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I knit, I sew, I run, I look after children and hamsters, I take truly terrible pictures, I cook, I complain.  Sometimes all at the same time.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

I Don't Know Why She Does It

I've been trying very hard to fall back in love with London again.  Last Monday we went in to central London, to the National Gallery, and wandered around, looking at ART.  Lucy had requested a trip in to see the Tiger painting, so off we went.

There's a Gromit at Paddington Station.

The paintings were inspected, tea was drunk in the National Tea Rooms, then a quick scoot up Piccadilly to Whole Foods, where we had expensive pizza and sandwiches for lunch.  Another food event.    Hattie found a stick, and kept on waving it at people, pretending to stab them.  A charming child.

The rest of the afternoon passed in a bit of a haze.  I know we stopped in John Lewis for yet more food, and that my wallet was decidedly when I got home, but I'm just not sure what we did.  It must have been fairly painless though, because I agreed to do it again the next day.  We went to the Diana Memorial Playground in Kensington Gardens - a magnificent sandpit with a pirate ship, water, swings, slides, exploring, climbing and very annoying musical instruments.

The girls vanished.  We were there for about two and a half hours; we arrived at lunchtime, ate massively overpriced pizza - one day I will remember to pack sandwiches - and then queued for five minutes before going in.  It was wonderful.  I sat and chatted with another mum, and watched the girls play.  They ran around.  They climbed, they made sandcastles, and they were almost totally independent for the whole time.  At one point, Lucy asked me if she could explore on her own, and I let her; heart in my mouth, but it was so safe that I felt that it would be good practice for both of us.  She came back after about ten minutes, and then we all went to explore.

I'm not sure this counts as a Great Adventure or not; as far as I'm concerned, my boundaries were pushed by letting them play completely on their own and by letting Lucy go off on her own for a while.  I can't say I wasn't worried, but it felt liberating for all of us to just get on with it.  She even felt brave enough to use the hand dryer, which is wonderful.

So there we are.  Two trips into Central London.  Both relatively painless, both relatively easy.  I'm still not completely in love with the centre - too expensive, too many people, too many stupid people, but I'm a lot happier than I was this time last week.

Hattie is a proper little urchin in this picture; Lucy is reading the Evening Standard.  Londoners to the bone.

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