We've been in London for nearly 4 weeks over the summer and although we have had quite a bit of boring stuff to do with our rental flat to sort out, we've been taking full advantage of the capital. I have a feeling that Mr Spouse has actually seen every single museum in the city. He went to the Clockmaker's Museum the other day. Seriously. I on the other hand have actually had to do some work, but have managed to get out a bit.
Yesterday we went to Oxford (OK, not in London!) to meet up with my mother, brother, and two nieces. Probably by dint of keeping off sticky topics, we had a really good day. We went to a museum that has been newly done up and has lots of great drawers for kids to pull out, things for them to handle etc. The girls are now 4 and 61/2 and were really good all day I thought - the younger one even stopped throwing gravel in the goldfish pond in the Botanic Gardens when I told her to.
My mother regaled me with my brother's latest idea, which is that children don't need any more sleep than adults, which means you can put them to bed at 11pm and they will be fine the next day. Sometimes when my mother moans about my brother (or to my brother) I will sympathise with one or other of them, but I'm staying out of it this time, I muttered something non-committal to my mum, and I suspect my brother won't moan about my mum (this is less frequent but it does happen) because he doesn't when he knows she's right or that I'll agree with her.
Anyway, enough waffle, what I also thought was that I hope we end up with a similar relationship to our child's birth parents to my auntie relationship with the nieces - living in a different country but visiting relatively often, they know me and remember who I am (and happily have done so since they were small) and think of me as a fun relative who will take them out and do fun things, but who they do have to listen to when I am in sole charge. And I give irritating advice which brother and sister-in-law are free to ignore.
OK, back to the original subject. As you may or may not know, Oxford is where I studied as a postgrad, and on the whole had an excellent time (immature male postgrads who share a house with you and bring back ever-younger one-night-stands, notwithstanding), and made some of my best and oldest friends. I used my imagine-yourself-where-you-want-to-be technnique to remember pubs with outdoor space for dinner, and thought of one I spent rather too many hours in - but was slightly embarassed therefore to walk straight past the entrance to the alley the pub is on. In a former life I am sure I could have found my way there in my sleep.
Today unusually rather than me saying "let's go OUT" and Mr. Spouse saying "I'm tired" we reversed roles; he took me to Camden Lock Market which astonishingly I have never been to. Cannot think how that happened. Anyway I bought a clocket, because I am a fashion victim, and tried on two or three winter tunics, and bought one. Mr. Spouse tried, but didn't quite manage, to tell me I was too short and fat to wear one of them. But the one I bought was a lot less fussy.