The Brockwell Park Miniature Railway runs on summer and autumn Sundays, but next Sunday will be its last hurrah for the year. So as the family were busy next Sunday, I got a text asking whether we were free to go with them this afternoon. I said yes, once I'd finished preaching and we wanted to go to the farmers' market, so we arranged to meet them at 12:30 outside Brixton Tube.
We wandered round the farmers' market, but Giggly Pig no longer seem to go there, and the only sausage stall sold cooked sausages rather than raw. We did find some buffalo sausages, which were delicious (having had them for supper), but other than that it was disappointing. I wanted a cauliflower, but they were £1 each, and I'd seen them for 60p in Walthamstow Market on Thursday. And they don't really do street food, which the daughter had hoped for. So we were hungry. Wahaca has just opened in the old Railway Tavern, which has been derelict for some years and was Brady's before then, so we had a look there, but it seemed a bit expensive, so we thought we'd potter round the market. At lunchtime on a Sunday, it was packed out, of course (and our favourite Colombian doesn't open on Sundays), but we found another Mexican place, Jaliscos, where between us we managed tacos, and a burrito for me, beer and pineapple juice. All very delicious, but "regular" was too spicy for Boy Too, who was consoled with a fruit pouch instead. I found that on my limit of spicy, too - I could have enjoyed a slightly higher level of spice, but was glad I hadn't, on balance. But the pulled pork was delicious - I normally find it has so much sauce on it you can't taste the pork, but this one didn't. The Boy enjoyed his, too.
We then headed for a bus, and got off at the Brockwell Lido gates of Brockwell Park. In fact, we should have got off at the Herne Hill gates, as that's where the railway starts. The daughter and I found the miniature seats were really rather narrow, and we were a bit wedged in!
The Boy was allowed to hold the tickets and handed them very solemnly to the ticket collector!
After our ride, we decided to walk across the park to the children's playground, where the daughter remembered being taken to play as a small child. We walked up to Brockwell Hall, now a café, which was sore on the calves, I found, and the Boy grembled a bit, too. Then, of course, it was downhill. We went into the walled garden and saw that the roses were still glorious (and smelt glorious, too), and then walked down past the ponds - which are, in fact, the only part of the River Effra that is still above ground, to the playground, which is now rather more of an adventure playground than the swings-slides-climbing frames we remembered from thirty years ago.
Boy Too had fallen asleep by then, so his mother and I sat on a bench and reminisced while the Swan Whisperer and the Boy went off to explore. They had great fun, and when Boy Too woke up he had a few goes on the slide and on the swings. And there were tears when it was time to go, but not many.... I was tired by then, and so was the Boy, I think. A 196 bus came first, so we saw them on to it, vigorous waving all round, and then a 37 which took us home to a much-needed cup of tea.