We always used to say, quite assuredly, ‘we’ll never have children while we’re in London’. Yet here we are, living in a maisonette in the capital with an almost three year old and another little one shortly to arrive. I’ve actually found London a great place to have small children and I couldn’t think of a better area to spend my maternity leave. In our part of the leafy West we’re spoilt for parks, independent coffee shops, cinemas for babies to scream in and restaurants for adults to escape to (all too rarely).
So now the rule has changed and we say we’re not going to be here for when Scrip goes to school. Which means we’ve probably got just around a year left. After my fourteen year stay in the capital, that’s a pretty scary prospect. Of course it’s also exciting – we want to go for more green space and fresh air, somewhere at least a bit closer to my beloved Cornwall and somewhere where we’re not faced with a climb upstairs as soon as we get through our front door. Imagine having a proper garden and a bigger kitchen – more room for Scrip (and the littler one) to roam around and get messy.
Faced with the prospect of not living here anymore there are suddenly so many things we realise we haven’t done. So here’s my London family ‘bucket’ list. We might not manage all of these, but we’ll Continue reading →
I’m not a big zoo fan, as a rule. But babies seem to bring about lots of exceptions to these kind of rules – especially when they’re restless and grizzly and need to be entertained. So we had a day out at the zoo today with three of Scrip’s friends (and three of mine). It’s the first time I’ve been to London Zoo and it was a good experience overall – although I did think some of the animals needed more space to roam.
Scrip’s had a nasty tummy bug and now has temporary (I hope) lactose intolerance again so she’s not been herself. So whereas she’s usually interested and engaged, today it was only a few animals – namely the meerkats, monkeys and peacocks – that made her chatty and smiley. On the other hand I loved them all – from the beautiful, graceful giraffes to the African wild dogs padding along beside the canal.
We chose half term to go, without realising it, but luckily it wasn’t too crowded. Lunch was a bit hectic, but I think that’s partly because they’re building a new restaurant so we ate in the temporary one. The changing facilities weren’t great in all parts of the zoo, and they could have done with a bit of an inside play area for smaller children – our little crowd got quite restless towards the end of the day. But it was still a great way to entertain urban 1ish year-olds whose animal spotting repertoire doesn’t tend to extend beyond pigeons, dogs and – Scrip’s particular favourite – cats.
All in all, it was a good day out, if a pretty expensive one – £23ish just for me as Scrip went free. Let’s hope they put a bit of that money towards more building work – namely extensions for some of the animals’ enclosures.