As the kids are on half term this week, we always like to go to a couple of places. They’ve both been revising most of this week, and after you’ve been working so hard you need to have a bit of play time. I asked them both where they wanted to go and they immediately replied “Natural History Museum and Science Museum!!” I know we go there a lot, but it’s free to get in. Although now they ask for a donation of £5 per person. I think this is a bit much. Ok if you take a map, then yes, charge for that. But they get lots of money from their gift shop and the food places are rather expensive, as well as some exhibitions you have to pay to go and see. I’m trying to save the pennies so we take a packed lunch with us. After having got the train ticket, where Emily being 16 now has an adult fare, so with 2 adults and 1 child the train alone cost £30.20! I’ll stop moaning now and tell you about our day. On the train journey up, we played the A, B, C game. Having done boy and girls names, we then had to name countries. The only letter that doesn’t have a country is “X”. George got a bit confused sometimes and kept naming US States instead. I was sitting next to a woman reading a book, and I could sense the despair on her face at times. We finally arrived at the Natural History Museum, but the queue was biblical, so we decided to go to the Science Museum first. Even that had a bit of a queue, but it was moving fairly fast so it didn’t take us long to get in. Again they ask for a donation of £5 per person, and would you like a map. I said “No thank you” to the map as we knew where we were going, well almost. We headed straight up to the 3rd floor to find somewhere quiet to sit and have our lunch. The ground floor was very noisy and busy. I like a bit of quiet, too much noise and disorganisation makes be uneasy. We found a bench and ate lots (I always take plenty of food with me on our little trips, after all I do have a George with me), and when we’d finished we went to the “Flight Room”. It’s amazing to think that aeroplanes have only been around for about 100 years. Oh, how they’ve changed in that time. Much safer now, which is great. I bet the Wright Brothers never imagined, in their wildest dreams how aircraft would revolutionise the way we live now. I really wouldn’t have wanted to have been in any of the early flying machines, especially the airships.
George tried his hand at being an air traffic control officer. I hope he never takes that up as a career. We all went and saw the cockpit of Concorde which is very small indeed. Must go to Brooklands Museum to see the racing cars and Concorde one day. It’s not far away. I remember when I was younger, that at 3.30pm every afternoon Concorde would fly over our house. The noise was unbelievable. You always heard it before you saw it. We then went down to level 2 to find the “Clockmakers’ Museum”. It’s something we’ve not seen, ever, I don’t think. It’s very interesting, with clocks and watches of all different shapes and sizes, some are still working and others have given up the ghost, but look fantastic.
We were around in this section, just as it came up to 1pm and loads of the clocks started to chime. All at slightly different times and notes. We wondered what it would have been like when they all chimed at noon. Very noisy, but musical in a strange sort of way. We also looked at the “Virgin Media” section where there were some wonderfully frames photos. These were a selection of some of the first photos ever taken, and were so beautiful. Next it was down to level G for “Exploring Space”. Now it was heaving and not wanting to sound ungrateful, but once you’ve been to Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, well it’s all a bit quaint in the Science Museum. I do like looking at the rockets and stuff, especially the one that looks like it comes from a James Bond film.
Finally in the Science Museum we went down to the Lower Ground, because they have an area called “The Garden”. However, this was only for children aged 3-6 years, so I don’t think I would have stood a chance in convincing anyone I was in that age bracket. So we left and found a little quiet place to sit for 10 minutes to have something else to nibble on, before we left to had a go at getting in to see the dinosaurs. Amazingly enough the queue was very short, which was brilliant, so we were in very quickly. Again they tried to give you a map (been so many times, we could do it with our eyes closed. But then we wouldn’t see anything!) And ask for a donation of £5 per person. If I’d have given £15 per museum, plus the train fare that would have cost us over £60! I wanted a cheap day out. We headed straight for the Dinosaurs as the queue for this was very short. They’ve changed it round, so you don’t go in where you usually do, but you see the T-Rex first, rather than half way through. All a bit confusing for those of us who expect our dinosaurs in a certain order. The T-Rex is as impressive as ever, but some children were scared. To be honest quite rightly so, it’s a big bugger when it thrashes about and roars. Emily spotted a wonderful shadow on the ceiling, it was cast by a dinosaur skeleton. Something you’d expect to see during a tense moment in a dinosaur movie.
After seeing the “Creepy Crawlies”, “How Babies are Made”, it’s always good for them to realise what I had to go through, and “Mammals”, it was then time to leave and go and meet Mark and some of his work colleagues. There were 8 of us that went to have dinner in Wagamama’s. Very tasty food and filling, even for George. Whilst we were having dinner, Mark surprised me with a little present. He asked me to close my eyes and put out my hands. I told him that it wasn’t his birthday until Sunday, but did as I was instructed. He placed something in my hands and then I had to open my eyes. I squealed with excitement.
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Then everyone, except me, went off to the IMAX to watch Star Wars again in 3D. I didn’t go, because I’ve already seen it, and even though I’d like to see it again, an IMAX screen isn’t for me. I don’t do well when the screen moves the way they do. It sends my brain all weird. The train journey home was eventful. We had a very drunk young lady in our carriage, who kept telling us what station she needed to get off. She kept falling asleep and then talking in her sleep. She kept waking up at every stop and asking if we’d reached her stop yet. That doesn’t sound too bad, until she started swearing at some other passenger and accusing her of taking photos of her. Whether this other passenger was taking photos, I don’t know, but the drunk lady was getting very abusive. We pulled into a station and someone very calmly told the drunk lady that we’d arrived at her stop. She got off the train still swearing. However, we hadn’t reached her stop yet, but she was so drunk she didn’t realise until the train was pulling away and then we could still hear her swearing at us as the train pulled away. Then peace returned to our carriage. I arrived home just before 7pm, and had some quiet time. I then picked Mark and the kids up from the station just after 9.30pm and when we all arrived back home, we were all exhausted so were all in bed by 10pm.