On Saturday morning, Chris woke up and decided that a field trip to London was on the cards. With it being the Easter holidays we had ended up spending a lot of time at home rather than going out to various groups like we normally do, so to get out of the house and out of Bedford of the day, it was a great idea.
While Chris pottered off to do what he’s got planned. Jaxon and I could work our way around various places that I’ve been wanting to go to. We also talked about taking Jaxon on the Emirates Airline and seeing what he thought, seeing as he already seems to want to be a stunt man.
We got our tickets and headed through the barriers ready to get the next train into London. We caught the 9.18am from Bedford to St. Pancras although because of an issue on board it was running a little late. I think when it did get to us they’d actually switched out the trains so we were on a different one. When we got on the train it was busy so because of the number of people on the train we ended up sat in one of the end bits right next to the door. It was good because Jaxon could stand at the door and look out of the window but it did mean that around Luton Parkway he decided I would be his human climbing frame while Daddy held onto the buggy. Jaxon also loved playing with the buttons but thankfully they are centrally locked while the train is in motion so he could keep pressing them but nothing happened. Chris kept saying how we were going on a train “like Thomas” so this turned into which train on Thomas and Friends was really like the train we were on. (I actually tweeted East Midlands Trains to see if they could tell me the type of train we were on – it was either an Intercity or a Meridian Train so we figured probably closest is Stafford but it’s still not quite right).
Jaxon and I said goodbye to Chris so he could catch the tube and we headed outside to catch the bus towards Bow Church so we could get the DLR. On the way to the bus stop, a random tourist stopped me and told me in whatever language he was speaking that Jaxon needed his hood up or something like that. He kept pointing to his own hat and then to Jaxon, in the end, put Jaxon’s hood up and headed off.
We caught the 205 bus from King’s Cross to Bow Church to swap for the DLR. It’s crazy seeing London from a different view. There were a lot of new buildings being worked on. At 250 City Road, there were lots of cranes – I think if Jaxon could have seen out the window a bit better he would have been excited about them. Like there are audio announcements on the Underground there are audio announcements on the bus so every stop had a particular name it was referred to – they were nearly all road names but the one for Moorfields Eye Hospital was actually announced as that rather than the road name.
When we reached Shoreditch 10.35am around 10:40am there was a really long queue along Commercial Road – part of me wanted to shout out of the door when we stopped at the bus stop and find out what they were all queueing for. We were on the bus for nearly an hour so I took lots of photos and wrote some notes for this blog post – it did mean that my battery was getting eaten and it wasn’t even lunch time yet.
We got off the bus at Bow Church and crossed the road between some roadworks so that we could then get on the DLR from Bow Church station. As you can see from the map above (thank you Google!) it was actually a straight forward route although it was covering quite a distance. From Bow Church, we caught the next DLR train to Canary Wharf. I got a bit excited when we got to Poplar and I recognised the DLR station and the section of road on the other side from when Chris and I went to Sherlocked and the London Marathon last year.
At Canary Wharf, we were heading to the Moleskine shop. Yes, I could probably spend all my pocket money in this shop! I love the stamps that they have in the shop that you can use in your notebooks. I know if you look close enough you can see it’s a Leuchtturm1917 A6 in Orange and I was in the Moleskine store. Well Moleskine is my preference it turns out but before I buy a new one I have a couple of other books that I need to work my way through. I have my eye on a particular Paperchase one that I’ve had in my stash for a while, I removed some of the used pages from the front so I’m not sure how well it will survive now but we’ll see.
Back to the story, we arrived at Cabot Circus at Canary Wharf and I found the lift to get from the platform to the shopping centre. There was a lady queuing for the lift too, I was all prepared to wait for the next lift as she had a buggy with her but she was deteremined that we could all fit in the lift. She squished us all in and then was so chatty and kept talking to Jaxon which was really lovely. She had the most beautiful tight corkscrew curls. When she pushed the button and realised that Jaxon had wanted to do it, she apologised loads.
