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Posts Tagged ‘half term’

We’re home after a few days in London doing Londony things (art galleries, museums, the Tube, queues). The hallway is full of half emptied suitcases, books and random hairbrushes and the Queen is padding around in her cat onesie singing loudly and failing to organise herself for Guide camp. We were back in time for our Light Party at church last night – about 35 kids and a similar number of adults making things with paper and glue and felttips and then singing and thinking about the light of Christ before consuming plenty of chocolates and mini eclairs. Lots of fun to see so many families out together and lovely to be able to chat with many of them. We think we may need to prepare extra oranges for the Messy Christingle this year…

I came home to a couple of responses to my book in the actual proper post – a lovely encouraging letter from a Twitter friend but also a completely off topic response from a reader of the Express and Star, asking me about a tricky passage in 1 Samuel. I’m still working out if and how to respond to the latter.

And Lichfield Diocese have made the video of me public, so I can post it on here. The island in the kitchen isn’t looking any better today:

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It's amazing how much fun an underground train journey can be

That’s how we spent our half term holiday: learning to use the Tube. Well, we did a few other things as well, but when the Joker told people about what we’d been up to, the Tube featured rather heavily in his report.

My mother is a Super-Organised Nanna and we’d agreed to go and stay with her and Grumpy Grandpa in London for a few days. The Vicar managed to break away from his sermon prep long enough to spend some of the time with us aswell.

S-O Nanna had comprehensively surfed the net to work out the best things to do with an 8 year old, a 7 year old and a 5 year old in London during half term. So we had a trip to the Science Museum, a visit to the Tower of London and finally an activity morning at the Museum of Childhood.

Of course we visited all these places by tube, which, when you’re under ten and don’t have to do it all the time, is a wonderful treat. This is the first year we’ve been able to do this sort of visit because the Engineer is only just out of the buggy and not whining all the time he has to walk.

The Science Museum trip was the least successful, even though the Vicar was able to come on that one. Even though we were at South Kensington tube station by about 10.45am, there was already a queue to get in. And after we’d had our picnic lunch by the interactive section we would have had to queue again for around 45 minutes to get into the part with all the buttons. The children enjoyed it, but it was really too busy. I think we’d only return there on a school Inset day, when not quite the whole world is trying to visit. Apparently the Natural History museum is similarly heaving during half term. But it is free.

Our favourite part of the Science Museum was probably a story time session, where one of the staff told an interactive story about a visit to Iceland. Her story taught the children about snow, ice and volcanoes, using actions and a white parachute. It was most suitable for younger children although I think the Queen probably enjoyed it the most – she loves drama. Ooh – and we bumped into some old pals from Vicar college. We’d not seen them for nearly five years. London’s a small place. Or Vicars and their families like to do free things in half term.

More on the Tower and the Museum of Childhood another day. Wish we had similar stuff on in our town tho’. I’m thinking The Public could learn a thing or two…

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Vicarage life was particularly fulltime before half term – one of those frantic seasons that hit you from time to time in ministry. The Vicar was out of the house more than in and even his days off seemed to include aspects of work.

So it was with a great sense of relief that we began our half term holiday with a wedding, followed by a stay with friends – another clergy family who have recently moved to Essex.Make sure you pack it every time

When the Vicar family go away I usually write a list of essential activities to be completed and items to be packed before departure. The failure to do this was my first mistake.

A few miles from home I realised that we’d forgotten sleeping bags for the children. These were needed for our stay with our friends. From the wedding reception we called the EssexRectors and they said they could easily find other bedding. Phew.

One lovely wedding and reception later we headed off to Essex, still in our wedding finery, arriving in time for a late dinner. The Vicar unpacked the bags. ‘But where’s your stuff, Vicar’s Wife?’

Then it dawned on me. The pink bag, with all my favourite clothes packed for holiday, was still on our bed at home. Crippled by my wedding shoes I’d come downstairs with only a few lighter items, meaning to ask the Vicar to fetch my bag…

Mrs EssexRector very kindly took me to a localish Tescos for a forage for emergency knickers, socks, jeans and top. I needed something to wear other than my smart but not exactly comfy wedding outfit.

It was only the next day that we realised that the Vicar too had forgotten his socks, and the Joker (having packed his own bag without supervision) had come away with trousers and t-shirts but no underwear. We spent more time shopping this holiday than we were intending.

Don’t let me pack for holiday without a list ever ever ever again.

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