Sunday, 9 September 2012

September Roundup: Part 1

Yes, I know that with only nine days gone, I shouldn't be writing a summary of what has happened so far in September. Add to that the presence of "Part 1" in the title and you will have some idea that already a lot has happened.

August ended and September started with trip to London. My youngest brother lives in south London and loves having Angus and Isla to stay. We visited them last year at the same time as a treat for Angus. Last year we had a whole day in the Natural History Museum with Angus indulging his passion for all things dinosaur, animal and amber related. This year... we did the same thing.

Okay, that is not the complete truth! Angus, Isla and I went down on Thursday with Ken joining us on Friday after work.  On Thursday afternoon we took the underground to Paddington and I took the compulsory photos of Angus and Isla with Paddington Bear. He doesn't remember the first time he went with Denali and Kera when he was only 18 months old.

Exploring the bear: what is he made of? Who made him? Why is he here? Some things can be analysed too much; just enjoy!
On Friday we did spend most of the day in the NH museum. Angus wanted to visit the Victoria and Albert museum in the morning (right next door) to "see if he liked it" and made appropriately appreciative noises about the art and design. After an hour (well done Angus!) he conceded that this wasn't nearly as interesting as the NH museum. At least this time he was easily persuaded to see another part of the museum so I didn't get bored. Angus would move in there I suspect, especially now that one of the helpers has told him that David Attenborough visits on a regular basis. Oh, the joys of hero worship.

"That's a Pleiosaur. I have heard of Mary Anning (lady in the picture) - she found lots of the early dinosaurs...." etc.
On Saturday the highlight of the trip was a visit to the Paralympics. I could write a whole blog just about how wonderful that was: the atmosphere, the friendliness of all the staff and volunteers, the general feeling of camaraderie in London between all the visitors joining in each others' conversations and asking what they saw and who won; the lack of comment or weird looks when Angus had to walk back through London with his Union Flag wrapped around his legs as a sarong due  to an overly-enthusiastic encounter with water and a sand pit near the venue. He looked like a strangely patriotic Buddhist monk! I was also delighted that my children's first real experience of people with a disability has been so wonderful and positive. No hushed political-correctness but a brazen declaration of achievement despite their physical or intellectual limitations. Angus was staring at a poster of Ellie Simmons swimming. "What's wrong with her body?" I explained. "Wow, my body is maybe bigger than hers and I can't even swim. That's amazing!"   
The Olympic games has been heavily supported by a huge number of "Games Makers". They are all over the place: endlessly cheerful, helpful, fun and clearly loving every minute of it. They are all volunteers, have given up holidays, taken unpaid leave, come out of retirement or found people to look after the children. There are amazing. Well done for making our day possible. 
I have no idea how you ride a horse when you have no legs but clearly you do - well enough to take bronze. Incredible.

No don't laugh - we all did! The comments and looks of incredulity when this pair came on were predictable but we all had to retract our jokes when they came fourth. They were superb and only missed bronze by a few points. 
We won! Natasha Baker got gold but it was close with Germany coming silver and bronze. But a fantastic day and Angus finally got a big flag. He has wanted one since the Jubilee and waved it with enthusiasm. He is now trying to work out how to hang it in his room!
  Saturday afternoon was spent playing in a park near the venue with a bit of sight seeing on the way home. There was a super, large sand pit in the park and Angus got predictably wet and sandy. Never mind, clean pants and a make do sarong got him home with pictures to embarrass as well!

Sunday was spent playing: water, swings, climbing frames, tennis and just enjoying being.


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