Chocolate overdose

I am sitting at my kitchen table trying to ignore the call of the last few Cadbury’s cream eggs that make up the children’s Easter stash, and can’t quite believe the weekend is already over.  It’s disappeared in the blink of an eye, but judging by the ridiculous number of photographs I’ve just sorted through, we’ve managed to pack quite a lot in.  No wonder Alex actually asked to go to bed this evening!

13978539453_2011595a1b_zWe started with a Good Friday doing some of our favourite things in London.  We spent the morning at the National Army Museum in the brilliant kids zone letting the children run wild!  It’s such a great little soft play, with number restrictions and really accessible kit, so even little ones like Sophie can navigate their way around on their own.  I was too busy chasing her to take pictures, but here’s a quick one as she proudly crosses a bridge by herself.  I’m gutted to learn that the museum will close for two years next week for a major refurbishment 😦

After a pub lunch in The Florence in Herne Hill, we wandered over to the velodrome for the Good Friday open day.  Normally, Herne Hill hosts a major cycling meet on Good Friday, but sadly for us locals, that was moved to the Olympic velodrome this year 😦   We still enjoyed a few races and watching people try out penny farthings (!), before heading home to play with our new garden toy – a water and sand table.

The children were so excited when we set it up and carefully put sand and water into the two main compartments.  As soon as they got their hands on it, they transformed it into a murky, muddy swamp by mixing everything up!  What a mess – but they had so much fun!

waterplay

On Saturday, our carefully made family plans were slighty scuppered by a major chip in our windscreen, so instead of driving together to my parents’s place, I ended up leaving Matt at home waiting for a repair man and taking the children out on my own. Determined not to miss out on the trip we planned, I took Alex and Sophie by bus, tube and train all the way to Beaconsfield to visit Bekenscot Model Village and Miniature Railway!

It was so busy with families, I doubted my sanity for attempting it alone, but Alex and Sophie were completely enthralled with it all.  Alex was beside himself because of all the little trains chugging around the place and shouted “train!” to the nearest person whenever one passed.  Sophie was intrigued by it all, taking ages to walk around as she kept stopping to point and look (and also to pull the petals off lots of the beautiful flower there – whoops!)

bekenscot

We enjoyed a relaxing picnic and then a long time playing in their fabulous adventure playground – Sophie repeatedly climbing up the tallest slide she could find and Alex loving the pirate water canon game.  After ice creams and a bit of a magic show (!), we ended our visit with a ride on the little steam train which chuffs around the village.

It really is a great place – and rather conveniently at the midway point between home and my parents’ house – so I suspect we’ll be visiting pretty often!  Matt picked us up with a gleaming new windscreen and we headed up the M40 to Northamptonshire for the weekend.  It was a beautiful evening, so we headed straight out to the village playground and playing fields, Sophie insisting on pushing her buggy the whole way:

buggy

Once we’d finally made it to the fields, we whiled away an hour playing football and enjoying the lovely little playground area:

blakesley

Once we’d tucked our two exhausted children into bed, we enjoyed the peace and quiet of beautiful Blakesley and an early night to prepare for the inevitable sugar rush that Easter Sunday would bring!

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Sure enough, Alex woke excited about the prospect of chocolate eggs! But we made him work for them, setting up a little Easter Egg hunt in the back garden! They had a great time, and were surprisingly thrilled with the little cuddly chicks and lambs they found in some of their eggs in our attempt at limiting the sugar consumption!

easter

They did, of course, enjoy some chocolate before we were heading back out to the playing fields again, this time for the village egg hung and duck race!! Amazingly, 300 cream eggs had been distributed around the massive field for a mass of local children to seek out. And find them they did. Warned they were allowed no more than 5 eggs to ensure everyone got something, Alex decided that meant he HAD to find five. He easily found one, but then couldn’t find any more. Poor Matt then got dragged around the field by Alex in a desperate bid to reach his quota! And find them he did! Alex is nothing if not determined!

Once we’d hoovered up the remaining cream eggs, we joined the villagers at the local stream fot the annual duck race! With over 200 little plastic ducks purchased and flung in the stream, what followed was a hilarious “race” where most of them got stuck in weeds and by the bank. The water wasn’t particularly fast flowing, so it was a fairly lengthy race, but Alex loved it. Sadly his duck didn’t win, but it was quite an experience for a city boy!

duckrace

After exploring the stream a bit more, and trudging back to the village through the fields, we stopped in at the pub for a refreshing drink 🙂

blakesley2

For the rest of the day, we attempted to ration chocolate consumption and intersperse it with lots of outdoor play to work it off! We managed to leave enough room for a lovely family roast to end the day – all in all, a very happy Easter!

This morning, we had to head back into town, but we broke the journey at the RAF museum for a bit of a run around and some lunch. Alex and Sophie made us spend most of the time in the children’s play area of course! But we did manage to see some of the exhibits too…

rafmuseum

We ended the weekend in our local park, feeding the ducklings and enjoying the playground.  Alex managed to climb right to the very top of the “spider’s web” by himself so was very proud for the rest of the day!

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Time to sign off – that cream egg won’t eat itself…

 

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