We had a marvellous time. We arrived late on Thursday. Lady and I were ravenous, she was ‘so hungry I could eat my hand’, but a big bowl of my sister’s stew sorted us out. On Friday we went to the Natural History Museum. It was my dad’s 1st time there and he was suitably impressed. I love that place. Could you imagine anyone designing a public building of such splendour today? It’s a cathedral of science. Obviously, we visited the dinosaurs first! I was blown away by the evolution display and we all liked looking at the section of giant sequoia tree dating from AD 600 or so, with the dates of various historical events marked on the rings.
In the afternoon I went with Lady on the train to Hampton to meet up with our friends. We meet S and I as they were walking back from school. The children were expecting to see us on the following day, so the look of surprise and delight when they caught sight of Lady was priceless. The girls ran to each other and hugged and we mums had a little tear in our eyes to see them together again. They have always acted more like sisters than friends and it meant so much to me seeing them all. The girls disappeared upstairs when we got to their house while I caught up with their mum and dad. I learned that one of S’s school friends called her ‘gay’ when she was talking about how excited she was that Lady was coming over and how much she loves Lady. How is it that 7 year olds are using ‘gay’ as an insult?!
Lady stayed there overnight and all the next day. She said they played all the same games they used to!
Meanwhile, I found myself childless for the evening! I joined my dad, sister and her friend for a Chinese meal after which my dad was packed off home and we bright young things ;-) hit the bar, and it was all very jolly! I also met my sister’s new boyfriend (2 thumbs up).
My dad said that when anyone asks him what we did in London, he’ll have to say ‘I ate’! On Saturday we went to Wagamama (why doesn’t someone bring this franchise to Belfast?! Please!) then to the National Gallery. I haven’t been there for years and it’s such a thrilling place. I never realised quite how many pictures depict the baby Jesus nursing. They moved me greatly as beautiful images of a mother and child.
I had a look at the Alison Lapper sculpture in Trafalgar Square afterwards. I like the way it sits there, among all the fighting men, an image of a strong woman, seemingly saying, I’m naked, pregnant and disabled and I am not hiding!
On Sunday my UCL-days best buddy came up to London with her family and we all went to Nandos (another one I’d like to see in NI!). Her children are 1 and 3 and they are gorgeous! We had such a lovely time!
I was delighted to get back home though. I’d really missed all my boys. They’d been fine, great in fact! Gordon took them out on the train to St George’s Market where Duncan had a lovely time looking at the big clock (with visible mechanism!) and eating ice-cream. I’d promised them a present but couldn’t find what they wanted in London, so I had to get off the train on the way home to go to our local toy shop! Even then I couldn’t find exactly what Duncan wanted. He was disappointed when I didn’t have the right train and was crying and saying ‘bye bye Mummy’ to me. I let him be angry until he was ready to be sad and then he came over, climbed up on my knee and cried while I held and rocked him. I know he was upset with me for leaving him for those few days as well. Actually when he came back from school on Monday, he got off the bus, looked at me with a little smile and ran inside happily.