It’s Christmas….

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We’ve officially declared it Christmas season – the tree is up, the presents are ordered and I’m singing Christmas songs. Admittedly I’ve been doing that last one since August but for pragmatic rather than festive reasons. With that in mind though, let’s chat about some of the Christmassy things you can do in London over the next few weeks.

Let’s start with the Christmas edition of “Tales from the Shed“. Chickenshed are taking their show to the Old Vic on 21st Dec and it promises to be as full of brightly coloured fun as ever. Tickets are selling out fast but there’s still availability for the 10am performance and some for the later show. Book now though before they’re gone!

There are lots of other festive theatrical treats to be had as well. We’ve already talked about the Snowman at the Peacock Theatre but it’s on until 1st Jan and reviews so far have been fabulous. Our competition had a great time, even with 3-year-olds in tow. Another show that comes highly recommended is The Nutcracker on Ice at Winter Wonderland. I haven’t been to Winter Wonderland in years but I think this could psossibly tempt me back. It sounds pretty darn Christmassy.

But what could be Christmassier than a visit to Santa? The kids have already met a slightly unconvincing one at their school but we’re taking them to meet him again, at the Museum of London Docklands. It’s a Victorian grotto and booking in advance is essential. It runs from now until 23rd Dec but we’ll be reporting back from there next week.

On this weekend is the Discover Centre’s Christmas event, called the “Ready Steady Colour’s Christmas Feast!”. As with all Discover events, it’s interactive and promises to be lots of colouring, musical, comedy fun. Also on this Saturday is the Golden Hinde’s Festive Pirate Fun Day. I don’t know much about it, but what more do you need??

And no Christmas preview is complete without a nod to our friends Big Fish Little Fish. They have a whole host of parties coming up in December,  in Parsons Green, Hackney and even Selfridges (sadly sold out). If you’re not a Londoner, fear not…there’s also High Wycombe, Edinburgh,  Cardiff, Birmingham and Bristol on the menu. I’ve probably missed a few so do have a look and see if there’s one near you.

And for now, Happy Christmas! I’ll be back soon, with news on our Santa visit and whatever else we get up to this Advent…

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Wonderlab at the Science Museum – 12/11/16

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I realise I’ve taken a while to blog about this but it’s been a busy month. Still, let’s get this wrapped up before it turns all Christmassy around here. Have those snowflakes starting falling across the homepage yet?

So, we went to the Science Museum. That’s hardly revelatory, but we did go to a new bit or at least some of us did. I’ll explain later.

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Firstly though, a walk in the rain through Knightsbridge to take in the Harrods windows. They weren’t as impressive as I was expecting  - they’re all sponsored by Burberry and look kinda samey – but maybe I’ve just got cynical. Eva was ooh-ing and aah-ing at every one. Even once we got past Harrods onto more mediocre shops, she still made me look at everything. “A window vinyl in the shape of a star! A small amount of glitter! It’s all so yuvyee!” I would have been more up for it, but she had to stop still at every one and, as I may have mentioned, it was raining.

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There was a reason we’d alighted at Knightsbridge. Not a great reason but a reason. I always struggle to find places to eat near the Science Museum that are affordable and have a decent amount of seating. There’s a sushi place, but Eva went there on Bunny’s borthday and I’m not sure she ate anything. There’s an Honest Burger, but people are always queuing out of the door.

So McDonalds in Knightsbridge it was then. We were with Ellie and Wylie and it seems to be a bit of a tradition. But it wasn’t to be -it was closed for a refit. So we walked in the rain, past the museums and eventually rocked up in a Burger King just opposite Gloucester Rd tube. There were loads of seats, and one of those drinks dispensers that can give you Diet Coke Cherry Vanilla and other excitements. It may not be haute cuisine, but it’s cheap and warm and a short walk back to South Ken. There’s even a KFC next door too.

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Plus, we found a joke in the toilets that Reuben is still laughing about now.

