It’s half-term this week so, while I was looking after the girls yesterday, we went to the Natural History Museum to see their butterfly exhibition.

orange butterfly on a flower

It’s not the old-fashioned kind, with lots of dead lepidoptera pinned inside dusty cases; nope, this was a little more hands-on.

Well, not hands-on exactly – we were specifically told not to touch them – but we were surrounded by hundreds of living butterflies from around the world.

It was great!

Amber, Millie and I caught the train I’d usually get to work of a morning – the 9am to Charing Cross – which, while it meant nothing to them was kind of nice for me.  Millie read her Harry Potter book all the way there, so I read Amber her Felicity Wishes fairy book.

Hopefully that made a nice change for the commuters.

We had tickets booked for 10.30, but arriving nice and early at 10 we were ushered straight into the massive polytunnel that held the butterflies.  So much for the importance of arriving on time!

Anyway, it was HOT inside, so hot that until both my glasses and the camera lens warmed up I couldn’t see much or take any pictures.  But once I could – wow!  Butterflies of all shapes, sizes, colours and types.

Amber and Millie in the butterfly exhibition
Where are the butterflies??

There’s something about butterflies, isn’t there?  The way they bob and weave about, always on the edge of chaos, but somehow staying just barely in control – and that’s even without the remarkable colours. 🙂

While Amber ran off to find all of the ink stamps for the activity card they’d been given, Millie and I looked at all of the butterflies, both of us laughing and gasping with wonder.

You can see most of the photos I took in this Flickr butterfly set.  Bearing in mind that most of these were snapped from quite a distance, using a lot of zoom, chasing moving targets, I think they’re not bad at all. 🙂

We were inside for a good 40 minutes going back and forth, trying to coax butterflies to land on us, as they did with many of the other people in there.  Sadly, although Millie and I were both buzzed they never settled on us.  Oh, well.

By the time we came out we were greeted by the sight of huge queues for the Natural History Museum, to the Science Museum (I wanted to tell them about the time I went behnd the scenes there in 2006 as a judge for the Clarke Award – but that’s a story for when they’re older…), and even a queue for the butterflies.

Thank goodness we I booked early tickets and we arrived on time, eh?

Noodles in South Ken
Noodles in South Ken

After that we walked back towards South Kensington tube, looking for somewhere to have lunch, even though it was barely 11, and eventually agreed on a noodle bar.

The girls loved choosing what to have in their noodle box, and I was simply glad we’d managed to steer clear of any burger franchises.

They weren’t the best noodles I’ve ever had, but they were absolutely fine.  It was just nice to be oot and aboot having lunch with my girls. 🙂

And as if that wasn’t heroic enough, I even managed to haul my arse out of the house again that evening to go and see Daughn Gibson play live in London’s fashionable Dalston.  And he was very good, too.

(it may not sound heroic, but I was very very drunk Sunday night, celebrating the 40th birthday of my friend Luthfa; so much so that the Bank Holiday Monday was a complete wipeout for me.  Going out just 48 hours later – to a bar, of all places! – should have won me a goddamn medal)

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