A lovely day in the end, though lessons in being more prepared and reading websites more thoroughly were definitely learned. I blame the outcome of the referendum for my temporary inability to function properly. Damn, now I’ve mentioned the referendum. Sorry about that. Moving swiftly on…
We haven’t been outside much this week, or indeed in the last few weeks. Not properly. The weather has been really getting me down. I know us Brits are always complaining about the weather, but seriously, I have had quite enough of rain now thank you very much; until yesterday, apart from that one fairly bleak and gloomy Saturday when it threatened to rain for the entire day, but actually didn’t in the end, I could not recall another day so far in June that it hadn’t rained down here (though I understand that other parts of the country are having some lovely weather– typical!). I usually pride myself on getting outside all year round, no matter what the weather. However, this month I am completely failing; there are only so many times that you can go out, get thoroughly soaked through in five minutes, and return with two miserable children who wonder why on earth you went through the rigmarole of dressing them for the outside (because we all know how enjoyable that can be), only to return a few minutes later. So we were very happy when the sun finally decided to make a proper appearance yesterday, and we tried to make the most of it.
As A was at pre-school in the morning we couldn’t go anywhere too early. So while she was there we decided to take pastries and take-away coffee to the park (living the high life I know, but we have been cooped up indoors far too much recently so I think we deserved a treat, and this is as good as it gets with a toddler in tow). Anyway, when we arrived at the park we were met with quite a flood; I had somehow forgotten that it had rained continuously for an entire month and was not well prepared. I hadn’t even taken wellies (I did, however, remember sun-cream and sun hats so I wasn’t doing too badly). It did mean, though, that our al fresco breakfast did not last long. But E got to play and run around for a bit before we headed home to get his wellies so he could be like the other children in the park (whose clever parents had not forgotten theirs).
Earlier in the week we made the decision to spend this afternoon at Eltham Palace as my mum has this new card from work that gets us in for free! Eltham Palace is just around the corner from us, just a few stops on the bus, so perfect for an afternoon trip. I have never been before but have heard some great things about it, and it has a really good adventure play area for children (amongst other things). We researched a few things to do, and had the whole afternoon loosely planned out. We packed up a picnic and as soon as pre-school finished we hopped on a bus. What could possibly go wrong? I was really excited (and may have mentioned the adventure playground to A and E so they were excited too; error). We got off the bus a few minutes later, and made our way down the (very quiet) driveway. As we got closer I saw that the gates were closed, and on further inspection saw that they were locked. Damn. Then I read the entrance sign and saw that it does not, in fact, open on Fridays. Oops! I had been so carried away with looking for things to do there that I had neglected to research this basic piece of information. Though, to be fair, I never actually considered the possibility of somewhere being closed on Fridays – maybe if it had been a Monday I would have been more careful; oh well, lesson learned (FYI it is also closed on Saturdays). But I was gutted, and starving, so we sat down on the lovely grass at the side of the driveway and ate our picnic in the sun whilst I thought of an alternative activity – I would not be defeated.
I eventually decided on Greenwich Park as we were close to a bus that would take us directly there. So off we went. I have done the bus trip to Greenwich Park a couple of times now, and it is so easy (and relatively quick, considering it is actually a fair distance). A and E love bus trips and were surprisingly well behaved. As I hadn’t expected a longer bus journey I hadn’t packed any activities to do on the bus, but thankfully we had grapes in our picnic for them to munch on!
We finally arrived and it was a wonderful afternoon in the end. We pitched up on the grass and finished off our picnic. A and E then ran about wildly (we don’t have much of a garden at home and it makes me realise how much they crave being outdoors when I see them let loose like this).
I taught them how to play “stuck in the mud”:
They took off their shoes and blew bubbles:
And we ate ice cream:
I think they had a good afternoon, in the end!
- We live in England. Always take wellies to the park (as well as sun-cream, sunhats, puddle suits, umbrellas, shorts, t-shirts, woolly jumpers, and a flask of tea, if space allows. You never know).
- Always check opening times of the place you are wanting to visit.
- Always carry grapes.