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“What’s a Toilet Manager?” Comedy Genius!

Let’s speed ahead to the Science Museum itself because I’m here to blog about what, as a friend said, lies behind that green wall. For those not in the know, Wonderlab is a new section of the Science Museum. It’s on the third floor, where Launchpad used to be, and it’s aimed at the science-curious 6+ year old. Luckily I have a 7 year old with a yearning for learning in the realm of “forces”.  I only realised once we were there that Eva was below the recommended age, so I sent her to The Garden while Roo and I went to the Wonderlab. I’ll be honest – if we didn’t have to pay for entry then I wouldn’t have worried about the age restriction. There were plenty of younger kids in there once we were in. But the choice was to pay for one adult and one child or two children and four adults…it starts to add up.

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I know the charging for Wonderlab is a bit controversial – I understand that the museum needs to raise funds somehow but I can also see that people are directly comparing it with Launchpad, which was free. Personally, I think I’d rather have a small entry fee for the whole museum then not pay once we’re in…but that’s just me, and again I understand why they don’t. Still, I saved money by rationalising on kids. Then spent it again as Reuben blagged a milkshake out of me – we were only going to get a bottle of water but  by the time we’d queued, he’d worn me down. I got myself a coffee too. Life was pretty good.

The queue for Wonderlab wasn’t too long either. Just about long enough to drink a milkshake. The guide recommends 90 minutes for the whole experience but I was trying to cram it all into an hour because it was already 3:30ish and getting dark outside. I should have left longer. There was so much we didn’t do and so we really didn’t get the best value. But hey, here’s what we did do.

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First off, forces! Can you guess what Roo is studying in Science this term? In this section there are friction slides that we didn’t go on (the queue was a bit long), chairs that you can pulley yourself up in, and a marble run. We spent a long time on the marble run.

It’s basically just a big wall with magnetic marble run elements that you can stick on in different combinations…but Reuben loved it and spent ages building runs. He also spent a long time on the tessellation wall in the Maths area, that was similar and also very pleasing in an OCD kinda way. Ooh, perfect tessellation.

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Other activities he enjoyed including making a perfect paper dart with the help of an explainer, which you can test out on an air blaster and watching the science show where another explainer produced lightning in a giant Tesla generator.

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There was a beautiful Space section, with a giant Earth on a spinning platform. There were many more sections to look at to but we were seriously running out of time and had to go and find our party. Given that we mainly did marble runs and tessellating (which Nathan just reminded me is also in the Pattern Pod), I’m not convinced we got our money’s worth. I need to go back and give it a lot more time…and possibly take the other child in too. Check out this dynamic spiky liquid stuff though:

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As reviews go, I realise this one is a bit lacking which is why I promise we’ll revisit soon. It is worth a look, even if you have to pay, but make sure you leave at least the recommended 90 minutes because there’s lots to do and it’s easy to get distracted and stuck on one thing. Ooh, tessallaty…

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“The Snowman” Winner Announced

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Happy Monday, World! I’ll keep this brief as I find it hard to blog with a bowl of cereal in one hand and kids demanding things by shouting in my ear…but, we have a winner for “The Snowman” comp. Congratulations to….

CARLY AYRISS!

Enjoy the show – we’ll be in touch soon :)

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Competition time!! The Snowman at the Peacock Theatre

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Like any girl who’s grown up on the Sadlers Wells’ series of books, I get excited at the very mention of those two words. So I was thrilled when I had an e-mail from them, asking me to run a competition for “The Snowman” – a contemporary dance version of the Raymond Briggs’ classic. It’s being staged at the Peacock Theatre, rather than “The Wells” itself but still…how exciting? So, here’s the lowdown:

We are giving away one family ticket (4 people, must include at least one child) for the 7pm show of “The Snowman” on Tuesday 29th November. Yes, I know that’s soon. I’ve had a lot on, OK?

