The strangest thing has happened this half term – the sun is shining, the kids are being reasonably well-behaved and no-one has been sick since Friday night. Have we actually broken the half term curse that sees us sulking in quarantine in the rain? Probably not – we’re only two days in and there is loads and loads and loads of scope for things to go disastrously wrong yet. But still, two successful days out are in the bag and I’m gonna blog the heckatty out of them just in case we don’t get any more.
And I’m also gonna plug the heckatty out of my donation page for the Memorial Plunge. Read more here. And expect this link to be in every post between now and then: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/CollardMilnerMemorialPlunge
But back to yesterday. It was gloriously sunny when we met T’sMum and T in Sainsburys (let’s not discuss why…but it involved toilets) and even though we’d planned soft play, it was ever so tempting to scrap that and go for a runaround in the sunshine instead. But no, Roo had already wheedled “soft play” out of me when asking about the day’s plans and he was a man that was not for the turning. So Pirate Playhouse it was. It’s signposted from the main road, but on the way you pass the Victorian splendour of the Haringey Climbing Centre:
That’s one to remember for when Roo’s a bit older. I’m not sure my nerves can cope with the notion of my clumsy boy on a climbing wall just yet, especially when a sign outside warns of “risk of death”.
Perhaps sensing this, the first thing Roo did when we got inside was to shimmy straight up to the top of the very high structure:
and then yell that he couldn’t get down.I wasn’t following him up, so he would just have to get himself down…and he did. Eva would later get stuck as well and I did have to go in and rescue her, but luckily it wasn’t quite so high up.
So, the playhouse didn’t have the most amazing reviews and it wasn’t the most polished but the kids had no complaints. They liked the pirate themed play equipment and the different levels to climb around. T’sMum and I liked the comfy chairs and the coffee – we picked a spot where we could see all three kids nearly all of the time. Eva’s only problem was that she wasn’t allowed to eat on the playframe – a rule which, sadly, she’s going to have to accept as pretty darn standard at softplay. But this girl was having none of it, and I eventually had to haul her out of the ball pit after she refused to surrender her sandwich. I’d say that was her problem more than anyone else’s – she’s unreasonable like that. And it’s not even the most unreasonable thing she done lately.
Before the sandwich-meltdown, all three had been playing quite happily and we spent almost two hours in there. But truly, it was a day to be outside and the glorious Clissold Park was just down the road. Last time we’d been there, it was fluctuating between drizzling and raining, so I was keen to see it in a better light.
See, much nicer pictures this time. And just cause I’m super-generous, have another ten thousand of my kids playing in the playground:
Of course, the downside of such an unseasonally sunny day was that every Annabella and her nanny was in the park at the same time, so I spent the entire time trying to keep an eye on both of mine at once. Helpfully, Reuben had removed his camouflage coat and was wearing a neon yellow t-shirt underneath:
It is actually glowing in a slightly radioactive way there. Scary.
It was 2PM by now, or 3PM BST and my body was telling me it was way past lunchtime (I’d packed food for the kids as always but not for me). So, with T asleep and Eva and Roo bribed into submission with cake and ice cream, we sat down at the outdoor cafe on the edge of Clissold House. It was a nice toastie, and a nice view and would have been a nice ambience if it wasn’t for the caffeine-needing parents of N16 shouting at the smily servers for getting their coffee orders wrong. The kids sat down for as long as could be reasonably expected:
Before running off and trying to trample the flowerbeds and climb the trees:
Obviously I stopped them. Equally obviously, I took a photo first. There’s a lot of good running around space near the cafe and it is, in theory, possible to sit down and eat their leftover carrot cake while keeping an eye on them. But mine were too intent on permanent horticultural damage to be left for long and we took them back to the playground for a last runaround before hometime.
So, a lovely return trip to Clissold Park (not that the first trip wasn’t lovely, it was just a bit drizzly) and some soft play fun into the bargain. You can imagine how knackered the kids were by the end of the day but trust me, you don’t want to imagine that. It was ugly. So I’ll leave you with something pretty instead:
Aw, a tree. Oh, and Eva too:
But mainly, the tree. Pretty!