My mum grew up in the Fulham/Putney/Wimbledon area of South West London and last Sunday she suggested that we take the boys to one of her old haunts – Wimbledon Windmill on Wimbledon Common. The journey there would take in a train ride and a bus ride – ideal for my public transport loving boys!
Our first mistake was to rule out taking with us the buggy. EJ is not one for being strapped down to anything and kicks up a helluva fuss if he feels like his freedom is being in any way curtailed. That, combined with the thought of lugging the thing on and off buses and trains was enough to make us decide to leave it at home.
Everything started off fine – the boys were excited on the train and then just as excited to get up to the front of the top floor of a double decker bus (EJ practically forcing the young man sitting there already off!).
Then, we arrived at our destination bus stop and there was a five minute walk down alongside the common to get to the windmill. JJ began to whine. EJ was flinging himself off kerbstones with gay abandon. Eventually we made it at round about 11.20 and took a turn into the tea room/cafe there which was mighty popular at that time of day/week with a lot of runners appearing to use the spot as a gathering point for coffee post run. We decided that we might as well order the munchkins some food and milkshakes as we were all a bit hungry and thirsty. Only it turned out that EJ didn’t really like his strawberry milkshake and shortly after the following picture was taken he spilled it all over the table, narrowly avoiding soaking my mum in sweet, sticky pink milk!
We waited for the food order to be called out. And waited. And waited. My Mum went in twice to chase them up – it was only a couple of toasted sandwiches, sausage, chips and beans for the kids. The kids became bored and fractious. Eventually the food arrived, the kids had one sausage each and pretty much left the rest.
At this point we hadn’t even seen the windmill and we were well aware that we were deep in the heart of EJ’s usual nap time.
By the time we had finished our food the boys were a bit beyond any further walking so we decided to just call it a day and head home! I took a couple of shots of the windmill just to prove we had actually been there, and the boys had a bit of a climb on a big old cog structure which I presume had once belonged to part of the mill’s inner workings…
Eventually we found ourselves back on the train home which perked the boys up no end. Here they are trainspotting and creating a bit of chaos and giggly mayhem on a, thankfully, fairly empty train!
So there you have it – how not to plan a day out! Next time, picnics, buggies and sensible timings will be the order of the day! I am still intrigued by the wonderful memories my mum described of playing on and exploring the Common in her childhood as I am completely unfamiliar with that area so we’ll definitely return!