To enter, just fill in the form below, with a message to say why you’d like to win,  and don’t forget to like and share on Facebook to let me know you’ve entered. Competition closes at midnight on Sunday 27th November and the winner will be announced and contacted first thing Monday morning. Good luck!!

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Reuben Writes to The American Police

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In what might be a first for this blog, one of my children is providing the copy for this post. Partly because they’re readily available labour and I don’t need to pay them but also because this is something quite special.

It’s Reuben’s idea. It’s all his words. It’s a letter to the American Police, asking them to arrest Donald Trump. He may have embellished some aspects but there are some facts in there somewhere. I’ve been struggling to organise my own thoughts, post-election and I wrote something for the HuffPost but it was all a bit vague and helpless. I don’t know what to do in the face of such aggression and hatred.

Roo knows. He’s taken decisive action. He made his own envelope. And so, without further ado, here is his letter to the American Police (translation below):

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“Dear American Police

Can you please arrest the eval (sic) Donald Trump. He plans to make a wall between Mexico and America to start a war. Also he is making a tunnel to ruin peoples homes*. Hes even telling people climate (change) is not real so no one recicles (sic). He truly is superkalusfragileegoestrabraggadocus** (it’s a silly word of words). He truly is evil. Go arrest him”

*I think this is referring to the Dakota Pipeline

**Ask Randy Rainbow about this bit

Well, I don’t know about you but it pretty much sums up how I feel. Now, he wants me to post it. Anyone know the mailing address for “American Police”? It needs to get there before January…

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London Without a Toddler – “Bits of Me are Falling Apart”

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9th November was a very dark day for me. I don’t need to explain why but you’ll understand why I needed an antidote to the extreme right-wing lemons that life had just given us all. And who better to alleviate that depression than a left-wing anarchist? Or, to reuse my Facebook joke, left-wing EdmondAde.

Not that “Bits of Me are Falling Apart” is Adrian Edmondson’s most anarchic work – far from it. In fact his character. William. seems a middle-aged middle-of-the-roader in most respects. And in some ways, this show was also a touch depressing. But there’s much that is wonderful about seeing a comedy legend live in the flesh and every facial expression that he had a hint of Vivian about it filled me with joy.

The play is a one-man show currently running at the Soho Theatre where, co-incidentally, Edmondson’s daughter Beattie is about to appear too, with the Birthday Girls. It’s about William’s midlife crisis so I was surprised when we walked in and the set was adorned with colourful children’s toys, suspended from the ceiling – there was even a whole Wendy House. The PA system was cheerfully playing something that I suspect was a “They Might be Giants” album. Was this definitely not a kids’ show? I had my doubts. I  even checked the tickets a few times to make sure we were in the right place because this didn’t seem like it was the setting for a 75-minute monologue on the grim realities of ageing. But it was. He walked on stage and it was very definitely Adrian Edmondson. Hence the hints-of-Vivian facial expressions.

William is a man in a rut. His relationship has broken up, he only sees his son sporadically and his body is – as the title suggests – slowly decaying. It would take a lot of talent to make this material funny and constantly interesting but of course it was. Not always uplifting – there were plenty of moments of drama and wistful reflection – but always engaging. There were diversionary anecdotes about the Norse, the life cycle of the cod, the D-Day landings and even a mention of Donald Trump, which elicited a nervous laugh from the still-raw audience.

The use of the props was interesting too – everything came into play at some point, with the Wendy House representing the spike in the housing market, a Beano used as a newspaper and a colourful vTech laptop as William’s work computer. There was even an analogy to do with arteries and balls of fat, portrayed by those spiky, light up plastic balls that work as playthings for both dogs and toddlers. He came back to them a few times, as a recurring metaphor on the state of his health.

