Our first stop in London, down the road from Euston Station, was the British Library. Despite the kids being full of beans after two hours on the train, we directed them into the rare manuscripts gallery. ‘You have to make them do things like this,’ reasoned L.

Robin found a set of headphones beside a display of music manuscripts. ‘It’s not working’, he cried with his ears covered. ‘Stop shouting’ we hissed. ‘I’M NOT SHOUTING‘ he replied at a volume unsuited to the venue.


A trip to London, taking in the Olympic Park for the Diving World Cup, was a source of anxiety for Gabe. A scene of past and potential future terrorism. He wanted not to travel by bus. At Euston we discussed the probability of a bomb on our bus. One in 1.2 billion we estimated – far less dangerous than crossing the road. The statistics swayed him, but he sat rigidly on the bus and wouldn’t go upstairs.


We stayed with friends in London, whose daughter shares Eliza’s joy of climbing. On Hampstead Heath they clambered up and along the fallen trees. In the playground they swung back and forth across monkey bars, then set themselves tests of speed climbing up, over, down and swinging across the climbing frame.

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