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!

19 comments:

  1. Ah, those were the days! the toy soldier museum at the Horseguards was one of my son's very favourite places on earth for a while. There's a sense of reverence about it all -- at least there was. ( That little boy is now nearly 18). I wonder if the museum has changed....of course it hasn't. This is England, after all :-0

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  2. Well, it sounds like he quite likes walking now that he's found his feet. He'll be up and about and into everything.
    Sx

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  3. A toy soldier museum? We didn't know about that, Sue, but the real ones were fun enough!

    He's certainly found his feet, Scarlett. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to find him copying the stamps and heel-clicks of the Guardsmen before too long!

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  4. Yes it always looks like toy town to me [there you go, aged myself!] Funny how children always manage to impose their own agenda on our schedule.
    Cheers

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  5. Glad the trip went well. It's tricky when they don't 'do' what you think they're going to do!

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  6. Great post, D. Have never taken mine to see the Changing of the Guard. Remember being a kid and goin to London for the Queens birthday. I did nothing but put my hands over my ears and cried at the gunfire. God that was a long day!

    But thats no excuse not to take my children. i hope you enjoyed the rest of your day.

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  7. The thing is have you taught him the difference between a busby and a bearskin? I found out on QI this week.

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  8. They're experts at that, Maddy - and Charlie does it especially well!

    I suppose if we gave up expecting them to behave in the way they normally behave it wouldn't be a problem, Suburbia. We have our own agenda, so do they. And some parents claim to make their kids do everything they want (take 'em to restaurants, parties etc regardless) and there's the extreme Gina Ford-ites who slavishly follow the 'routine'. We're stuck in the middle, somewhere, confused!

    Charlie seemed slightly bemused by the whole parade-ground thing, Jenny. Almost as if he was thinking 'why are grown-ups being so silly?' And, to be honest, it does all look a little silly.

    I can do now, having watched QI on Friday, NB. But what are those shiny metal things the cavalry wear called?

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  9. LOL at passing round the hat! Thankyou for your lovely kind comments over at mine MH

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  10. Dotterel, just read your comment at Worrier, thanks :)

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  11. Dotterel, just read your comment at Worrier, thanks :)

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  12. Charlie sounds like a real little soldier. So brave too. glad he enjoyed the spectacle at horseguards parade!

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  13. It's nice to be able to combine a special day out with something not so special! Makes it all exciting and hopefully he will remember the horses as opposed to the hospital.

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  14. He was brave, Google Mummy - I suppose it helps not really knowing, yet, what's happening.

    It was a case of 'we're in London, let's do something' AM. And as it turned out, we managed - by accident - to have some fun. Nice, as you say, to be able to sugar the pill of the hospital trip that way.

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  15. I have never seen the changing of the guard. So Charlie has seen something that I haven't.

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  16. Whether he remembers any of it is another matter, CW!

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  17. It's over 20 years since I escaped from Lincolnshire to Suffolk, but I do recall from school trips that the journey to London wasn't the hour-and-ten minute trip by train that it is from Ipswich. If you've travelled all that way, it's nice to get some pleasure out of it.

    BTW my brother went to Boston Grammar School, but he left in 1993 so I'm guessing he was gone before you started teaching there. I, on the other hand, failed my 11+ and went to Cowley's Academy for Thugs (as our insane music teacher used to call it) at Donington.

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  18. Not John Lyon was it (the insane music teacher)?

    I started at BGS in January 1995 so would've missed teaching your brother by a couple of years. What was he called?

    We had to break the journey to London into two bits; fortunately Sarah's mum lives just north of Watford, so we only had to get the train from there. Even that was bad enough!

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