Family Weekend

Last weekend we took a long weekend in a Hilton just outside London, in Cobham. I wouldn’t have naturally chosen the location, but it was one of the few still available in Hilton’s sale. The weekend was at the end of a week with Clare, my Mum, staying, so it did mean I got to spend some time with her before we set of mid-afternoon. It was a morning rather marred by an accident Mum had with Ella at the swing park, when Ella bashed her lip while on the slide. I think Mum was rather shook up and embarrassed by it, but these things happen. I remember when Hannah and I had an accident with Ella that had her crying for ages we both felt horrible.

Anyway the weekend was formed of swimming in the hotel pool, visiting Bluewater to meet up with my brother, Douglas, Joanna, Aliya and Lucy, and a visit to Chessington Zoo. Hannah and I whiled away the evenings by playing Scrabble in the hotel room toilet so we wouldn’t disturb Ella’s sleep (final score 1-1).

As expected Ella thoroughly enjoyed the swimming, both in and out of her inflatable ring. She had a good splash, and made good kicking movements with her legs. The trip to the Zoo was a rather mixed experience. There is a small Sealife Centre there, and Ella really enjoyed looking at all the fish. She did lots of pointing and saying ‘fish’. She would really have liked to poke the fish, but obviously that wasn’t allowed. She didn’t pay much attention in the underwater tunnel though, just walked straight through it. The lunch venue was rather poor, more like a village hall with tables and a bar, though Hannah reckoned the kids food was quite good and actually cooked rather than reheated. The main drawback of the visit was the freezing cold temperatures, which meant we all got cold, Ella was wrapped up in her buggy and all the animals were hiding away. Ella spent most of the time walking round the Zoo shrouded in her buggy, not showing too much interest. She did perk up late on at some monkeys. I think she’d have been better if she’d been walking around and it was warmer with more animals to see. She was also quite tired.

The meet up with Douglas was good. It was great to see them, and finally pass on their Christmas presents. Joanna is about 7 months pregnant, so the next visit will be when we meet our new neice. On the day, the three girls were individually tired at various points. They did have some good fun in the playpark, though it was again rather chilly. Ella took a nasty bump in the mall when walking hurriedly along, as she does, and looking the wrong way, she started to drift away from straight-on and clattered into the corner of a stall. She took no damage, but was very shocked, as we all were, and she had a loud scream for a couple of minutes. It was quite distressing for me as I saw her heading inexorably towards the stall and she tottered along, and tried to lunge for her to catch her, obviously not succeeding.

Hannah did take the opportunity for some retail therapy afterwards, and picked up an Aquadraw set for Ella. Ella has really enjoyed playing with it this week. You can see it here. She sits there and paints away with the brush or draws with the pens.

In general pens are one of her favourites at the moment. I am sat typing this on a desk which now has some interesting scribbles on it. So we’ve not reached the point where complete vigilence is required to protect the clean decoration of the house.


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