029/365 Go Mar Mar Go!

Go Mar Mar Go!

On Sunday 17th April 2011 David and I took Esther and William to London for the very first time. We went to watch the marathon, to support every amazing person who volunteered to take part and in particular to cheer on David’s older brother, Martin.

See our banner above!

People who run the marathon spend the best part of a year preparing for it, many run for their own personal sense of achievement and many run to raise money for charity. Whatever a person’s motivation it is a huge challenge and commitment so I would like to say well done to absolutely everyone who took part. You should be very very proud!

I have to say though that being a supporter, a spectator, at the marathon is not without challenge, particularly if you brave our busy capital city with twinfants in a giant double buggy!! By the time we got home last night I felt as though I had run a marathon of my own!

Packing for our day in London was like packing for a holiday, there are just so many what ifs and in cases. David took a huge rucksack and I had a small change bag and this is what we had inside …

Picnic for us
Lunch and tea for the babies
Pots and spoons
Juice for us
Water cups for babies
10 Nappies
Nappy bags
Cotton wool
Spare clothes for Esther and William
Spare top for me
Books for babies
4 bibs plus clean spare plastic bibs
Change mat
Warm clothes for Esther and William
Picnic Blanket
Bicycle pump
Puncture repair kit
Our banner
Sun hats
Sun cream
Teething / rattly toys
Chewing gum
2 muslins
Cotton wool
1 nappy / sack and wipes
Lip balm
Hand gel and cream
Disinfectant wipes
mascara and eye lash curlers
Calpol / Nurofen / teething powders
Vaseline for Esther
Cardigan for me

So much stuff needed mainly by two of the tiniest possible people. And I have to say that we did use most of what we took.

Despite the mammoth packing required we did have a brilliant time. The 80 minute train ride from Charing to London passed without incident. The babies really were very good. We walked to our viewing spot at Tower Bridge, from Victoria Station, along the South Bank. It was a glorious sunny morning and we were met with friendly smiles and positive comments about the twins all the way. We had take out coffee and breakfast like proper city folk and it was just a lovely lovely day. Esther and William were very well behaved enjoying seeing the sights of London from their newly frontward facing buggy.

When we reached Tower Bridge there was a crowd there but it was not too busy and everyone wasin high spirits cheering complete strangers with the same warmth and enthusiasm as the people they knew and were there to support. It was a great atmosphere, everyone was happy and sharing a common purpose of supporting people striving to acheive a personal or charitable goal.

We erected our banner and waited in the blazing sun for David’s brother to run past. He saw us and waved as he passed us. I am glad we were there to help spur him on.

After seeing Martin we collapsed on to the nearest bit of grass we could find and had lunch, fed the babies, let them have a play and soaked up more of the celebratory vibe befre walking back along the iouth Bank and battling our way into Horseguards Parade to again raise our flag and wait for Martin to finish the race. We were joined by Martin’s wife and children, his Mum and Dad and sister and other friends and family. How wonderful for him to have so many of us waiting there as he crossed the finish line. I hope that we were a comfort to him after his enduring trial. I know that my friends and family would have been a comfort to me after such a huge event.

We all went together for an ice cream in Green Park before making our separate journeys back to Kent reflecting on a beautiful day supporting an amazing and important event.

And again, I say well done one and all who ran yesterday. I am in awe of each and everyone of you. Well done.

And well done to Esther and William who determinedly survived the day without complete meltdown, an achievement of their own which means that we may even brave London again one day, in fact we definitely will for the Buggy Push!!

Well done everyone!

The Friday Rant Club

This morning my inbox contained an email update from Hello Its Gemma entitled The Friday Rant. On further reading I found this to be something that she had discovered at Muddling Along Mummy’s blog. The Friday Rant Club.

“The Friday Rant Club is an opportunity to get all those frustrations that have been building up off your chest before the weekend. Either post something in the comments below or write your own one. There’s a little badge over there on the right if you fancy showing the world that you are not a doormat!” (I did try to use the badge but it did not work for me!)

Now this just happens to suit my mood this morning. Every Friday the babies and I are signed up for Baby Sensory classes for the rest of this academic year. Esther and William love the sessions and I have to be honest so do I, I love anything that involves singing and that gets me out to meet other Mums. But every Friday morning I am filled with a sense of dread, we are okay to get to our classes in town but often we struggle to get back.

You see, I live in a lovely little village called Charing, which is just near Ashford in Kent. The classes that I attend are mostly in Ashford. This is a mere 6 minutes away by train. Perfect, you would think.
On a Friday morning I catch the 10am train without incident and head on into town and through to our class. I board the train on this side of the station, in Ashford there is a lift from the platform to the subway.

The problem arises when we are coming home. The babies are tired after a successful, active class and I just need to get them home to feed them and get them to bed. But then we encounter our problem. When the trains are returning from Ashford passengers have to alight on the opposite platform, from which you cannot exit the station with crossing the foot bridge. There is no lift, no ramp and no staff. So unless some kind hearted stranger happens to be pasing by and takes pity on us, Esther, William and I are stranded at the station, on the other side of the rail tracks from where we live.

In this day and age surely every station should be catering for people with buggies or wheelchairs? To get home I would have to pay for a ticket to Maidstone and back to allow me to travel a further 20 minutes out of my way, change trains, travel 20 minutes back to enable me to get off the train on the right side of he platform.
I find this to be unacceptable that I am unable to travel unless my partner is at home to meet us from the train and help me carry the buggy up the stairs and over the footbridge.

When my Mum was here a few weeks ago we had our double buggy in car seat mode and my Mum had to stand at one side of the station with the babies as I carried the buggy over piece by piece. First William in his car seat, then I had to go back for Esther and then back again for the chassis. If I am to do this on my own it would mean leaving the babies on their own which is surely not to be expected of a young Mum to do.

I know that lifts are expensive, I know that they may not look pretty but surely in 2011 we should have these faculities in even the smallst of stations, and particularly in fact int he stations that are unmanned to avoid young families or people with disabilities being stranded.

Rant over, what a great club to join!

Do you have any end of week fury to get off your chest?