Within two miles

We stayed within two miles of our house all weekend – and it reminded me quite how much I love living here!  I’ve had a few horrendous commutes this year so far, and I’ve found myself occasionally investigating RightMove to see what we could afford up in Northumbria or Scotland, imagining a completely different life.  The idea of mortgage free living is tempting, and sometimes I question why Matt and I work quite so hard to afford a life in the capital.  But weekends like this confirm why.

SophI love London – and more specifically I love Herne Hill!  And I love bringing up my children here.

We started the weekend at our local little park, Sunray Gardens, where we fed the geese and ducks and had a general run aroud.  Sophie was modelling her rather garish new waterproof suit – a find in the January sales, and a great investment to both keep her really warm but also to save her clothes now she loves digging up mud etc!

We then headed to the brilliant Horniman Museum, just two miles from home.  Alex and Sophie loved exploring the aquarium – Alex particularly fascinated by the frogs and jelly fish, and Sophie just enjoying the space and freedom to walk and point!

fish

Once Matt and I were bored of the 20th loop around the tanks, we dragged the children into the beautiful Horniman gardens up to the Saturday Farmers’ Market.  Soon we were all sitting on a bench, looking at the London city skyline, munching on savoury galettes, soup and chocolate and clementine muffins!  Perfect.

While Sophie headed home with Matt for a nap, Alex and I got a bus into East Dulwich for a wander around the shops and market – stocking up on popcorn, brownies and gifts for all the babies born this week (our friends have been busy!).  We cracked open the popcorn as soon as we got home as we settled down to watch “WALL*E”, Alex’s current favourite film.

We ended the day with a playdate at home with my NCT friend Shelly and her son Ralph.  A thoroughly lovely, chilled out day.

The pace stayed easy this morning, but with the addition of bright sunshine which encouraged us out of the house early for a swim in Brixton.  I wish I could get some video of the children in the water – I can’t describe quite how much they love it in the pool.  Sophie goes crazy, giggling, kicking and spashing.  She’s getting really strong and propelling herself forwards and has a great position in the water.  She did some swimming underwater today and was completely at ease.  And Alex is getting more and more confident – happy underwater, swimming through our legs, jumping off the side and starting to swim on his own.  So proud!

After the usual saunter around Brixton, and stop for Colombian snacks (empanadas and arepas), coffee and cookies, we headed home for lunch and another viewing of “WALL*E”!  Alex couldn’t be persuaded to watch anything else.  I couldn’t even drag him away from space to walk to the Herne Hill Farmers’ Market – so Sophie and I enjoyed a girly trip together and sampled some yummy red velvet cake!

We ended our weekend, where we started it, back in Sunray Gardens.  This time in the sunshine and with Alex and Sophie’s friends, Sam and Una.  The boys attempted to play tennis (!), chased each other and dug in the mud for treasure.  Sophie followed them around as fast as she could – I don’t think she realises she isn’t three as well.

Sunray

When we got too cold, we headed home to continue playing there.  Sophie and Una pottered around together – hoping they’ll grow into firm friends like Sam and Alex.

To try and calm things down, we spent the last time before bed on more artistic tasks – making a glitter space scene.  We don’t do much art with Alex (he doesn’t tend to stop moving), but he loved doing this.  He was so keen with the glitter that I fear I will be finding glitter for months! Oh well, at least I have a new piece of art for my fridge!

It really was a lovely weekend.  Just five more days till the next one…

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