The ironing situation has become critical. Daddy Simon appeared downstairs for breakfast in neon green shorts and a turquoise vest top – a look that is simultaneously too early for me and too late for him.
Now originally he had booked the day off in order that he could accompany me to a routine check up at the hospital but Doc was sick and so appointment was cancelled.We had booked tickets for the ‘Good Grief,Charlie Brown!’ Exhibit at Somerset House for later in the morning so it just meant we could have a more relaxed departure from the house. We didn’t.Not even time for a cheeky Costa on the way to the station. There is a coffee vendor at the station but he doesn’t do cakes or biscuits so I didn’t see the point.
Daddy Simon has been a lifelong fan of Charlie Brown and Snoopy.The spare bed room is an homage to the comic strip and it’s little characters and is the main reason that our own little ‘peanuts’ had to settle for the slightly smaller back room as their nursery.Our holiday in San Francisco a few years back enabled us to squeeze in a visit to the Charles M Shultz museum out in Santa Rosa. I’m not a huge fan – more of a Calvin and Hobbes man – but I am a fabulous husband who is happy to indulge Daddy Simon’s inner child.
The exhibition itself isn’t huge but if your a fan and in the area it’s probably worth a look. Some very interesting insights into the cartoonst’s life – lots of comic strips and memorabilia and of course a well stocked and overpriced gift shop. Daddy Simon seemed happy with his exhibition program,Charlie Brown cup and the promise that ‘we’ll look on Amazon when we get home.’
Sadly the romanticised vision that the munchkins would be so enraptured at being in the company of such greatness that they would be struck dumb in awe and we would be able to enjoy a bit of peace and quiet and a relaxed wander around did not quite come to pass.
The lack of a morning nap wouldn’t have been a great help and neither did the fact that both chattered,bellowed and niggled their sibling throughout the train journey and short walk along The Strand.
Initially it seemed that the first darkened room quietened and calmed them down.Then Calder remembered that he’s still a bit hoarse and can squawk like a parakeet with laryngitis. It’s not a nice noise. As we failed to reduce noise levels we got them out and reined then up hoping that they just needed to stretch their wee legs for a bit. We also failed to notice the stairs – they didn’t. Oh how they love a set of stairs – up and down and up and down and …just grab them surfboard style and move them on away from the stairs and on to another distraction.Forget the buggy we can go back for that.
As I take a deep cleansing breath I can smell something. Calder, that never poops outside his own house, has felt sufficiently at home in Somerset House to have a big ,stinky code brown. I now have to carry a smelly,squawking parakeet with laryngitis buck through the exhibition to the baby change facilities. This is where he remembers that he doesn’t like baby change facilities and ramps up the decibels a bit more. It’s no blinking wonder he’s almost hoarse.
We rejoin Daddy Simon and Alexandra on the mezzanine level – they’re easy enough to locate – she’s giving her vocal chords a right good workout as well. We exchange knowing glances and pick up the pace a bit. We don’t really need to visit the Snoopy cinema, probably read most of those books, and art installations were never really our thing.
The bright colours in the gift shop appeal for a bit and we get a quick couple of photos before heading back over the Thames and along to a familiar pub for lunch.
There is the briefest minute where it looks like dry January might get a bit damp but we resist and get some food ordered up.Chips buy silence – not a long silence – just enough to get a couple of bites of our own sandwiches- didn’t even attempt hot food. An older couple at the next table seemed to enjoy watching our circus unfold but had fortunately moved on as Calder did his ‘tomato sauce as a finger food’ trick and Alexandra distributing her leftover peas on the ground around her high chair.Time to move on -back in the buggy and oxygen tent Velcroed into position – more as a sound reduction measure than a wet weather accessory.
Both were sleeping the sleep of the innocent by the time we got back to London Bridge. My hospital appointment has been rescheduled for two weeks time. I think I’ll do the trip on my own.
“You’re a good man,Simon Berney-Edwards!”
“Nope – I will not smile!”
“I’m bored! When’s lunch?”