Sorry there hasn’t been a lot of action on the blog lately. Vomiting bug stopped play. Last week was meant to be spent visiting toddler-friendly cafes and eating cake, but it’s hard to do that with your head in an old salad bowl. So there are still a few more places to go to before I announce the shortlist for the London’s Most Toddler-Friendly Cafe Award. But fret not, you’ll know when voting is open…
What we have done – once we were all done with the quarantine – is to visit a new swimming pool in Lewisham called the Glass Mill Leisure Centre. From the outside, it looks a bit like Elmer (see above) and inside, it’s huge and spacious and looks like a conference centre. Specifically the conference centre that Nathan works for:
Light, space, silver sofas etc… There was also a branch of the Rhubarb and Custard cafe there, which I think is the same as the new Deptford leisure centre. It looked nice but we didn’t visit because we’re on a bit of a money-saving tip and thought we could find somewhere cheaper…but more on that later.
We were there with the new Lee-dwellers Ruth and Daniel (Daniel being the younger brother of Roo’s friend Luke) and we were going for a swim, Hooray! Ruth and I used to take Luke and Roo when they were toddler age, so it was just like old times. But old times in a very new place.
For this was a seriously shiny place. So shiny we got told off for (potentially) trailing grass over the foyer with our buggies. Serious indeed. And the signs were all minimal, stylized symbols. I’m a bit over pictures without any words on them, given that I’m a few months into a rocky relationship with gmail and I still don’t know what half the buttons do. And now Yahoo! mail has decided to follow suit….but these are my issues and I’ll shush about them now. Point is, you need to do some lateral thinking to work out that a picture of two big people and two small ones indicates a family changing room. But, it does look stylish.
A few minor gripes – the showers had nowhere to hang your towel up, and the things to lock buggies up with were mainly broken. Also, the main pool was a bit cold for the toddlers but I guess we should have gone when the teaching pool was open to the public (there’s a Parent and Toddler swim at 12). Daniel was fine and happy, but Eva had just been woken up from a nap and so was a bit grouchy about being doused in lukewarm water. Other than that, it was impressive – they had what looked like a wheelchair lift into the swimming pool, and competition lanes. And it was all so very nice and new and clean! With huge lockers and warm changing rooms.
After the swim we were all hungry and went off in search of a cheap and empty place to eat. Which is how we wound up in Wimpy.
Now, along with most of the country, I haven’t set foot in a Wimpy since the 80s, before they were all closed and turned into Burger Kings. It’s bizarre. The food is the same kind of standard as McDonalds, but it’s waitress service and it comes on a plate, with a knife and fork. And it actually was no cheaper than eating at “Rhubard and Custard”, because the prices on the window aren’t the same as the eat-in prices (presumably to cover the overheads on crockery and serving staff). Still, it was tasty enough and we got quick service and room to park the buggies because no-one else was in there. Plus, you can giggle at the dishes, which were named back in the 50s, apparently by some schoolchildren (see the sausage known as “The Big Bender”).
So, what else is there to do in Lewisham in the rain? Well, the library has a kids’ session some days but not the one we were there (and the lift to the children’s department was out of order). We ended up cruising the 99p shops, where I found some lovely owl-print wrapping paper to make some wall art for Eva’s room, and going to the Lewisham Centre for a runaround in a convenient big empty space. She enjoyed that – definitely more than she enjoyed the long trip home on the 436. Predictably, she fell asleep on our front doorstep. Toddlers, hey?
VERDICT: A nice new swimming pool, worth checking out