Saturday 25th May 2013: London, Part 2. A Family Affair

I've been to London many times but going with my own little family and my brother's family was the best. It reminded me of going to the zoo and not because the Capital is full of animals. No, it reminded me of when we went to the zoo last year for the first time with Bethan. Seeing something that you have seen many times before and taken for granted each time, suddenly becomes a whole new world when looking at it through the eyes of a child.

The journey was indeed an intrepid one. It involved: The train (by the way, if you upgrade to First class for an extra £7.00 why do all the people who have paid in advance look at you whilst your children are climbing the table as if to stay, What on earth are children doing in First Class?); the tube; an open top-bus; a taxi (the driver told us off because Bethan had a wet bum. I tried emphatically to reassure him that she had spilled orange juice on herself in the first class carriage on the train but I'm sure he thought it was wee) and a boat trip.

First stop was the greatest toy shop in the world: 'amleys (Still dropping those /h/s). I don't know who had the most fun; Rob and my brother or the kids! The fun continued on our preferred method of transport - Open-top buses are certainly the best way to see a place: Final. I always thought it was such a 'touristy' thing to do and felt like a bit of an inverted-tourist snob but no, it was brilliant because we saw EVERYTHING! We even witnessed Crystal Palace fans singing and cheering on their way to Wembley (they eventually beat Watford 1-0 and I was very pleased because their singing and chanting far exceeded those of Elton John's chosen football club). Apart from being a little wind-swept and having chapped cheeks, it was so much fun.

Favourite time of the day was by the Tower of London because: a) We changed James' pooey nappy outside it and we didn't get arrested for bum exposure in public (according to our own tourist guide, Mr Robert Hillier the Tower is still a prison) and b) We befriended 3 Chelsea Pensioners who humbled us. In fact, one of them, Joe, invited me to visit him at The Royal Hospital in Chelsea. Rob said that only I could visit London with my family and befriend a Chelsea Pensioner.

Lots of amazing memories were made that day. Even the English Defence League who were 'protesting' outside Parliament Square with a huge police presence, couldn't spoil our day. It's ironic really considering they were protesting loudly in one of the largest multi-cultural and diverse cities on earth. Their need to push, shout and generally try to intimidate those who were around (they failed by the way) reminded me of the quote made by Archbishop Desmond Tutu's father who said to him, "Don't raise your voice. Improve your argument".

If only...

Beth's interpretation of her trip to London
(with a little help from me ;-)

Our new friends: Joe is the 3rd in from the left