Easter Holidays (Apr08)


Snow fights and snow men are unusual activities for an Easter holidays. We’ve managed to fit them in around camping – it wasn’t that cold – Easter egg hunts, a rope assault course, dens, bike rides and a trip to London.

Went to see Mamma Mia in the West End. With adaptations of Abba songs throughout, it wasn’t at all what I had expected but we all loved it. Having been a bit late booking tickets our party was split, which made the half time break even more frenetic than normal as the children saw it as a final opportunity to get more sweets, ice-creams and drinks. Yikes they’re expensive – even worse than the cinema. Actually, I’m more prepared when we go to the cinema – there’s a blanket ban on all snacks unless we’ve managed to smuggle them in from home.

One of the most fun things we did was to go the Science of Survival Exhibition in South Kensington – it opened to the public on 5th April, but we had an advance viewing. I helped advise on a small part of it and have been filmed talking about the different issues – each display has a looped video. I thought the launch would be a seated press event with presenters telling us about the exhibition. In fact, it was much more hands on. And bringing my children was positively welcomed.

We were all able to try out the interactive games and look at the displays without having to compete with much more than film crews and journalists. Part of the fun for my boys was being interviewed about what they thought. They loved it. But I noticed that what they really enjoyed was running around from one set of buttons to another – I’m not convinced they really took in very much of the detail. Wondered if it might have helped to do a quiz at the end to see how much they’d managed to find out – and to have a prize for anyone scoring high marks. I know that I’m not alone in being motivated by a bit of competition!

Followed the Science Museum with a trip to Pizza Organic opposite Gloucester Road tube. It was great. Delicious pizzas, salads and apple juice – and clear information about their policies on sustainable fish sourcing and organic ingredients etc. But didn’t notice that they’d thought about their light bulbs – halogen throughout!

Wasn’t able to have pudding because the boys had got an idea to go busking. I’d told them that I’d earnt quite good money in Paris in the 80s when I’d danced alongside someone singing Beatles songs (I can’t sing). They raced up to Hyde Park and then got cold feet and spent a lot of time planning what they were going to do. Eventually they did start singing – ‘We will rock you’. The first coin in the hat was from some women I gave the money to! But after that they managed to attract the attention of three teenage girls who were clearly hugely amused – and gave them a pound each. That was enough – headed home!

In amongst this I went to an all day workshop on air freighting food, am about to having a meeting on degradable plastics and am giving a talk to Merrill Lynch on ‘Shaping the Future’. Another 10 days of school holidays left.

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