Another year passes, another visit to the Horniman Museum and Gardens in Forest Hill, and another chance for me to hold my daughters up in front of the Walrus. I’m getting weaker or La Serpiente is getting heavier – I’m not sure if I’ll be able to manage a whole decade of this.
I’ve also noticed that my lifting posture isn’t that great – leaning way too far back and stressing my spine when I should be planted more solidly. Something to work on for next year for sure.
After this tradition, and after going to the aquarium for five minutes (after which Destroyer had a full meltdown because she hadn’t been fed for at least 6 minutes) we had a coffee at the cafe (surprisingly good, for a change) and then saw the Robot Zoo exhibit downstairs. Although the Centenary Gallery is closed for refubishment, the Robot Zoo is quite an adequate distraction; there is a collection of enormous robotic animals, chopped open to see their insides. This is a nice way to show the innards of creatures, without displaying a vast amount of child-frightening gore.
Both children got their faces painted, and then we ventured into the light drizzle to play on the musical instruments in the garden and visit the goats and other animals. At which point I had a sneezing fit (an allergic reaction?) and had to go home, where everyone slept until it was time to go to Crystal Palace Park and look at the dinosaur sculptures. Two traditions in one day.
They’re renovating the dinosaurs in the park and are stripping off all the bird crap and moss, and then repainting them in their original green and gold colour scheme. The ones they’ve done look really rather lovely, and even the cleaned ones are good, although now I understand that statuary in Greek and Roman times wasn’t bare marble, the painted versions appeal much more.
We also had time to stop in at Papagaio, my friend’s toy shop in Penge High Street. There’s so many lovely toys in there that the girls were entranced for an hour, but we left without being too heavy laden. Well, we had a thing or two.
Again, tonight I thought the kids would go to sleep easily having been exhausted. More the fool me: another 45 minutes of twitching, whispering, fiddling, surreptitious counting and other nonsense before they both conked out. And tomorrow, to a castle…