Tuesday, 22 September 2009


Having a child under two and another just shy of her teens can make family days out something of a nightmare. Although Sally patiently toddles along at Charlie's pace, indulging him as he stops to inspect each blade of grass or point at every bird or passing plane, it's not quite her bag. (Sarah and I, on the other hand, have seldom got the energy for anything else - but that's another story!) Add rural isolation to the mix (did you know there are no motor-ways in Lincolnshire?) and you've got a picture of the logistical problems we face when planning a day out. But the prospect of the last decent weekend before Autumn inspired us to brave the five-hour round-trip to Drayton Manor last Sunday. I can take or leave most theme-parks, but for a 'choo-choo' obsessed small boy Drayton Manor has a very special attraction...
The sight of 'Thomas' steaming out of Knapford Station must, to Charlie, be like my coming face-to-face with Charlotte Gainsbourg or Kiera Knightley. (I'd like the chance to empirically verify this hypothesis, by the way, if anyone can arrange it!)
While all this was going on, Sally was scaring herself (or rather, anyone foolish enough to accompany her) on some of the worst rides it has ever been my misfortune to endure. To be fair, Sarah held her hand (or was it the other way around?) on the most gut-wrenching of them all - the Shock-Wave (I couldn't even bear to watch) and, as befits my approach to all things hair-raising, I got very wet on Stormforce 10. Whatever happened to the good ol' carousel, eh? Well, they've got one of those as well. It's a cliche, but there really is something for everyone.
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