The only way is up

So in the past couple of weeks, my previously cautious son has taken a major liking to climbing!  He’d been getting better at it on the little climbing walls you find in most new playgrounds – but things took a new direction when we visited the Olympic Park again a couple of weeks ago.  One of the many brilliant things open to all visitors at the park is a climbing wall, significantly higher than anything Alex had ever seen.

And within seconds, my heart was in my mouth as he immediately started up.  But he did it first time and was so proud of himself.  Amazing!


After that, there was no stopping him.  When we got back home from the Olympic Park, we headed to Sunray Gardens for a play.  And he went straight for the most accessible tree and started climbing:


And in the weekend just past, we visited lovely Morden Hall Park.  After finding the lovely natural playground, and of course, he went for the tallest things available:


Perhaps some climbing lessons for this birthday…?

We have kept our feet on firm ground for at least some of the last fortnight! Morden Hall Park was a wonderful place to while away a few hours.  In the natural playground, there was loads to keep the children occupied, including a zip wire which Sophie in particular adored:


A river runs through the park, so we had a lovely time watching dogs splashing in the river, looking at the old water wheel at the mill and especially splashing in the tributary streams:


We had a lovely lunch in the National Trust cafe there and particularly enjoyed all the tactile toys around the cafe garden which gave the kids something to do while we waited for food and also taught them something about nature and the seasons.  And the cake was good too! We’ll definitely be back.

We also went on a canal walk last weekend.  With the weather really lovely, and no real plans – we picked a stop on the London Overground and wandered along the canal to King’s Cross where we caught the train home.  I love the canal path – loads to look at on the water, a view of some fabulous old buildings and warehouses you’d never see from the road and surprise little art galleries and cafes along the way.

We happened upon the brilliantly named “Haggerston Riviera” which was packed full of gorgeous places to visit. We wandered around an amazing exhibition of paper artists at The Proud Archivist gallery.  The art was incredible and the space perfect for little people to run around.  Can’t wait to go back and sample more of the food in the Riviera cafes!


On the August Bank Holiday weekend, before I headed up to Edinburgh for a work conference for the week, we attempted the Notting Hill Carnival for the first time.  I’ve always wanted to go, but was nervous about taking the children.  But we found out that the Sunday was family day, so we took Alex and Sophie to experience the music and colour.  With 20-30minutes between each float / performing group, we didn’t last long as the kids (and us) quickly got bored and uncomfortable.  And the music was so loud I felt terrible for not having ear defenders for the children.  We’ll try again in a few years I think!


We had a lovely day in and around Windsor on Bank Holiday Monday, visiting the fabulous family swimming pool and having a scrummy lunch at Dorney Court Kitchen Garden.  The weather was terrible, but the Garden was clearly an excellent place for families with a wonderful cafe and amazing playground / fort in the grounds.

And we enjoyed some quiet time in and around Herne HIll – and especially in our newly landscaped garden.  Now we are finally allowed on the new turf, I enjoyed spending some time lying on it with the children looking at the clouds.  So relaxing!  I love Sophie’s legs in the pic below!


Two videos to close tonight’s post.  The first is Sophie suddenly getting the hang of scooting – about a year younger than when her big brother mastered it!

And Alex going wild in the water fountains in the shadows of the London 2012 Olympic Stadium!

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