Friday, 29 May 2015

Dinosaurs in the rain

There are only two places in London to see dinosaurs, as far as I know - please correct me if I'm wrong - and one of them is the Natural History Museum.  The other, of course, is Crystal Palace Park, and that is where we headed off to this rather wet half-term Friday - "We" being the Swan Whisperer, the Boy and me.

We met the Boy and his father at Victoria station.  The Boy felt, I think, slightly abandoned, but quickly cheered up when I said I'd found a shop that sold cheese and pickle rolls, and would he like one for his lunch.  He would, and also a bottle of freshly-squeezed orange juice, which he made last!  We caught a Southern train from Victoria to Crystal Palace, and, after a bit of confusion where we couldn't find the loos (but the kind station master, or whatever they are called these days, let us use the disabled/baby change one), we set out in the drizzle.  First stop was lunch - we found a relatively dry place to sit under some trees and eat our rolls, and then we walked round the lake, which is called the Tidal Pool (why?  It isn't!)
until we got to the café, where the Swan Whisperer insisted on drinking hot chocolate, and he and I both added an extra layer under our rather thin summer macs.  Then we set off again, and this time we found the dinosaurs!  The Boy was thrilled with them, racing from one set to the next and pointing!

When we were just about to leave the dinosaurs, we met an elderly gentleman who said that in his youth, one had been able to climb on the dinosaurs.  I knew I hadn't been dreaming - I'm sure that in the days when we used to take the daughter there, they had been randomly scattered around the place, and one could climb on them.  In this setting, they are more impressive, but less friendly.  And the Swan Whisperer is convinced that the mini-farm, our next port of call, used to be in the middle of the lake where is now a picnic area.

So, to the farm.  We were prepared to pay an admission fee for two pensioners and a child, but discovered that admission was free (although we did contribute to their donation box at the end).  This was a lovely place, and we saw all sorts of animals, including goats ("Are they for feeding the trolls?" asked the Boy, quite seriously)
and in the Exotic room there was a dragon, which we were invited to stroke.  "Will it eat me?" asked the Boy, anxiously, but was reassured that it wouldn't.  All the same, he was not too keen on stroking it!
The farm overlooked the railway line, so we kept stopping for the Boy to look at the Overground and Southern trains that ran in and out of the station.  He wanted to go on the Overground, and as we still had plenty of time before meeting his father at Clapham Junction, we decided to go up to Surrey Quays and then change.  The Boy made a friend on the journey - I don't know what they were talking about, but they were deep in conversation all the way!

Clapham Junction, of course, is Boy Heaven - all those trains! 
He spent ages just watching out of the window to see the trains go by.  Then we went down to the café on Platform 9 to wait for his father, but the latter had been rather badly held up, so in the end (after half a very large chocolate custard muffin and some milk) we came back to the flat, and I quickly made some Gran's extra-special macaroni cheese for his (and later our) tea, and he was still eating that when his father arrived to take a now very sleepy little boy home!

No comments:

Post a Comment