When we heard that we’d got a day out at Legoland thanks to the MAD Blog awards (woo-hoo!), we decided to make a weekend of it with a trip to London. Or, specifically, a trip to see Billy Elliott, which was amazing and awesome and emotional.
But what was more amazing to me was how much the kids enjoyed the minutiae of this little trip. We are so used to life in our village, our town, our school, our football team, our rugby team and our dance classes, that a change is really exciting.
We started our trip by driving to Bracknell and checking into our hotel. The hotel is a tower block on top of a small 1970s shopping centre. We had two adjoining rooms sharing a bathroom and a kitchen. A kitchen! An actual kitchen. In a hotel. With a cooker and microwave and everything. We were on the 8th floor. The kids looked out over the unattractive and uninspiring flat roofs of Bracknell and thought it was brilliant.
We caught the train to London – walking through a subway and a bus station to the railway station. We sat in the quiet carriage. We changed at Clapham Junction. This is all stuff that was new and exciting to my kids – although highly mundane to many people.
They loved spotting familiar sights from the London skyline through the window of the train – the Gherkin, the London Eye and The Shard. They discovered new ones too – like Battersea Power Station. Their fascination with the size and frequency of planes continued and they all pointed out every one they saw.
I loved the fact that, even at their age, new things are so exciting. A kitchen in a hotel room, a quiet carriage on a train, a 1970s shopping centre and planes in the sky are all mundane. But they’re someone else’s mundane. And, in the eyes of a child, someone else’s mundane is exciting. These little sights and experiences made our trip memorable for them just as much as going to see Billy Elliott.