Continuing with the Autumn round-up: my adorable little bundle of joy continues to test her boundaries and I openly weep in Sainsbury’s…
O C T O B E R (continued)
October turned out to be a pretty busy month. After having a somewhat traumatic experience at the Ai Weiwei exhibition earlier in the week, and even though Ramona was still going through some serious demonic life changes, I decided to brave a second outing to a museum without husbanderial back-up.
Tiger, Mog and Pink Rabbit: A Judith Kerr Retrospective @ The Jewish Museum
Like millions before (and there will be millions after), Ramona loves The Tiger Who Came to Tea. I am forced to read it to her EVERY NIGHT at bedtime. She has, at a young age, memorised certain parts and nuances from the book.
I wanted to get to the exhibition for the daily 10:30 read, which we just about managed after negotiating the no. 29 aka the bus of doom. Ramona was excited to be sitting in a room with some slightly older kids. The storyteller began to read The Tiger Who Came to Tea and she enthusiastically chimed in “daddy” at the parts where daddy was mentioned. Unfortunately, one of the little girls didn’t take too kindly to this as she removed herself from her seat, got up and whacked Ramona round the face. Unfortunately her mother had missed this. Nevertheless, R carried on, no tears, enjoying the story, laughing, until the same girl, for a second time, got up, grabbed Ramona and her drink bottle and shoved it into her face until she fell to the ground. Luckily, her mother had seen it this time and quickly stepped into action. I was horrified and mortified. Not only mortified for my child, but also for the child of the other mother. The reading was stopped. People stood there like they’d just witnessed some kind of drive-by. I could feel myself beginning to shake, trying my best to remain calm. The mother of the child – who was quite a few years R’s senior – desperately pleaded with her child to apologise and when she wouldn’t, the mother apologised on her behalf. I really did feel for the mother. As she was walking away, I heard her give her child a “final warning” (something which I heard her say later on in the exhibition over another misdeed she had committed against another child).
Unfortunately, the above put a bit of a dampener on the exhibition. I wanted to get out of there as soon as possible to avoid any further altercations. But that aside, it was a wonderful and interactive exhibit. We (mostly I) played dress up and sat in a very large version of Mog’s cat basket. We had tea with the tiger and Ramona crawled into a tiny bed (and also bounced on it, nearly falling and cracking her head). I wish R had been old enough to appreciated the beautiful original artworks that were also on show.
I desperately wanted to buy an exhibition poster but at £15 a pop, I thought they were seriously ‘aving a laugh.
After visiting the Jewish Museum, we wandered up Parkway, picked up some lunch and went to Regent’s Park. It was a perfect autumn day in the capital, just me and my chick.
It being a school day meant that we could navigate the playground without the usual crowds (and without the usual embarrassment I feel when I’m accompanying R on every slide and climbing frame). Because her dad wasn’t with us, I allowed R to try some of the more challenging equipment in the playground.
Every couple of months, I need to get out of the city and I’m very lucky to have a place to escape to. As hubby had a lot of gigs coming up, I decided we’d hit the shire of Oxford to visit his parents. We have our own room there and there’s space for R to run around like the crazy banshee she is. The village has no shop, no bus, no pub, little internet. NO MEANS OF ESCAPE. But we love it. It’s nice to wake up and see the horses at the bottom of the front driveway. R marches up and down the country lanes looking for puddles, sheep and chickens.
Living off the land!
We decided to go foraging for sloe berries in order to make some sloe gin; a process that requires some TLC between now and its due date: Christmas time!
Other foraging opportunities included picking blackberries and apples on our country rambles. I loved that R was so interested in this. She was desperate to pick her own fruit and she needed no encouragement in trying the blackberries, even though some of them must have been sour! We walked and ate from the land! We also took a massive tub of berries home to make a pie with.
Hubby and his music
As I mentioned, hubby had a week of gigs, so he went back to London to play three promotional gigs for the release of a single he had been a part of.
Here is a link to the single by Kieran Leonard (the less well known Kieran Leonard). It’s 15 minutes long, if you can be bothered (I couldn’t… I lost interest because hubs isn’t in the video).
Back to London…
After a visit with her grandparents, Ramona’s demonic side had shifted back to the manageable.
I managed to get a rare day in with some of my family – my mum, one of my sisters, but more importantly, all of mum’s grandchildren.
R loves spending time with her cousins, but she’s no longer the youngest and she’s TERRIFIED that the new baby (Barnaby) is trying to steal her boob. She doesn’t take kindly to that.
N O V E M B E R
The Horniman Museum, my birthday, more art, ducks and squirrels
At the beginning of the year, Time Out put the Horniman Museum at no.1 of the top 10 museums for families in London. Here is what it said about it:
An anthropological museum set in 16 acres of landscaped gardens, the Horniman has a traditional natural history gallery – dominated by a bizarre, overstuffed walrus – where the exhibits are displayed in traditional cases with no computer touch-screens in sight. There’s also an aquarium, a permanent gallery dedicated to African, Afro-Caribbean and Brazilian art, and a collection of around 1,600 musical instruments, with an area where people can play some of them and a display (‘At Home with Music’) where historical keyboards, dating all the way back to a virginals from 1555, are on show. The museum provides extensive facilities for families, including a nature trail, weekend workshops and a hands-on base where children can touch museum objects. Nature Base explores the natural world with exhibits including the Horniman beehive.
We took a picnic from home and enjoyed the gardens. R especially enjoyed the musical instrument collection (as did hubby).
I enjoy bumming it around London on my birthday. We went to St. James’ Park where we fed and chased squirrels then went to a bookshop before rambling through Soho until R fell asleep (so that we could visit an old haunt; the Nelly Dean), before returning home for the usual steak, chips and green beans dinner. It might seem boring to most, but I loved it.
This part really requires its own post, but as I’m already boring myself, I’ll just do a quick summary.
Greg Gilbert: artist, singer, songwriter and generally an all round talent had four pieces in the ING Discerning Eye exhibition at Mall Galleries, London. Having only seen the pieces on the internet, it was great to see them close up, in all their glorious detail. The size, the detail and the use of material (the humble biro).
The Discerning Eye exhibition was along the Mall so we took a picnic, some bread for the ducks and monkey nuts for the squirrels and paid St. James’ Park another visit.
When I see her talking to the squirrels, I know she’s my child.
We were popular with the ducks, swans and geese and one particular cheeky chap followed us and sat with us as we had our lunch. I stupidly mentioned that the ‘duck’ wanted some of R’s sandwich and she was happy to share (doesn’t like sharing with other kids, but wild animals, sure!). Cue: sad face and confused child.
AUTUMN ROUND UP COMPLETE. NEXT UP: CHRIIIIISTMAS!