Sunday, 16 August 2009

Our holidays

Withenay Wanders was set up to describe all our travels and the various things that I wonder about. Having been absent for a couple of weeks on holiday I thought I should update you on what we did.

We went here -

- to London!

We lived there before moving to Zambia and it transpired that we had just the perfect gap between our tenants moving out and our buyers purchasing our house for us to have a family holiday. So, even though we are somewhat camping in our new home, we went to camp in an empty house in inner-city London. Having only moved house two months ago finances were a little tight but this seemed to fit the bill.

My holiday requirements were simple: no cooking and no washing. The cooking was evaded by eating out every night (after all, we were saving on renting a cottage or flying abroad and even on hiring a car). The washing was fully delegated to my husband (what a lovely man!)

So this is what we did:
(take a deep breath!)

  • Walk up King's Road
  • Saatchi Gallery (only a few items to steer the children quickly past)
  • Window shop in Kensington
  • Science Museum
  • Day trip to the Red House (built for William Morris)
  • Walk around Danson Park
  • Visit Buckingham Palace
  • See the Changing of the Guards
  • Natural History Museum (dinosaurs)
  • Have a nose around The Conran Shop
  • Visit 2 Willow Road (NT house, Erno Goldfinger's 1930's creation)
  • Walk around Hampstead Heath
  • Returned for a full day's geocaching on Hampstead Heath (in the drizzly rain...)
  • Visit our old church, catching up with friends.
  • Return to child-friendly pub for lunch (had taken daughter there when just 6 days old!)
  • Laze around on Clapham Common (and play cricket there with children)
  • Spend day with son's best friend from old school, who moved at Easter
  • Watch end of Edgbaston Test on big screen in central London
  • Go to Docklands Museum - take part in the Big Dig
  • Walk along South Bank (daughter found pottery on 'beach' of Thames)
  • Return visit to Natural History Museum (Butterfly Jungle)
  • Return visit to Science Museum (Wallace & Grommit)
  • Shop on Oxford Street for long-promised DS games for children
  • Visit British Museum - prepare for son's Egypt topic next term with study of mummies, etc.
  • Go to the games shop (Playin' Games) to buy husband's birthday present
  • West End Show: Sister Act (stalls, second row; thankful reference to orgasmic sex washed over the children...)

Not bad for 10 days?

We've now been home for about the same period of time and we have .... well, nearly recovered!

The wonderful thing about London (combined with our National Trust membership) is that so much is free. Having got a travel card for the period (children under 11, so travel free) we could go pretty much where we liked. A lot of our time was spent walking around, pointing out the sights to the children (St Paul's, The Mall, Eros, etc.) and then going into fantastically free museums. Of course, there was the odd indulgence... but we were on holiday.

And what did the children decide would be a treat? Going to McDonalds and Burger King!


Matthew said...

I occasionally miss London - I lived there for a few years, got married on the Kings Road and spent a lot of time on Kensington High St too. Do they still have the sump oil room at Saatchi now it's in the new location? I loved that installation - totally disorientating and a great smell..

Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my blog earlier. I thought I'd follow your example!

Working Mum said...

Wow! You did fit a lot in. We did the same, travel card, free museums, NT membership and Tesco vouchers for the hotel, Tower of London and restaurants. A free holiday! Fab!

Catharine Withenay said...

Matthew - thanks for calling by! Didn't see the sump oil room, but that doesn't necessarily mean it isn't there. Busy whisking the children past the dodgy bits of art (couldn't face the questions: Mum, why is his willy hanging out, etc etc)

WM - yep, a busy time had by all. At least the kids slept well!

Hadriana's Treasures said...

We, hubbie and I, both used to live in London (before we knew one another). We have so many friends and memories there. It is a shame we cannot go back there more often.

clareybabble said...

McDonalds is a great treat!!
I love the Natural History Museum, would love to go again with the kids one day.

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