Occasionally it all verges into the dour, but for the most part, William is just about likeable to sympathise with and there’s a lot here that will strike a chord with anyone who is feeling the inevitable creep of later life. The ending becomes more positive as William learns to break through a few of his own self-imposed barriers and I left the theatre feeling ever so slightly better about life. And on 9th Nov 2016 that’s quite an achievement.

“Bits of Me are Falling Apart” is on at the Soho Theatre until 3rd Dec. See here for tickets and more info.

Disclaimer: I received free tickets for this show in exchange for my review. All opinions remain honest and my own.

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Comic-Con – 28/10/16

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It’s been a while since I last went to a ComicCon and quite honestly, I didn’t really plan to go to this one. Nathan and the kids were going with some friends from church and I planned to finish work, hang out nearby and go home with them. Which meant I got to catch the DLR from this impressive-looking station front, instead of some covert-looking doorway at Bank:

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But when I got to Custom House, there wasn’t a lot there. The way out of the station took me straight into the loading bay of the ExCeL, so I thought I might wander up to the door and see how much tickets were. That wander was more like an epic hike  - I was in sight of the next station along by the time I got there – so I gave up on turning around and just kinda paid and drifted in. Without ever intending to, I was at ComicCon. In workwear.

I might have stood out a little. Most other people there were wearing superhero outfits, catsuits or giant robot costumes. Once I’d found my family, lounging on beanbags in the kids’ area, I caught up on some of the people they’d met already. Here they are with the Avengers. I think Hawkeye was pleased that Roo was also dressed as Hawkeye.

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Later on, Eva found her perfect place – in the middle of a pile of princesses:

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I wasn’t sure how Eva would take to ComicCon, as I thought there would be more Judge Deaths, less Meridas. But it turned out there were plenty of both:

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I also wasn’t sure what you do at ComicCon but there was a lot going on. Signings, with some Dr Whos of my childhood:

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Live drawings, stalls full of toys, light sabre classes. And a lego table:

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And obviously, the kind of geeky conic stuff that Nathan likes. I took Eva round the pinkest and fluffiest stalls while he and Roo went to the 2000AD stand. And then we all went for energising coffee and cake at the in-house Costa. ..it’s tiring work schlepping round the ExCeL. Did you know it’s massive? No wonder the length of it spans two DLR stations. And we definitely didn’t get to see everything – there was an inflatable wigwam that Eva reayyyyyey wanted to go to, but it was 5ish already and a long way home.

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Turns out it’s even longer if you wander round Bishopsgate in a kind of post-ComicCon haze for a while and then end up at Nandos. I’m glad I went, especially as it meant Nathan wasn’t wandering around Liverpool Street with the kids on his own. But also cause it was more fun than I imagined it would be. So many people made an effort to dress up and there were some excellent costumes. Just don’t make me read any comics…

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“Kate in Oz” – The Kate & Mim-Mim Premiere – 22/10/16

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London is a city of contrasts and it’s fair to say that Eva and I experienced two extremes today – a swanky Soho premiere in the morning and a romp around Epping Forest in the afternoon. Not that she wanted to leave the house at all. No, no. She had a green -pen picture to finish. It’s a miracle that I made it to our first appointment, and even more of a miracle that she was there with me. We hadn’t had the best start. Still, by the time we were on the tube she was all sweetness and light, and we got to Shaftesbury Avenue in time for the premiere of the Kate & Mim-Mim special – “Kate in Oz”.

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Now, I hate to do the hipster “I was here first” thing but when it comes to Kate & Mim-Mim, we were early adopters. We reviewed it back in 2014, just before it launched on CBeebies. And today, I got to chat to Kay Benbow  - the controller of CBeebies – about what’s happened with the series since then. Turns out, it’s been a big hit and that’s led to the creation of a one-off special, based on “The Wizard of Oz”. As Kay said, it’s a show with a strong female lead which is something lacking in the kids’ TV world. It’s also about friendship, which is important and reassuring to young kids. Plus, it’s brightly coloured and fast paced and everything that chidlren loved.

