A London weekend

Style change alert. I think I am going to spend a week or so using this as a sort of online record of all I do. Let’s see how we go, I am not totally convinced by the idea.

Our weekend feels worthy of reliving in writing . We all, offspring and my Mum, got on a train to London on Saturday morning. It’s amazing how much more fun that journey is with family. And how much more fun fellow passengers are at the weekend. The enormous dog snoozing at one end of the carriage was gorgeous. The crowd of stage school students were just brilliant in their confidence and sense of fun and their enthusiasm for the morning and the application of makeup.

The aim of the weekend was to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the continuation of the stories on stage. There are two parts, it is recommended to see them on consecutive nights or on the same day. We did the latter. They are two brilliant plays, great theatre experience for the family, and we all loved it a lot. It absolutely lived up to our expectations. I have since downloaded Imogen Heap’s mesmerising music in four suites to relive some of the experience.

I had of course bought the “cheap” seats (its all relative!) in the balcony with the steepest rake I have ever experienced – I remember feeling terrified seeing Les Miserables from the cheap seats decades ago. Those in the group with vertigo coped very well, my instinct to not mention that the seats were very high and with limited leg room before we got there seemed to have worked. There have been a few whinges about sore knees since, but they are falling on the deaf ears of the shortest member of the family. There are few advantages of being my height, this is one I relish.

The show was interspersed with consumption of Japanese food. Having spent a weekend away recently without teens, we had to readjust back to the need for a lot of food this time. For a reason that is beyond us, there is no branch of Itsu in Birmingham, so every trip to London has an obligatory visit included. In this case lunch before theatre. Then for some reason the popular choice for dinner was Wagamama. I know, we could definitely have found independents to go and eat in, but we needed convenience and confidence in the food. And both choices were delicious and included vegetables, so I was happy.

The day was utterly exhausting – 5 hours of theatre is a lot. And there are a LOT of stairs in the Palace Theatre. So there were a fair number of coffee breaks too.

Sunday started with a run along the Thames for three of us, it was our first ever run with an offspring and having the South Bank area pretty much to ourselves was a treat that offset the rainy windy weather on the run.

A very long breakfast – in a vain attempt to fill up the teens and to consume enough coffee to wake me up – was followed by a gentle stroll back along the running route and a visit to Tate Modern. The Turbine Hall never fails to impress me and their flat whites are delicious – you get the theme of the day – stroll and coffee. We had the customary family arguments about the merits of modern art, but it was a fast stroll through the galleries. I do struggle with film installations when I am tired – they feel overwhelming. The Magic Realism exhibition was a flashback to student days though, I still find the movement fascinating.

Lunch was back in the hotel bar, which is comfy and was convenient. I discovered that the eldest offspring now seems to know something about football – its amazing the way they change when they leave home!

The afternoon train journey was very quiet with us all hiding in books or snoozing. We arrived back into Birmingham in a flurry of snow, which was bizarre. Mum and eldest headed back off to their respective homes and the rest of us settled into an evening of sofas, pizza and gentle TV. Lovely.

A great weekend indeed. And it’s always good to go back and relive it.

Sunrise over London