Tag Archives: Train Ride

Just down the tracks


I do not know where my [relatively] [sort of] ordered life has gone. Today we decided to look for it in Pangbourne.

This was a good idea for all sorts of reasons, for example, 1) I’ve driven through Pangbourne on my way to and from work hundreds of times, admiring all the pretty cafes and wondering what it’s like by the river Thames, and I’ve never once stopped there. It’s fifteen minutes from my house. Madness. Also, 2) Henry woke up with a snotty cold today, and this combined with his recent personality transplant meant you’d be a dam-fool to stay indoors. I am not. And 3) we decided to walk down to the station and take the train, which meant his day was made several hundred times over.

Note: I just wrote ‘river Thomas’ instead of ‘river Thames’, above: this should give you an idea of the state of our train obsession at present. Henry nearly mugged a kid by the river because he was wearing a Percy t-shirt.

Second Note: I keep telling myself that things will Settle Down with my wonderful firstborn, but let me tell you, I was pondering Joseph and his Technicolour Dreamcoat this morning (2am is weird) and felt for a moment that selling Joseph to the hairy Ishmaelites sounded like a pretty good idea.


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The train was a massive hit, to the extent that getting off ten minutes later went down Very Poorly Indeed (of course). Big ticks for the shops, the river and that nameless muscular chap with the sword.




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There was also a b-e-a-u-tiful Georgian church I dragged Sarah into. I have a thing about old churches. I’d have all my picnics in graveyards if people didn’t think it was weird. This one was a belter.



Third Note: The church is called St James the Less, which seems a bit harsh on poor St James. Less than what? I looked it up and it seems that he might’ve been called James the Less because he was shorter than the other Jameses in the Bible. As you do.

The cherry on the no-one-getting-sold-to-Ishmaelites cake was this hair. It’s either sticking up with strawberry yoghurt or sweat, and I’m not sure I want to know which.



There is a world outside, and it’s got toy cars

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I would like to report something momentous: yesterday we all left the house together for an outing, all at once. We only traipsed up and down the stairs to load the car twelve more times than usual. We went to Beale Park, which turned out to be a wonderful destination for crazy-hot weather, a tank of a pushchair you’re not used to pushing yet, and a toddler with a severe case of cabin fever. There was a giant paddling pool, lots of animals, a little train ride and a whole village of toy cars and bikes. Edward preferred the inside of his eyelids, but Henry was entranced.


A valuable lesson we all learned is that Henry will do an awful lot to get a ride from a goose. Despite all possible discouragement (including from the goose).


This dinosaur-backpack-with-parent-strap invention? Best thing since the lightbulb. Oh, are we running full pelt towards that river, my darling? YOINK.


I’d forgotten that newborns are quite content to spend all day sleeping, eating and rocking a pair of dungarees. What a glorious thing to be so happy, so uncomplicated, and so sartorially confident.


He is actually using that cup to try and get the water away from him. The pool was ‘FWEEZIN’, and Mr Fearless over here was desperate to get out from the minute he got in.

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Family-of-four photo. I love it: we’re so symmetrical. It’s also nice to commemorate this special stage where Henry uses Tim’s ears as handles during his shoulder rides. My pelvis still hasn’t forgiven me for that pregnancy thing, but ice cream really helps with this. And, you know what, with most things.

Good HEAVENS is this post going to win the Pulitzer Prize, or what? Two-hour sleeping stretches do wonders for my words.

PS – on that note, I have a couple more What I Wish I’d Known About Two posts scheduled for the days this week when I can only think in monosyllables. Stay tuned!

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