24 it cost our family though – although Josie did like the interactive natural selection of ladybirds bit.
When we came out Gwenny and the G’s were waiting for us which was a lovely surprise! So we went off to view the universe with them (never a good thing to be feeling academically bleary when faced with Gaffer and a poster using the words “infinite density” lightly!)Â – lovely to spend time with them and catch up a bit. How fab to have an extended “family” that extends to being able to meet the parents of your friends somewhere! Gaffer took us all off to Kensington Gardens and entertained the children with races around the memorial, while the rest of us admired the understated restraint that Queen Victoria used to commemorate her husband 😆 To be fair, once i knew we had him to thank for the museums, i appreciated him more. Bless the man for needing a project to keep him busy 🙂
Eventually set off home and all went smoothly. We really had a lovely day out and we’ll do it again soon.
Wednesday we did more ordinary worky stuff i think and recovered a bit. Maddy did lots of CGP science on rocks.
Thursday i watched Amelie at gym and she glowed lots when she did a walkover (with help) and got lots of praise for it and then had to do some of the floor steps to the whole group. Her dancing pays off there – she can just watch once and know what she needs to do and then she has it. Quite a difference to some of the others really. Then off to Brownies where we made Easter cakes and i realised, after a day of smacking my head against a wall with SATs papers, that in fact not a single Brownie could use scales. My 2 weren’t in my group, but Max assures me that they can. So all is not lost then. The cake recipe was excellent actually and we used small food tins (tuna/half sized baked beans tins etc) to make them in. Excellent session.
Friday i had a day out with one of my suppliers trying my hand at a new job. It would be an interesting diversion and allow us to make more money in the same industry while giving me the chance to learn more about it. I really enjoyed it (and was good too, but i knew i would be, i can sell anything so long as i believe in it) so that was excellent. When i got back, along with other things, Max had helped Maddy to do some good stuff. She was desperate to raise some money for Comic Relief so he’d helped her make a collecting tin and then they’d all made cookies. They sold them to anyone they could find, fleeced my supplier friend on our return and made £24 in total – i thought that was excellent – as were the cookies. Then it was normal dancing stuff and i retired with a PMT headache. Ouch.
Saturday i mainly hid as for some reason i felt the need to start beating myself up over things i can’t change, mainly because of a chance conversation that just happened to touch a nerve. I tidied the house, tried not to eat chocolate or succumb to hormone related waves of weeping and did as much work as i could manage. This too shall pass, i tell myself. Not entirely sure it ever will. It’s the light – Spring comes and everything floods back. How stupid to be so susceptible to grief and pain that the sun at a certain angle can affect you. I mean… really. Get over it now. I think i could if only i could somehow find it in me to allow myself the grief – but i can’t. And so i just think it will never go, or even fade. There is no place for me – and never will be.
Sunday Today we’ve had dancing exams – Amelie is coughing, wheezing and asthma-y so i was worried about her but she did fine apparently in both musical theatre and in ballet – so we shall see how she does. She’ll be on to Grade 1 ballet after this and is very excited about that. With good reason too, considering she is only 6. Maddy was happy but Fran came out and cried because she tripped over her tongue and had to start her poem again. Felt for her, though you can’t be good at everything, because she is concious of her speech at the moment and i hate things knocking her confidence with it, especially at the moment. Ah well. And now were home and i’ve caught up and we’ve had roast and they are watching a film. And i… must work.