Apart from missing Victoria and the children more and more as the weeks have progressed, I have had a fantastic time with Hallum and Jevan. After a week in Liverpool I had a few days on my own at home, which I used to tidy. We have new sofas in the lounge which arrived on Wednesday morning (24/08/11), so the old sofa is in the other room, which I have tidied and made look like a real room. I carried so much stuff up to the loft! I also hung pictures, which Victoria will probably not be pleased about.
I collected Hal and Jev from Lewes railway station early Wednesday afternoon and we made our way up to London via Worthing. Ideally we would have had the whole day up there. We headed first for the Science Museum in South Kensington to go to the IMAX cinema there. It would have been good to explore the museum but perhaps another day. We saw a 3D film about the Hubble telescope and the universe. The boys absolutely loved it and it was pretty awesome. They were not so keen on our second appointment of the day at The Royal Albert Hall to see the BBC Proms. I admit that the first two pieces by Stravinsky and Ravel were a bit dull. But the final piece, Tchaikovsky’s 4th Symphony was very good. Even Hal and Jev said it was ok at the end! We ended the evening with a very expensive meal at Giraffe and got home to Worthing at around 1am.
We took it easy on Thursday. Jevan and I went for a short run. We were going to do six miles but Jev got a stitch and so we cut it down to four. Strolled in to town where the boys showed me this new PS 3 game they want. It’s an 18 certificate so I checked with Debbie first. She says she’s happy for them to play it. Fair enough.
Thursday was another busy day. Took the train to Arundel and went round the cathedral and open art houses, which the boys actually enjoyed. I think they liked the novelty of going into random people’s houses to look round! Jev said he liked the Japanese art of Ako Danes best. Another novel experience was playing Scrabble whilst sipping tea in a little cafe on Arundel high street.
The main event was Twelfth Night by Shakespeare in the open air at the castle. The whole thing was perfect. It was forecast to rain, but the sky was completely clear for the whole performance. The play itself was really funny and Hallum and Jevan were enthralled and thought it was fantastic. To top it all we were almost first in what became a huge queue for coffee at the interval!
Saturday is parkrun day. Hal was excused due to a skatepark injury. So Jev and I ran. I try to encourage my children without being too pushy. However, I was stopped on my tracks a little today when, as I was ‘encouraging’ Jevan round the three mile course, another runner passed us and said ‘Just enjoy yourself son’ to Jevan and then apologised to me. I said that he was absolutely right whilst feeling somewhat miffed that people should think I was putting undue pressure on Jev. Was I? anyway, he finished the run in 23:30, his best time yet by 2 minutes. He was so pleased he immediately wanted to phone his mum to tell her. We went to the Odeon in Brighton in the evening to see Cowboys and Aliens.
Sunday we got on yet another train! This time for a day trip to Portsmouth. My specific intention was to take the boys up Spinnaker Tower. However, I had not counted on quite how embedded is Jevan’s fear of heights. He said all along he would never go up but I had hoped he would give it a go if I held him tight all the way. But we got to the entrance and he was still adamant and becoming frightened to the point of tears. I could not put him through it. Bizarrely I happened to meet some old friends at the foot of the tower whom I had not seen for almost 10 years. Brian and Geri were the managers of the band I was in called Ruth. They were there with their son Luca. They were very happy to take Hallum up to the top. I am very pleased that at least he got the opportunity to go up. I think I impressed the boys with my 10 pin bowling prowess after lunch. ‘How are you so good dad?’ said Hal. I did get three strikes and about 6 spares during our one game. I convinced them to walk along the city wall by the harbour with me. They were so reluctant but chilled out a little when we arrived at the Kite Festival on the lawns near Southsea Castle. It was very beautiful to see so many kites and colours in the sky. Dinner at Pizza Express then home.
Monday we took things easier. A stroll into town to watch the carnival procession go by. What a bunch of crap floats and weird looking folk!! Plus the actual procession lasted about 5 minutes. Hal and I braved one of the scary rides at the fair. I closed my eyes for most of it! We all went on the Waltzer. The Shakespeare play must have had a big effect on the boys because when Jevan found the Twelfth Night DVD in our collection they both asked to watch it. It was about 11pm, but when your children actually voluntarily ask to watch a Shakespeare play you must not turn an opportunity like that down!! Bed after 1am.
Our final day together and one more activity to do. Because of Hallum’s leg injury we have been unable to go swimming, play football or cricket or go to a skatepark, so we have done well to fill the week. Much of our free time has been spent playing Scrabble on my iPhone! This afternoon we went down to Brooklands Go Karts and had 10 minutes whizzing round a track, which was great fun for me as well as the boys. I dropped them back to their mum at Polegate at 15:25 and suddenly felt very alone and quite down. I wont see them again now for three weeks. Still, what a brilliant summer holiday.