Saturday, 17 January 2009
Changing the Guard
Yesterday was our second trip to St Thomas's hospital, this time for Charlie's one-year allergy MoT. Plans to go in after breakfast and maybe visit the National Gallery were scuppered when he decided to wake up extra-early, then have his midday nap from nine to eleven. At least that ensured he wasn't grumpy for the journey into London, and was still in reasonable form when we got to the hospital. I'd forgotten just how invasive some of the procedures were - full allergy tests and blood tests, for example, in addition to the routine height and weight checks and so on. And being a big boy now of course, and mobile, Charlie was a little less keen to cooperate; in fact he was less keen to cooperate all day, wanting out of his high chair at lunchtime and then his push-chair on the bus and train. Nevertheless, he was rewarded with a little birthday present by the staff, and allowed to have a little play downstairs at the Evelina children's wing before we left. We also stopped at Horse Guards on the way past to show Charlie the, er... horses, and were treated to a show as the guard was being inspected. It was all a bit 'Dad's Army' really - lots of foot-stamping (the guardsman, not the horses) and sword-sloping by men who - in spite of highly-polished boots and buttons - still looked as though they were wearing navy dressing gowns. I thought we did that sort of thing much better in Britain? Still, at least we felt we got our money's worth - and as we seemed to be the only UK taxpayers in the audience, almost felt like passing round the hat. You could probably get quite a tidy sum in one of those brass coal-scuttles the soldier boys were wearing!