19 February, 2009

Holiday in Hackney

It's half term and as Tom has left the country, I thought I'd take the girls on a little nostalgia trip to see old haunts and more importantly old friends. It's the first time they've been back to London since they left in autumn 2007 and apparently it only takes 16 months to turn a streetwise urban urchin into a country bumpkin. They don't remember much (they're only 6 and 4 now) so it all seemed new. They were a bit surprised by the size of London, and the noise, and all the different forms of transport. Taking them from Waterloo (wow! big station, really different from Abergavenny) on the underground (woah! escalators) onto a bus and after just under an hour still being in London - it was all a bit overwhelming. In fact it was a bit nerve-wracking for me as I'm rather out of practice of navigating the city with luggage and infants. It reminded me of a time when struggling with the buggy, shopping and Charlotte, the bus doors closed with Emilia already onboard. The bus was pulling away, I was shouting, and fortunately the bus passengers who could see what had happened were also shouting. And when the driver let me on all he said was "you should have been quicker at folding the buggy". Still sends chills up my spine when I think about it. I didn't take a bus with two kids again for months and months.


Today we had a lovely time, visiting our old house (currently let to a lovely family we know), our old neighbours, and then a friend and her two children. We're staying in Stoke Newington, borrowing the house of a friend, which is very comfortable - our very large urban holiday cottage. The children have walked for miles and miles as you do when you are relying on public transport. Tomorrow there'll be more friends and more walking, and then the same on Saturday. No sights this time. Maybe next time. The London Eye and museums will have to wait - we're busy enjoying Turkish food with friends and reminding the children where they used to live.


Elizabeth Musgrave said...

I like your line about walking miles when relying on public transport. I identify with that.

just Gai said...

We left London (Streatham) before we had children so I can only imagine what bringing up children in the capital involves. I guess it's a mixture of exciting and scary. We've taken our girls back regularly and they love it. My elder daughter even talks about living there herself.

Buddhist in Training said...

Awww lovely. My girls are a little older and their dad still lives in Somerset so they visit regularly and have strong memoies of the place they started out. We are hoping to head down memory lane and catch up with a few people at the end of the month. Sounds like you had a great time. The bus story terrifies though!!