A Sunday Outing


To give the Lovely Melanie a well-deserved break (and because she was out with friends the night before) I took the girls up into town on Sunday.

Our stated purpose was to see an exhibition called Republic Of The Moon at the OXO Tower, but mostly it was to get us out of the house for some father-daughter bonding time.

It was nice to be out and about with my own children, just the three of us.  Millie had been in an unholy temper for most of the weekend, had lost all kinds of privileges, and been sat down and given a talking to at least twice; so the forecast wasn’t exactly “fair sailing”.

But, like me, they tend to be better out of the house.  And with me they get to run around, clamber on things, and explore more than they would with their mother. 😉

South Bank Ampersand

The moon exhibition was fine.  I was hoping for something more science-based, but the artworks varied from complete nonsense to mildly entertaining.

There was a room with a moon on the floor that was a completely dark which the girls found hilarious; a control room (with buttons) for watching geese on the moon (don’t ask), and a piano playing the Moonlight Sonata all by itself.

But this big multi-coloured ampersand outside the gallery was better – certainly we spent more time clambering around it.

After the ampersand we found a tiny strip of beach, part of a larger beach we’d been to before, but it was high tide.

That didn’t stop the girls from getting ridiculously excited. I’m sure they’d have jumped in the river if I’d OK’d that (I didn’t – but they still managed to get wet feet!)  Instead, they got stuck in building sandcastles using some empty tupperware.  They scooped out a path down to the river, too, so I made a short film a bit like the Death Star Trench section of Star Wars.

After adding the music it’s practically indistinguishable from George Lucas’s original!

After that I gave the girls a choice: walk to Cannon Street station or catch a tube to London Bridge.  Unexpectedly, they chose the walk.

So, we set off towards the Tate Modern, to cross the Millennium Bridge to St Paul’s, and a short walk to Cannon Street station.  Crossing the bridge, we were all of us fascinated by all the padlocks attached to its’ cables – most of which were either commemorating marriages or declaring undying love.  Why are they there?  Who knows!  But it was all rather sweet and touching.

Across the bridge, we discovered “The Inclinator“, a sort of disabled-access funicular.  So we had a go in that.  It took ages and wasn’t exactly a rollercoaster, but the girls squealed with delight as it laboured first down and then back up the short incline (hence the name).

Next to the Inclinator, by St Paul’s, we discovered a tiny “playground”, with spinning discs, wobbly platforms, and huge mirrored balls.  You can see us reflected in one in this picture.

And there was one more surprise for the afternoon.

At Cannon Street, after we got on the right train (I realised it was the wrong train because it had the “wrong” upholstery – you get to notice this stuff after a while) we bumped into our neighbours, The Other Bexley Carters.

They’d been in town for Chinese New Year – something we’d tried before but given a miss because it was too crowded and you could barely see anything.

“How was it?” I asked them.

“It was too crowded and we could barely see anything.  I think we’ll give it a miss next year,” they replied. 🙂

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