Monday, 25 August 2014

"All I want is a bus of my own" - my boy

On Friday me and the boy had tickets to go and watch The Tiger Who Came to Tea at the Lyric Theatre in London. As it was so close to Covent Garden I told him that if he was really well behaved I'd let him go to the Transport Museum afterwards.

If you are a fan of My Fair Lady you will know Covent Garden used to be a flower market with Eliza Doolittle singing about her hopes and dreams in the early hours. Now it's a tourist destination of choice with street performers (Eddie Izzard used to play the streets here) and many, many stalls and fancy shops. Walking through there in the early morning you no longer see fresh flowers and street hawkers, but some very nice coffee and cake is on offer for those who partake.

Hmm, patisserie for breakfast 
It's also a place with many memories for me. It's where I told my lovely friend SJ for the first time that I was expecting my boy when we went for a pampering evening at the Sanctuary. It's where I spent a Saturday afternoon wandering round debating whether to spend £70 on the Tin tin jumper that I'd seen Sting wearing in the video for "We'll be together." Shuttup !! It was a nice jumper ok ? And no, I didn't buy it in the end anyway. I used to love going to the Covent Garden General Store which was a genuine treasure trove, selling nothing you needed and lots that you thought you'd find a space for, it's now the site of M&S. My favourite pastime, however was spending days hours rummaging through all the vintage goodies at Flip on Long Acre, in they days before vintage was all the rage and it cost very little for fifties Americana chic.

A dog dress-up shop - for real
Old fashioned sweet stall

Now it's the home of many an ad agency and lots of trendy shops, some of which are stranger than they are useful, but they are all busy. There are little nooks and corners with stalls selling all manner of tourist tat and some random elements too. My boy loved looking at all the wares and in turn asked me to buy him; vintage sweets (no), a trilby (yes it looks very cute, but still a no) and finally a dog outfit (we have a cat, so that's a no).

All of this, however, was just the time filling before we got to the London Transport Museum which is our boy's favourite place in pretty much the whole world, so far. We are friends of the museum so we can go as often as we like and it's free. As it's the school holidays everywhere is a lot busier than usual, but it was nice to take in the sun in the piazza itself and not be surrounded by thronging crowds as that was uncharacteristically quiet.

Shadow dancing
Promenading the Piazza

Of course the museum itself is so much fun with tube trains, buses and this visit we went to story time where we met Constance the bus conductor and the children were all given little coins with which to join in. It was great fun - if a little too real for some of the younger children who were upset by the noisiness of the storytelling, but a lovely activity for the older children who joined in with the singing. Since we last visited a cafe has opened in the museum and they do a packed lunch in a bus shaped box which I will definitely get for my boy next time we go. Knowing how much he loves it there, I have a feeling it won't be too far in the future.

An old train carriage 
Organising station names 

Coming home we were very tired indeed, but not too tired to take the secret woodland passage that leads home. Our outdoor adventures were both urban and rural this week and lots of fun.

Woodland walk home

This post is part of the #countrykids linky with the lovely Fiona of Coombe Mill.

 Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall 


  1. I've never taken mine to the transport museum before, do you think they are all too old? Looks really interesting. I have fond memories of Covent Garden from my teens and twenties too, such a fun and happening place. That passage home looks scarily autumnal with the leaves on the ground there. I fear we may have seen the last of summer. Thank you for sharing your day out with me on Country Kids.

    1. If they love public transport it might appeal to them - we often see school groups there and it's got lots of historical interest too. I think in conjunction with the other stuff around Covent Garden your kids would enjoy it, but the museum might be a tad young for them.
      I know it looks a bit autumnal, but that passage is covered over so it's always a bit dark looking. The garden is still green and lush :)
      My pleasure x

  2. My son is addicted to traffic signs and cars. I think a trip to the Transport Museum is a must for us. We dont have the budget to go to London tho but this will be part of our future agenda =) #countrykids

    1. It's the year of the bus so there are activities going on all over the place - check out what's on in your area. We are lucky to live so close to London so we can get to a lot of the museums.
      Thanks for reading and commenting :)