Today I had the pleasure of hanging out with Bob and Boby. Now, Bob and I have done a lot of foolish things together – one of which was chronicled on this blog and most of which are not suitable for mentioning on the blog or in fact, anytime, anywhere. But tackling Primark in Hackney with two small children? That was probably madness, even by our standards.
Still, we overcame and came out with two bulging bags of stuff that included trousers for three quarters of my family and pants for the other quarter (in the interests of intrigue, I’m not going to reveal who got what). Then we went to a rather charming little park in St John’s Churchyard, which I’d heard tell of but never been to. I didn’t even notice it when we walked straight through the churchyard a few weeks back, but then we were child-free and probably a bit playground-blind. If you also have trouble finding it, aim first for the little coffee hut and then the gate to the walled playground is just behind there. Do as we did and enjoy a coffee at the same time.
The playground isn’t huge but it is a good size for toddlers like Boby and just-past-toddlers like Eva. The climbing frame was just right for her to do it all by herself, even if she had to stretch a bit at the top of the spiral bit. There’s a slide, swings, bouncy things and Bob informs me that there’s a water feature during the summer. In the busyness of Hackney Central, it’s a lovely green space and the coffee on hand doesn’t hurt.
All of which reminds me that I never blogged about another trip to Hackney last month. Our destination that time was Victoria Park and the hub cafe for brunch. Brunch was delicious – a full English and coffee for Nathan, fresh juice and sausage sandwiches for me and the kids – and we got the chance to play in the Pools Playground, a playground I hadn’t visited since Reuben was tiny. Then it was a bit of a building site and I was daunted by the sheer size of these slides:
Now, it’s fully finished and has a massive sandpit at the bottom of those same slides. The slides are for 7+ children, but 6-year-old Reuben was fine on them, and Eva managed the smallest one. Even so, it seemed like a long way down from the top:
She also terrified me by climbing all over these giant rocks:
There were a few quirky touches - the kids liked running on something that resembled a giant conveyor belt and the huge climbing frame in the shape of a suspension bridge:
There was loads of space for sand play, with the same kind of huts as they have in the V&A playground, and there was some kind of sand digger too:
It also had the same kind of unfenced feel that gets parents so riled over at the other playground. The play area kinda rambles organically on, (and of course it’s organic – this is Hackney), right back to the cafe where there’s a bouncy thing and wooden stepping stones:
There’s also some kind of spinny that that you can wind up like a maypole. Perfect for children who’ve just stuffed themselves full of brunch:
I may have mentioned this back when I originally meant to write this post, but the look Eva was going for that day was a kind of demented Snow White pineapple:
Anything goes in Hackney, right? This morning Reuben was quizzing me on what a hipster meant. You can see right here ^^ that he’s been to Hackney but clearly not enough. Next time I’ll make sure I concentrate more on his hipster education. In the meantime, we’ll go and try to find some new playgrounds no-one’s ever been to yet…so we can like them before they’re cool.