Put it this way – the tube journey was the easy part. (Top tip from a five-year-old: not got a seat on the tube? Try saying ‘but I want one’ in a one-step-from meltdown voice and see if a nice man will give up his. It worked for Disgruntled Nephew, but I’m not so sure I’ll get away with it when I’m on my own.)
No, the first real hint of trouble came after the tube journey when we headed down the subterranean passage that leads to the Natural History Museum and encountered what appeared to be small child rush hour. Ah. Half term. Bad move. Imagine the worst rush hour crowd you have ever been in. Now slow it down to half speed, add an element of total randomness, put half of it in pushchairs and the other half running around at knee height and you have got the picture. Was there a strange absence of children in all other parts of the country today? If you’re missing one, try looking in South Ken – I think that’s where they all ended up.
Still, we learned a lot. We learned that people on tube trains don’t wave back. We learned that the people who put the pedestrian crossings in at the Albert memorial have a sick sense of humour (why else would you put in a nice ramp on one side, and then two steps up to the kerb on the other side?). We learned that between Lambeth North and South Kensington there are approximately 1,230,937 steps. And we learned that the only way to avert a total meltdown is with ice.
Ice cream, that is. Yep, even in February.