Thursday, July 8, 2010

Dino-sorry we went


To be tired of London, is to be tired of life as Dr Johnson famously said all those centuries ago. But I wish he hadn't. Every time I get frustrated by living here, his words come back to haunt me, making me feel bad for not being more grateful for living in one of the world's great metropolises. Yet I bet Dr Johnson didn't have to queue behind the longest line of fluorescent-bibbed schoolchildren before he could use the loo in the Natural History Museum. Or fight his way across London on the Circle line to get there in the first place. 

And if he'd kept quiet, then chances are we wouldn't have felt the need to schlep all the way to South Kensington to fill a bonus day en famille after the weather gods kiboshed our beach plans. Instead, we'd have been happy with our umpteenth trip to the Tate Modern, just so we could pretend it's walking distance from where we live. (To be fair, it is; it's just a very long walk.) But no, we thought we'd take Louis for that childhood rite of passage that is visiting the dinosaur skeletons, especially as his current favourite Charlie and Lola episode ends with them donating the fossil they have found to their local museum. 

In retrospect, we should have aborted once we saw the queue. To get in. But we dutifully trekked to the other entrance, even if it was at least a mile from the dinosaur in question. It wasn't the distance we minded, but the fact that we had then to negotiate the length of the museum to find the dinosaur hall. And everyone else in it.... On the plus side, Louis did spot a bonus digger, or half a digger, in the lame exhibition about our earth's resources. Or whatever it was. But on the downside, that meant the second we finally made it to the dinosaur, Louis took one look and announced: "I want to see the digger." 

And the moral? Next time we get the urge to test our zest for life we're sticking well clear of anything aimed at children. Art galleries, yes; museums popular with kids, no. I hope Louis took a long, hard look at those dinosaur skeletons because it's the last he'll be seeing of them for quite some time. Until he dons his own fluorescent yellow vest on some future school trip I imagine. Provided London doesn't totally tire me out first.  

7 comments:

KK said...

Just to prove I'm not a one hit wonder....here I am again. This post has made me dread the fact that tonight I'm going to sit down and try and plan a weekend away for the August bank holiday. Could that get any worse. The last weekend of the school holidays and a bank holiday on top. Now that's double trouble on the busy front. So hey, wish me luck!

Hot Cross Mum said...

That's a great photo though! I refuse to queue for anything for more than 5 mins which is probab;y why we will never make it to DisneyLand. Sorry boys!

Babies who brunch said...

@KK: I was trying to think of some suggestions, but that sounds like a truly tough call.... Double trouble indeed!

@HCM: I thought I'd better get photographic evidence of the fact that we'd been when he is old enough to start asking me to take him!

Metropolitan Mum said...

That's so funny. The last time I went there was no queue at all. I think that was at a weekend, when all the school classes stay home.

Hackney Hackette said...

"The second we finally made it to the dinosaur, Louis took one look and announced: "I want to see the digger." " Hee! Sounds familiar.
We also went on a weekend and there was no queue when we got there at opening time, but after we'd had lunch and passed by the dinosaurs again there was a massive queue.
But my main beef with the museum was the cafe. £8 for a bagel??

PantsWithNames said...

Come up to the Nat Hist museum in Oxford - it's got a T Rex and never has a queue and is great for kids! I'll meet you there!

Ps - I was thinking about bringing my boys up to London to see the dinos, will think twice about it now!

Babies who brunch said...

@ Pants: you know, we nearly hopped on the train to Oxford today. definitely up for that one of these days. i'd better make it before you're due though.... sounds like the thing to do is opt for a weekend. or maybe, gulp, during the school holidays.....