A Sunny Weekend in London

Well, that was summer. Did you enjoy it? All three days? We did. We got Out and About over the weekend even though there are no trains from HP for 8 weekends in a row. Which is the kind of situation that leaves you on a sweaty bus to Leytonstone:

But let’s look on the bright side because after an equally sweaty journey on the Central line, we got to go on the DLR, which is one of my favourites. It took a little effort to find the Woolwich branch at Stratford – despite instinctively thinking it was near the “town centre” exit, I got distracted by the big “DLR” sign  and spent a few minutes confused on the platform, wondering why there were only trains to Canary Wharf. Then we retreated.

So I think I’m right in thinking that I’ve never done this branch of the DLR before. Hence not being able to find it. And there’s super exciting stuff on it! Some bits were disappointing, like the glamorous-sounding Star Lane which looked much like an industrial estate:

But the double-decker station at Canning Town was interesting:

And Eva enjoyed seeing the cable cars by the O2 arena, which means I’ll probably have to take her up in one again soon. I miss the days when she was scared of heights:

There was not one but TWO Tate and Lyle factories along the way, one of which had a giant model of a golden syrup tin outside. Both kids were drooling at the idea but I can’t think of anything I fancy eating less on a hot day than a giant tin of syrup. Just me?

We caught glimpses of the Thames Barrier and London City Airport and the inviting waters of Pontoon Dock. And just before we went under the Thames, the kids managed to nab the driver’s seat. Who doesn’t love pretending to drive the DLR?

When we got to Woolwich, there was a community festival going on, which meant it was all a lot more colourful than I suspect it usually would be:

 

But I think this Pride crossing is a semi-permanent feature:

And let’s not forget the wonders of the UK’s 3000th McDonalds:

 

After all that excitement, it doesn’t seem possible that we might have the capacity for more on Sunday. But after church, we headed to Highbury Fields for the Big Jewish Summer Fete and yes, there was more excitement to be had.

Like the exuberant bubble man:

And the terrifying bungee trampolines:

And some gentle crafts from the Jewish Museum:

There was also taxidermy, a Torah scroll and Jewish music from the main stage. Arsenal were there with a goal challenge and the Met recruited their latest member of the Riot Squad:

Obviously, he specialises in causing riots rather than preventing them but still…

It was lovely to see the Jewish community out in force and engaging with local people. Obviously we aren’t Jewish in the most Orthodox sense but it’s an important part of my identity and the kids’ identity so we like to celebrate it when we can. Especially with a picnic in the sun.

We finished the afternoon in the playground, on the bouncy swing that seems to cause nothing but grief:

And a giant slide that’s almost as terrifying as the bungee trampoline:

Good times!

 

 

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