Celebrating Chinese New Year

Half term has whizzed past – so I’ve got some blog updating to do!  It hasn’t quite been the half term week we’d hoped for, with our original plan to spend a few days in the New Forest with Katharine somewhat scuppered by an outbreak of Chicken Pox in little Emilia.  And then my pair have both been under the weather for most of the week!  I am so ready for Spring, I’ve had enough of these winter bugs.

But despite all the illness, we’ve managed to have some fun.  Last weekend was the big Chinese New Year celebration in London, something I hadn’t really witnessed before.  Having spent the past few weeks having to deliver a range of Chinese New Year designs at work, I wasn’t sure I was quite in the mood for more – but both the children had studied it at school and nursery and were keen to see the dragons.  And what a spectacle it was!  All of Chinatown was decorated with vivid red lanterns and banners, the smells of food cooking were delicious and the sound intense and loud, with firecrakers exploding everywhere!

ChinaTown

The crowds were so intense, it was tricky seeing the parade, but we did manage to see some beautiful dragons and find some spots to get a good glimpse of the drummers and dancers.

ChinaParade

As we wandered around, Alex told us all about the story of the Chinese Zodiac – reassuring to hear he does listen to his teacher sometimes!  Sophie was thrilled to get her own Chinese dragon to carry!

FamilyChinatown

The biggest highlight for Alex was getting a little bag of mini firecrackers which he delighted in flinging at the pavement or jumping on to make them crack loudly!  Sophie was nervous to start with, but eventually was brave enough to have ago!

AlexFirecracker

After a while it got a bit too cold and busy, so we made our exit – but we left enough time to capture another quality family picture.  Check out those cranky faces!  Makes me laugh out loud every time!

GrumpyFamily

Having failed to find a short enough queue to pick up some Chinese food, we made a spur of the moment decision to pop into the gorgeous Cellarium Cafe at Westminster Abbey for lunch.  When we arrived it was incredibly quiet and full of very smart adults eating posh afternoon teas – I thought we’d made a terrible mistake taking our noisy pair in, but it was really child friendly!  Free kids meals and yummy food, it was the perfect pitstop on the way home.

After lunch, we walked around the beautiful cloisters for a while.  Alex read lots of the plaques (!) and loved the Edmond Halley memorial in particular (I did too).

WestminsterAbbeyPics

Meanwhile Sophie enjoyed exploring the cloister.

WestminsterAbbey

Love this photo of my siblings at the end of our fun Sunday.

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