Dani was at work all day and I took both kids round to friends for lunch. This was fun but somewhat overshadowed by Leo seeming to descend into an overwhelming cold during the three hours we were there. He went from quite perky and happy to see his friend to a wailing and plainly rude person – who was desperate to leave. Almost as soon as we were outside walking home he appeared to recover miraculously. After a few hours at home I suddenly realised that he is probably allergic to cats! The friends in question have two cats and as cat allergy goes with hay fever in at least one other family member I think the mystery is solved. It is a shame, of course, but now we know we can always try dosing him up with piriton if we know he will encounter cats.
Pearlie had a super time while we were round there. She and the daughter of the family, who is ten, produced delicious banana cake for everyone.
We were up and off quite early for a fairly mammoth day in London. First we went to a demonstration in support of the British residents still imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay. As these people are not British citizens it seems that the government has no interest in their plight. One of these men grew up here in Brighton and is my age. He has a son he has never seen. Leo had not been particularly keen to go but he actually got a lot out of it as we talked about justice, trials, terrorism, accusations and campaigning – as we walked along. There were a lot of things to see as well – Westminster Abbey, Big Ben and so on. The kids were pleased to see one of their grandmothers there (Dani's mum) and their cousins S and D arrived with my brother too.
We dipped out of the march once we got to Piccadilly, as we had made a deal with the kids that we would do some of the demo and then go the museums for the afternoon. Pearl and Dani went with S and Dani's mum to the Science Museum. I went with my brother and Leo and D to see the dinosaurs in the Natural History Museum. Everyone saw a lot of interesting things and we ended up in the basement of the science museum eating the end of our picnic and playing.
We got home to Brighton around half past six and were all pretty whacked – a lot of time spent on our feet that day!
We got up fairly slowly and then I went off to work. It was a beautiful day and I managed to walk a bit of the route – just to get some air. Dani and the kids went to the local park with cousins S and D again. They ran around a lot and played spies and power rangers. They had an amazing amount of energy given the activities of the day before!
Pearlie tidied her room in the evening and Leo made comics.
It was our turn to bring stuff to HE group today. We had decided on a theme of travels in time and space. The main activity was junk modelling to make time machines, daleks, etc. We had some Dr Who inspired music and a 'guess the Dr Who character' silhouette poster. Dani and Pearl worked on interviewing the kids and adults (recorded on my MP3 player) on where and when they would go if they had a space and time travel machine. Various kids got involved with the interviewing too, which was great. Dani and Pearl are going to make a book with the material they collected. The kids said some brilliant things so I think it will be a great read.
Pearl went to Woodcraft tonight where, owing to a mix up with keys, they all spent fifteen minutes on the steps outside the hall. All the kids thought this was quite exciting and enjoyed the drama of phone calls and rescue mission with spare key.