We chatted about a few other things too, which I hope are On the Record. She gave me some advice on transitioning from Beebies to CBBC, something that I’ve so far been too scared to do. There are a few transitional kinda shows, like “Arthur” and “Operation Ouch”, which are aimed at the 7-10 end of the CBBC market and there’s a new show starting, called “Roy” which will be shown on both channels…so that might be a good one to help Roo transition. Sob. I can’t believe he’s coming to the end of his Beebies era.

But for now there’s plenty that he still likes on there. Kay and I discussed our mutual love for “Go-Jetters”,which apparently has also been a massive success and there’s new episodes coming. My kids are both hooked on it and want all the toys for Christmas. I have the theme song stuck in my head all the time…and it’s educational too.

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At this point, Eva disappeared, having been playing with a large balloon moments earlier. Everyone was starting to go in to the screening, so in a slightly surreal twist the controller of CBeebies and I both had a search around for my child before the special episode started.

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The episode was introduced by CatBeebies, who did some rabbity warm-up games before interviewing Kay and Tessa Moore of Freemantle Media about the special episode. We’d later get a photo with Cat, although this might not be the best photo of either her or Eva:

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I was really pleased to add another CBeebies presenter to my collection though. Did I mention that Eva also got a hug from the giant purple rabbit himself? When asked later who’d she met, she fittingly quipped “Cat and Mim-Mim”. Genius.

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And so to the episode itself. If I haven’t mentioned this before, I need to point out that Eva is incredibly easily spooked. She screams her head off at the mildest of peril and films that she has run out of include “Snow White”, “Secret Life of Pets” and “Angry Birds”. So it was not a surprise that the Wicked-Witch-of-the-West character (Violet, voiced by Cat Deeley) threw her into a terrified panic. But it really isn’t scary at all – Violet is very mildly evil, and her end game is to collect all the purple items in the land of Oz, not to hurt or kill anyone. And, of course, there’s resolution and redemption at the end so I’m glad I made her sit through it. She calmed down and enjoyed it after some initial squealing.

The plot is a pretty simplified version of the Oz classic – Kate find herself not in Mimiloo but at the end of a Yellow Brick Road. From there, she meets her usual friends playing the Good Witch, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion. And yes, they all learn something about themselves along the way. It’s nicely done, with some funny nods to the original, and the technicolour world of Kate and Mim-Mim really suits the bright colours of Oz (the slippers are purple…of course). And it is definitely, definitely not scary.

But you can judge for yourself! It’s on CBeebies on Oct 29th, at 10:35. Something to look forward to at the end of half term. Funny Bunny Friend, it’s time to come to life again….

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Feel Good Extreme – 15/10/16

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If you live in the Walthamstow area, you might have noticed a new leisure centre opening and you may even have discussed it on Facebook (which is as much as I’m saying on that subject). I had certainly noticed it so last weekend Roo and I went to check out the Extreme Play area. Why not Eva? Well, you’d better ask her. Let’s just say she wasn’t displaying the kind of behaviour that allows her to be seen in public.

Logistically, it would also be tricky for me to take both kids on my own – there’s one room for the under 6s and one for the over 6s  and the older kids have to be supervised up to age 8. So, there’s no way for one adult to take a 4-year-old and a 7-year-old and have them both play at the same time. Of course, it was the weekend so I could have enlisted Nathan but on a Saturday he doesn’t always display the kind of behaviour that makes me think he wants to go out in public.

