Southbank Centre, 8th June 2013

I only intended to be at the Southbank for a few hours today but in the end it resulted in an epic 7 hour session.

I mainly went to take Dhruv to see the Beanotown exhibition (in the space under the QEH). It was good although Dhruv was possibly a little young to fully appreciate it (and wasn’t so familiar with the characters). He enjoyed eating the toasties in the cafe. He was less keen to greet a large Dennis The Menace & Gnasher.

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Afterwards we went upstairs to the play area by the Hayward gallery which he enjoyed.

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We then went inside the RFH to the art workshop taking place on the Clore Ballroom. Dhruv enjoyed making a paper t shirt and bow tie (decorating them with various stars and other bits). We then placed them on the pretend washing line.

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I briefly took Dhruv up to the 5th floor balcony to have a look over the river, and at that point noticed that the fountains (Appearing Rooms by Jeppe Hein) had been turned on. We went down to have a look. Dhruv seemed fascinated but kept his distance.

We went down to have a look at the skatepark (currently under threat of closure). Dhruv was quite happy to watch the guys on their skateboards. He then noticed the pop up beach just by the BFI. He wanted to play in the sand so I bought him a bucket & spade from the little stall (Dhruv had a little tantrum over the colour selection). He loved it, and spent over an hour there. I liked listening to the music blasting out of the sound system in the skatepark (The Clash, SBTRKT, MGMT, Empire Of The Sun and various hip hop & reggae that I wasn’t familiar with).

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Afterwards he asked for an ice cream which we ate upstairs outside the QEH in the glorious sunshine. We then headed back to Waterloo, passing the fountain again. As usual, Dhruv was speeding through the crowds, weaving in and out on his scooter (to such an extent that keeping up with him was difficult). We took the Waterloo & City line back to Bank, then Central line back to Leyton. A brilliant day.

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Kew Gardens, March 2013

I decided to try to get out as much as possible over the four days of Easter given the slightly improved weather forecast.

On Friday we went to Kew Gardens (using the discounted tickets I had bought earlier in the year). Shalini came along with her Mummy and Angelica also. I had been to Kew Gardens with Dhruv at the end of 2012 so kind of knew where I’d like to go.

After entering we walked along to the outdoor play area where Dhruv enjoyed playing on the climbing area, logs and slides.

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We popped into the excellent White Peaks cafe for some lunch afterwards (sausage and mash with roasted root vegetables) before going to one of the chocolate making workshops that they were running over Easter.

We then walked back towards the Treetop Walkway, taking in some of the David Nash sculptures along the way.

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Dhruv went up the Treetop Walkway with Shalini and her Mummy (I stayed down with Angelica in the pushchair). I’d been up with him last year so was quite happy to let the others experience it (photo from December 2012 below).

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I ended up taking a few nice shots of various trees (after Shalini’s Mummy enquired if there were any oak trees in Kew Gardens).

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We went inside the Palm House to see the plants and hear the birds before heading back to Kew Gardens tube.┬áIt’s such a beautiful place to go with children. I can imagine we’ll go there a few times each year. Dhruv loved running along the paths (and getting carried on my shoulders)

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