We're going to London, all of us on a big, noisy, chaotic trip. Heaven help me.
I first visited London when I was about 10. I went with my mum and dad and my little brother and we did the Changing of the Guard and the Houses of Parliament. I'm sure we saw more but that's all I can remember. Then I went on a school trip for a week when I was 11 and went to all the big sights. I haven't been back to most of them since.
I lived in London for a year when I was at Law School and tried to soak up as much of the place as I could. But Law school is far more time consuming than university and I was skint so I didn't see as much as I might have hoped. I did come away with an understanding of the transport system though and a grip on the geography of the place so at least I can wander about confidently without looking like a tourist.
London for me since then has been the inside of a cab, a meeting room, a restaurant and then first class back to Leeds. So I am looking forward to going and doing some sightseeing.
The trip came about because the little ones have studied the fire of London at school. This included a full mock up in the playground in which both wooden and clay houses were set alight to show the contrast between the different building materials of the day. The demonstration ended with St Paul's going up in smoke which seems to have made a lasting impression on them. I have explained to the children that London has moved on a bit since 1666 but they are certain that they are bound to run into Samuel Pepys if they look hard enough.
So, we have an agenda of sorts which incorporates lots of time for getting from A to B, waiting in queues and eating. There's something for everyone and assuming I can keep the momentum up we should have a fantastic time. But I am ever so slightly nervous. It's hard dragging children round cities and whilst they are generally interested in their surroundings, once they get tired they are likely to moan. My husband doesn't know London and has a map obsession to go with his fear of being lost. This clearly is a row waiting to happen. And if my nerves get frazzled by either of the above then the whole trip has the potential to go horribly wrong.
But we'll start from a positive place. If all goes to plan and I manage keep the map where husband can see it and pretend I haven't noticed the complaints then all will be well and great fun will be had by all. I will let you know...