Just me and Reuben then. I registered as a member online, which meant I could book the 90-minute play slot in advance. It was pretty full, so probably wise to do the same if you’re going on a Saturday. The over 6s area is the “Extreme Park”, which includes the trampolining park and a soft play frame. There’s also a ninja run, but that’s for over 13s only. In the same room there’s a climbing wall section, with 6ish different walls  - that needs to be booked separately as “Clip and Climb” as it’s not part of the Extreme Park. The under 6s bit is a different soft play frame, so if you’re booking for a smaller one it’s the “Soft Play” session on the website. Confused yet? Good

On the way there, we spotted this wall, which I imagine is a Wood Street Walls masterpiece:

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Reuben observed that some of these shapes were symmetrical and some weren’t. Well observed, Roo. More excitingly, it seemed to have some kind of development going on in front of it….word on the street is it’s going to be a play area. On the corner of Brookscroft Rd and Northbank Rd – if anyone knows more, let me know!

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Onto the centre itself. It’s all very shiny and new and there’s a big swimming pool with huge windows (again, there may have been some discussion on Facebook about this). We were super early for Roo’s play session so we went to Coffee Corner for a sandwich and a smoothie:

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Then it was play time! We put on our compulsory Extreme trampolining socks (buy when you book…I didn’t have to buy myself a ticket but I did have to buy myself socks) and watched the 4 minute introductory film, which showed us a plethora of different ways you could break a bone while trampolining. Roo’s drama club friend A was cringing into her mum’s coat every time the “crack” noise happened and if my mum had been there, I might have done the same.

Luckily, he didn’t break any bones. But there was lots of trampolining. I even had a go, although I don’t quite have the endurance of a 7-year-old boy. I also wasn’t brave enough to jump off the wall sides, which Roo was. I’ve said it before, but an all-boingy environment suits him:

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There was also the Extreme Play Zone, which was described on the website as “4 floors of obstacles and slides”. I’ll simplify that for you – it’s a soft play. But one that’s built on a bigger scale than the under 6s area next door. And one with a slightly creaky sounding slide. I tried my best to ignore that.

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Roo had lots of fun but didn’t make it through the full 90 minutes. We left about 15 minutes before the end, which was good because we missed the rush at the cafe. After all that bouncing, the boy naturally needed a brownie and a slushie. But not, as he and I discussed, a brown slushie.

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Then I’m not sure we were meant to do this but…we went for a quick run around the track. He’s studying Mo Farah for Black History Month, you see. That’s my excuse. He completed 100m in an impressive 76 seconds. A touch slower than Mo but I didn’t tell him that. I also wanted to see whether we could cut through Chestnut Field on the way back but the gate was locked and so we couldn’t.

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Then we got screwed over by the 275, which didn’t stop at the Town Hall. But let’s not dwell on that. It was a lovely mother-boy afternoon out, made better by the absence of the whingey one. If you want to similarly abandon your younger child, have a look here for more info.

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Big Fish Little Fish at Museum of London Docklands – 08/10/16

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Phew, that title was a bit of a mouthful. Yes, it’s BFLF time again and this time it was somewhere I’ve always wanted to go to but never got round to – Museum of London Docklands. It’s just kinda out of the way, but I’ve heard great things. So when BFLF invited us out there, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to check out the museum and have some BigFish fun at the same time.

It was also the perfect opportunity to find the secret entrance to the DLR part of Bank station. Last time I took the DLR, Eva and I walked miles to find the platform and Reuben wasn’t with us, despite me repeatedly yesterday that he was (“You remember, Reuben When we went to Mudchute. You remember!” He didn’t remember. Cause he wasn’t there.) So this time, I wanted to see if we could find it a little quicker. All kudos to this blog for helping me out.

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It took us a little while to find it but there is indeed a secret entrance to the DLR on King William Street, right next to Starbucks. It’s a lift down to the Northern Line lobby, and it’s intended for customers with a disability or a pushchair, which makes you feel a tad guilty if you have neither. But I see myself as an trailblazer, cutting through the overgrown vines of the Square Mile to bring you new and improved step-free routes. So if you call this lift (and I believe there is an actual person who needs to send it up to you), you can descend to another set of lifts, which then take you to the top of the DLR escalator…and I think there is even a third lift for that part. Then once you’re on the DLR, the world is your step-free Oyster. We’d walked from Liverpool Street (the Central Line for one stop is just not even worth the hassle) so ta-da; step-free all the way from Highams Park to Westferry. You’re welcome.

