Our Unschooled Week #44

Last Saturday we headed up to my mum's in the afternoon, ready to catch the train to London the next morning for a hotel review.  The trains from home were ludicrously expensive, pus it is easier for Lara to manage a 25 minute train journey than a nearly two hour one, so this was the easier option.

We went to see the guard changing at Horseguards Parade, then walked through to St James's Park.  The pelicans were busy posing and being fascinating and there were lots of other birds to spot, a; of which the girls can name, as well as dogs to pet.

We visited Duck Island Cottage with its lovely garden, played in blossom and had lunch with pigeons and geese.  There's much more on our park visit here.

After playing in the playground for a bit, we walked round to Buckingham Palace.  Lara was a bit up and down, for various reasons, so some parts of the day were taxing, but we managed, as ever!

The girls were fascinated by the palace, although Sophia was convinced she was going to get shot by a policeman at any second.  The police presence was heavy everywhere we went, and to see them with guns is rather disconcerting, but I guess necessary with the current climate.

The girls were freer in Green Park and made the most of the opportunity to run around and let off some crazy steam.

Lara made potions and perfumes with grass and broken daffodils.

In Hyde Park, we admired the gardens and flowers, until it began to rain, then hot-footed it across the park to our hotel.

The hotel was gorgeous and we had a lovely evening getting dinner, having baths, chilling out, watching The Durrells and not doing a great deal.

After a huge breakfast on Monday morning we headed across the road to Kensington Gardens to enjoy the sunshine.  It was wall to wall dogs which suited the girls down to the ground and we spent ages talking to dogs, watching the parakeets, and looking for fairies in the trees.

At the Serpentine, we fed the swans, geese, pigeons and a couple of lone starlings.

We stopped at the Albert Memorial, which Lara knew a bit about from a documentary we watched recently.  We talked about the Empire a little then walked round the Royal Albert Hall where we found two beautiful cherry trees in blossom, the perfect place to play.

We headed to the Science Museum next, where the big highlights were the "real space suit that's been to the moon and back!" (Lara) and Stephenson's Rocket (Sophia).

After a basement pit stop, we headed next door to the Natural History Museum, where we went straight to the earthquakes and volcanoes exhibit, entering through a giant hole in the Earth.  Lara was fascinated but also terrified by an earthquake simulator designed to look like a Japanese supermarket.  With video footage of the disaster and lots of information before and after, she was visibly shaken, whilst Tatiana wanted to know how she could go and help the people re-build their homes.

Next stop was the less-harrowing jewels and gems, which Lara adored, wanting them all for her collection!  Other highlights included the Giant Sloth skeleton, finding out how tall a real ostrich is, and seeing the infamous dodo.  And finally, on to the dinosaurs...

Tatiana has now developed an interest in woolly mammoths so loved this skeleton, and seeing how a giraffe works on the inside.  While the stuffed model of poor Chi Chi from London Zoo nearly brought panda-loving Sophia to tears.  We certainly went home to Nanny's exhausted!

On Tuesday we stopped at the playground, pretended to drive Nanny's car, then headed home.  Thankfully we now have a stretch of at home days to recuperate from al this travelling around!

Back at home, I've been desperately trying to catch up with work, so Steve has just taken the girls out locally to the beach and the playgrounds, as well as playing endless games of dolls and Sylvanians, and answering a million questions an hour as usual!  We've watched a few documentaries, mostly art and history, but a few nature ones too on owls and hedgehogs, but I don't think we've opened a book in weeks.  Even bedtime stories are all made up ones at the moment!  Ah well, all good fun.

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