Tempus Fugit -looking back

As time flies, events have made me want to take a little look back to JJ’s first year. This week I’ve been sharing my memories of the trials and tribulations of having a new born with a newly initiated work colleague, making me take a really good look at those early days.

With baby number 2’s launch date fast approaching and only a month left of work before the REAL work begins it’s time to remind myself of those 3 words that will be key in some moments in order to keep moving forward: “It gets easier”! But along with all the hard work comes all the laughter and frog-in-throat joy you never knew you’d get to experience – so here’s to taking a look back as tempus fugit.

Pomp, Ceremony & Ducks- Changing of the Guard

We’ve gone London Loopy!The Tower of London one day and now a trip out to Westminster past Downing Street, through St James’ park to Buckingham Palace to see the daily Changing of the Guard Ceremony!

The sun was out but still chilly being April, but the Queen’s Guard are out every day from now until the end of Summer strutting their stuff, so why not join the masses of tourists to see them – for FREE? The expensive option being a visit to Buckingham palace itself but the rooms aren’t open until July and we’ll be gone by then!

Little man was made up to see horses and ducks in one day. St James’ park is great for feeding the ducks and there is a restaurant and toilets (20p public loos) within the park.  If you’re lucky you might also see a pelican.

Continuing through the park toward the palace you hear the sound of a marching band at around 11am. Crowds walk alongside them down the Mall and there is a little bottle neck as you get to Constitution Hill but nothing too distressing and this was with a stroller.

As we didn’t want to get into the scrum at the palace gates we had plenty of breathing room on the path, but sacrificed our view somewhat. We didn’t hang  around for the whole ceremony which takes about 45 minutes as we heard an old veteran giving some tourists from the States the low-down on what would happen next and it was more of the same, so we headed up to Green Park station (completely STEP-FREE- joy!) past the daffodils, to have lunch at home.

Time for some reflection next…

Back in time at The Tower of London

We were off to see the Beefeaters and the crown jewels at the Tower of London for free (!) with some complimentary staff passes thanks to the generosity of another SE16 mum and dad.

We made a day of it playing at the Archbishop’s Park in Waterloo in the morning before walking over the bridge to catch to tube along the river to Tower Hill and having lunch at Bodean’s with FREE kids’ meals.

 

Entry to the Tower of London was effortless and step-free with only a quick backpack search before we were in. In to the world of the Tower back in time with historical characters roaming the grounds, some happier to have a chat and photo than others, but all adding to the ambiance.

The Tower itself is the central building surrounded by several layers of walls and buildings, some where the Yeoman Warders (Beefeaters) and their families live so there is a mixed atmosphere of it being a tourist attraction crossed with a village.

The baby-friendly nature is mixed as there are several buggy parks and baby changing facilities but only the Waterloo Block (crown jewel house), restaurant and one shop had step-free access if you needed to take your buggy with you.

While nap time was in progress we joined the queue to enter the Waterloo Block and see the Crown Jewels. The procession of people through the block finally led to the jewels themselves where the moving walkways made sure you didn’t block the view of them for too long! My favourite was the tiny crown made for Queen Victoria when she wore her mourning veil.

We did manage to get into The White Tower via the steps once little man had woke up from his nap, to see some of the displays of armour as well as walk along some of the tower walls, but didn’t explore every exhibit as our busy day had tired me out and the grim clouds were rolling in.

So all in all a good day out soaking in some London history- can’t believe it’s taken us 15 years of living in London to see this one!

some more royal locations up soon.

 

Quacking Easter at the Wetlands Centre, Barnes

Over to West London on the tube and bus to see the ducks! The giant inflatable ducks put out for the London Wetlands Centre’s Easter Trail.

We met up with some other parent friends for this outing and if your kids love birds it’s the place to be. Lots of interesting species to spot as you make your way around all the well set out footpaths through picnic and play areas. Little man was most happy playing with the gates between enclosures and the hand washing station though. Perhaps he’d had his fill of ducks at the local park….and even the otters weren’t exciting enough for our little gatekeeper!

For more serious duck and bird lovers there are several bird hides looking out over the large expanse of marshy wetlands beyond the more structured ponds and walkways, with tips on spotting different species.

We made use of the picnic areas there but there was a restaurant and shop at the entrance. All in all a nice day out for about £13 each adult, but don’t think we’ll be buying an annual pass with only a few months left in London.