One of my oldest friends from university, despite living in Croydon, had never been to Crystal Palace Park to see the dinosaurs, so this morning I bundled up the girls in their coats and took a bus up to Crystal Palace, then made the kids rush through many muddy paths and down hills to Gus the Gorilla, where we hoped my friend was waiting.
He’d got delayed so instead I took the girls to drink hot chocolate and then we rendezvoused by the iguanadon (how many other parks can boast a landmark like that?) and then we walked around the park.
My friend specialises in philosophy and obscenity, so we talked about that a little, and compared our experiences on tramadol, and generally caught up. We did this while pushing the kids on the swings, or doling out snacks, for which the children had an insatiable appetite. Once my supplies of raisins, popcorn, rabbit-shaped chocolate biscuits etcetera were exhausted, we headed back up the hill to the Blackbird Bakery, on the parade of shops above Crystal Palace, where my wife had just arrived.
There, we loaded the kids up with more gingerbread, caffeinated ourselves then descended to Beckenham again, where the kids played until it was time to spread reindeer food outside for Santa’s transporters, and then the kids watched TV while we returned to Crystal Palace to go to the pub.
We got back by 8:15; Destroyer was of course still awake and refusing to sleep, while La Serpiente was out cold. One more sleep til Christmas…