School’s out for Summer

A second write up in a week.  When I get the opportunity I am a fast worker!  The reason for this second write up is due the fact that last weekend I had managed to secure an extra long weekend off work and as this will be the last chance for an extended break from work until at least September (the joys of working for a sports-orientated television company!) so we squeezed in a number of trips.  Unfortunately the weather had not improved and so raincoats and wellies were still the order of the day.

The week started with an unpleasant trip to the doctors.  Éowyn needed her last set of pre-school inoculations.  As we did not know how she was going to react and the fact that she is a Daddy’s girl we decided that I would take her.  We prepared her for the experience as best as we could and promised her a present if she was a brave girl.  Last Tuesday I took her into the nurse’s office and Éowyn walked in all bubbly and chatty, talking to the nurse.  Even though we had prepared her the best that we could I still think that she did not know what was going to happen.  She sat on my lap and the nurse gave her the first injection.  It was think she realised it was going to hurt.  Quickly before the shock could kick in, I turned her around and the nurse gave her the second.  Unfortunately, she tensed up and tried to move her arm which meant that it hurt more and bruised quite badly.  However, all was now over although that didn’t stop her becoming apoplectic for a couple of minutes.  Even stickers from the nurse didn’t help but she did talk to the nurse afterwards and even thanked her and amazingly all was forgotten by the time we got home and as soon as she saw her Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom Magical Playset then nothing mattered.  So she was a brave little soldier and deserved her present.

As I was off from Thursday to Tuesday we took full advantage and Thursday morning saw us heading down the M3 towards Peppa Pig World.  As regular readers will know this isn’t the first time we have been to Peppa Pig World but as Peppa Pig is now Amélie’s favourite television programme as much as Éowyn’s, and now Amélie is more self aware it was fun to see her reaction to the park, especially to the characters dressed as Peppa and George.  We managed to miss most of the wet weather although, as is the norm for this summer, the rain did begin just after lunch and so by 1400 we decided to head back home with two tired little girls.

Friday was the last day of Éowyn’s schoool year and as tradition dictates this was the time of end of year school concert.  Armed with video camera as well as the more usual stills camera we were actually more impressed with the children on Friday than at the Christmas concert at the end of Winter term.  Éowyn sung loudly and enthusiastically ans seemed to be thoroughly enjoying herself.  However we were disturbed to see just how many of Éowyn’s friends will be leaving for their first year at school proper.  Éowyn has another year and not only will she be one of the oldest in her year she will also tower above the others in the class, we will have to be very conscious of this advantage of physicality and she will need to learn to deal with this herself with our (and the teacher’s) help.

Since the concert ended at 1030 the rest of the day was ours, so we decided to take the girls to London.  As mentioned many times before we have Merlin passes, and one of the many attractions that one can use them on is the London Eye.  Unfortunately, by the time we arrived in London, the weather has turned cloudy and it was nearly lunchtime.  Rather than queueing up (the queue was quite large) we decided to grab some lunch.  The Merlin pass also gives you a discount of 20% on food at all the attractions and in the Rainforest Café.  So rather than taking the girls to the usual haunts we walked across Hungerford Bridge (from Waterloo train station), skirted along the side of Trafalgar Square through Leicester Square to Shaftesbury Avenue and the Rainforest Café.  The Rainforest Café lives up to its name with a jungle theme throughout the seating area and animatronic animals hiding in the bushes. Unfortunately the girls got a little freaked by the thunderstorm sound effects.  The irony of seeking shelter from the rain in the Rainforest Café was not lost upon us either.

Leaving the Rainforest Café we retraced our steps to the South Bank (of the River Thames) and the London Eye.  However the queue was now even longer and both girls were tired.  The weather was turning even worse and with the low cloud it would not be a good view from the Eye so we decided that we would simply return to Waterloo and catch the train back to Staines (Upon Thames – as it should now be called).  So it was a little unsuccessful as a trip, effectively we headed into London to have lunch and returned slightly soggy.  Still it was an adventure!

We spent most of the rest of the weekend in and around home.  I caught up with my friend Sanjiv who was over from India for 4 days (yes 4 days!) and his children.  It was good to see him but far too short a time although the India meal that we had was delicious.  Lucinda was working early on the Sunday so the girls and I stayed at home.  However it did give me some Daddy and daughter time with both of the girls.  the spectre of a busy August/September is looming so weekends like this are precious.  Éowyn is growing into a little girl (definitely leaving the toddler days behind her) and Amélie is aping her sister in so many ways (not all of them good).

An example of the above would be from Monday.  We decided to head to our local Toby Carvery for our evening meal.  En route we passed my friend’s (and one of my Best men) house and so phoned to ask if he wanted to join us, which he duly did.  We enjoyed our repast and were saying our goodbyes in the carpark (as the girls splashed in the puddles – the new summer sport!) Andy turned to return to his car.  I was buckling Éowyn into her car seat and said ‘Say goodbye to Andy.‘  Éowyn turned to a departing Andy and shouted out ‘Bye, bye Mr Poo-Poo Pants!‘ Have no idea where that came from and it is a phrase that she has not used before but it was such a shock that I didn’t hide my smirk.  Sensing this it encouraged her to say it again and turn to Amélie, ‘Say Poo-Poo Pants.‘  Which Amélie duly repeated.  Obviously it is something that we do not want to encourage but it is difficult to tell her off when you are trying to surpress a laugh!

All of us have managed to avoid the current crop of summer colds but poor Amélie has been suffering.  She had obviously eaten some milk protein and from her reaction over the last couple of days it is obvious that she still has her Cow’s Milk Protein Intolerance, so no challenging for a little while methinks!

The 2012 Summer Olympics are nearly upon us and apparently the weather is going to improve dramatically (at least for the South East of England) in the next week and we may even see 30°C.  The Olympic lanes are coming into operation and I am not looking forward to the traffic chaos this will cause, fortunately the amount of traffic will drop as the schools are on holiday.

Before the Olympics begin though British sport has another hero to be proud of.  Bradley Wiggins became the first British winner of the Tour De France and amazingly fellow Londoner Chris Froome finished second and to complete the perfect end to the competition Mark Cavendish claimed his fourth final stage victory.  This took Mark Cavendish to the grand total of 23 stage wins past Lance Armstrong’s total of 22 into fifth place in the hall of fame a truly remarkable Tour for the British team.

It is amazing to think that 7 years ago it was confirmed that London was to host the Olympic games and now it is less than 7 days away it will be Christmas before you know it!  well actually if you are worried about your Christmas shopping you can already make a start as the Harrods’ Christmas shop is now open.

Peace and Love