The next challenge was to the find the museum from the DLR station, as it wasn’t immediately obvious. Luckily another family were looking equally clueless and we eavesdropped as they were given directions by a native. You basically follow the blue cycle path, circle round onto the main road and u-turn back on yourself by the cinema and this brings you out at the back of the museum. It sounds complicated but it was a 4 minute walk, according to Google. Go around the side of the big brown building and this is where it brings you out:

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Entrance to the museum is on the left there.

So we’d successfully navigated Docklands. Win! There were also lockers to put all our coats, hats and spare clothes in  (we’ll come back to the spare clothes). Now for some partying. We had our usual BFLF arrangement of chasing a child each, though Nathan’s job was complicated this time by not having a child that slept through the whole thing.

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This time he took Roo to the craft table and I took Eva to the dancefloor. Typically though, she was most interested in posing with her own shadow:

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After a while, she asked to go to the Mudlarks children’s area, which is an interactive play gallery. There is pirate theme dressing up:

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Puppets:

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Water play:

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Giant lego bricks (this is a superhero, apparently):

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And a substantial soft play area, though this is only for under 5s so she was fine but Reuben wouldn’t be. I noticed a curtain that went round the whole thing so presumably you could mark it as off-bounds if a school group went in there. I don’t think Roo went to this bit at all, but there was a lot of stuff he would have liked in there even if he had to stay off the soft play frame. Possibly not worth the risk of meltdown though.

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Soon, she was all tired out and needed a drink of water, which I mention only because of the beautiful water dispenser in the cafe:

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There was lots more to do in the basement, so we went downstairs in search of a hula-hooping mermaid. When we found her, Eva declared that she had a “fake tail” because it was a pair of “swimming jeans with scales on”. Still, she had awesome hula-hopping  skills and she was ready to teach tiny mermaid wannabes:

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That room also had a kaleidoscope screen, which Eva loved standing in front of. Look of the millions of Mummies and Evas!

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As with everything that involves looking at herself, I had to drag her away. But there was one more room to investigate…and this one involved fluorescent paint!

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At this point, I took off her newish white skirt…although we still ended up with paint everywhere. Even on her newish white coat, which at that moment was still in our locker. It may have had something to do with her fish.

Sadly, I didn’t get a photo of the fish…,but I can get one any time because she yuvved it so much she made me carry it home all the way back to HP.  She painted it reallly thickly with fluorescent paint, which looked good under the UV lights of the Under the Sea room but looked a bit brownish in the daylight. It didn’t dry for a long time. I’m not sure it’s dry now.

The idea was you painted a fish and stuck it on the wall, but you could also just paint on the wall as well. This is my handiwork:

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Rave on!

The floor was covered in shredded paper, for messy play and there may have been a few children buried under the piles. I’m not sure. It was dark. Lots of fun though. So much fun that we missed the parachute dance, even though HannahBFLF came down to tell everyone about it. Reuben was disappointed when we went back upstairs, but hey – he was busy adding his own fluorescent fish to the wall.

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We got upstairs just as the party was finishing – I barely got to do any dancing but that’s the way of things when you kids are old enough to know their own minds. As the lights went up, they were stubbornly making playdough shapes at the playdough table and we once again had to drag them away. Still, it was a great afternoon.

On the way back, we sat at the very back of the wizard train, looking out. I wouldn’t recommend it, as I felt distinctly sick going backwards into Bank station. The kids thought it was fun though. And it took Eva’s mind off trapping her fingers in the lift door at Westferry. Who says we don’t show them a good time?

The Museum was ace by the way – we’ll go back there another time when it’s a bit calmer. Though it won’t quite be the same without the hula hooping mermaid…

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