Jamie – 1 August 2011
It has been a while between blogs. Halfway through our London time and we have been busy in a relaxed kind of way. Here are some recent stories from the last couple of days:
Foster and Mylo today attended a wonderful football (i.e. soccer) skills training camp which was hosted by the Fulham FC at Hurlingham Park, a short walk from where we are living. It ran from 9-3 and goes for the rest of the week (catering to children on their summer school holidays). They had a great time making new friends and are keen to go back tomorrow. Mylo met another Mylo. Foster introduced himself to the first girl he met. She also had a cool name – Isis! We watched a woman running laps around the oval. Impressive given it was a hot day. Doubly impressive as she was wearing a full Burka.
While the boys were developing their soccer skills Bec, Sari and I headed off to the V&A (a.k.a The Victoria and Albert Museum), one of the world’s great art and design museums. Sari and Bec joined a program where they were sent off with pencil and paper to study and record some of the geometric patterns used in Arabic and South-East Asian art which was displayed in one of the galleries. They then translated those patterns into a tile using materials (coloured card, etc) that the museum supplied. One of those great collaborative efforts which they both loved and which culminated in the perfect souvenir of the day.
Yesterday I joined some friends at “The Cloudy Bay Shack on Parsons Green”. This is an annual summer local event where this classic NZ winery teams up with a famous London chef (this year Skye Gyngell from the Michelin-starred Petersham Nurseries Cafe) for a grand picnic. For ten pounds you get a main course, matching glass of wine and about an acre of grassy common to sit and enjoy it all in. Londoners it seems think of their commons in the same way that Australians think of their beaches – the perfect place to spend a warm summer afternoon. I had a great time.
While I was taking in some sun and Sauvignon Blanc, Bec and the children headed off to the Tower of London where they learnt all about the final days of many of England’s famous historic figures and got to see some knights re-enacting a “tourney”, or mock fight (later known as a tournament). They loved seeing history in action.
A couple of days ago Foster and I went to the Science Museum where we learnt all about everything from fluid dynamics to the history of x-ray. It is one of those great interactive museums built for young children with thousands of levers to pull, buttons to push and films to watch. Mylo, Bec and Sari meanwhile were next door in the Natural History Museum to help Mylo research his “Mini-beast” school assignment. He chose the red-back spider, naturally.
So we are doing quite a lot, but letting the children set the pace (more or less). Some days we revert to more “normal” activities – seeing a film, or going shopping. The strength of the Australian dollar makes a huge difference. The going rate for babysitters is seven pounds an hour (about ten dollars). Needless to say Bec and I are making the most of that with plenty of restaurant visits with friends, and the odd show – we are off to see Jersey Boys this Thursday.