Once we’d been to Moleskine (and drooled over the Colour-A-Month diary that was reduced) we were heading to the Underground station at Canary Wharf to get the Jubilee line to North Greenwich for the Emirates Airline. As we were heading outstide I realised that it was lunchtime and that toilet stops for Jaxon and I would be a good idea. As it happens there is a really big Waitrose department store at Canary Wharf so we were able to tick all the boxes while we were there before getting on the underground.
We found a bench to sit on and eat our lunch. Jaxon’s sandwich was egg mayo and salad so I sat there and picked out the lettuce and tomato because I knew if I left him to do it, the lettuce would have ended up all over the floor! We headed from the shopping centre down to the Canary Wharf Underground station. We got to the ticket hall at the bottom of the escalators and I couldn’t find the lift. I thought I was going to have to get Jaxon into his carrier and take him down on the escalator. I went and found a TFL/London Underground person who was able to point me in the right direction to be able to get on the Tube.
We caught the tube to North Greenwich, after leaving the station we walked towards the O2 and then we turned towards the river and to the Emirates Airline. I bought my ticket at the machine and headed up in the lift, we joined the queue and waited to get on. There seemed to be a technical issue so I half expected them to close it or something like that but it was still running.
We moved to the front of the queue and I expected to get on with the Dad and his son who were in front of us but instead, the guy directing, put Jaxon and I onto the next empty “capsule” we were then joined by three German lads (one of which nearly cracked open a bottle of beer that he had in his bag. Then realised either that he was on the “ride” with a toddler or that alcohol isn’t allowed).
Jaxon absolutely loved the ride. He had his face smooshed against the glass to the point that he was trying to push his way through the glass. It kept rocking and that was making me nervous. I was gripping onto Jaxon with one hand and the chair with the other hand.
When we got to the other side we walked to Royal Victoria DLR station to catch the DLR to Tower Gateway. When we got to the platform a fellow Mummy helped me with the buggy – I realised after taking a set of four steps that there was a ramp like 10 paces away. On the platform the fellow mummy was talking to her partner about how the airline operators should have stopped it because someone was having a panic attack. I’m not sure what was happening but sounded serious. The Dad and the son who had been in the queue in front of me had also got off and made a complaint. When we got to Tower Gateway, we walked the short distance to Tower Hill to catch the Circle Line to Victoria.
At the station, I had to get Jaxon into the carrier so that I could take the buggy down as there wasn’t a lift and you’re not supposed to take buggies on the escalator.
I managed to find HEMA shop but it was upstairs in Victoria Train station and I couldn’t find the lift so had to take the escalator. I was at the bottom trying to juggle Jaxon (having got off the tube and put him back in the buggy!) and the bags, I was about to put him in the carrier when a very lovely lady was like “let me help you” and she picked up the buggy and carried it up the escalator while I took the bags and Jaxon.
HEMA is a very cool shop – it’s like Paperchase and IKEA had a love child lol.
We went to catch the bus to Trafalgar Square to meet Chris but when we got to the bus stop there was a diversion or something like that (the sign wasn’t entirely clear) so there wasn’t a Route 24 bus stopping there. I had a text conversation with Chris about whether he would come and meet me or if I would still go to him. I decided as the next shop I wanted to visit was closer to Trafalgar Square, I would brave the underground with the buggy again.
Chris texted back and said that he would meet me at the exit barrier at Embankment station. We got to Embankment and I was struggling with the buggy and the stairs. I was really tired and just wanted to go home lol.
At the tube I got Jaxon into his carrier and then sorted the bags and buggy so that I could manage everything.
As we went to head up the stairs at Embankment I felt the buggy get lighter all of a sudden and began to freak out that I’d lost my handbag. I turned round and a gentleman behind me had picked up the other end of the buggy to help me. Chris was there waiting right next to the barrier which made my day so much better.
We wander from Leicester Square to Covent Garden. On our way through we went into Muji it was quite busy so Chris waited near the door with Jaxon.
While in Covent Garden I went into Kikki K and Paperchase, after going in the first Kikki K we walked round the corner towards Paperchase and Chris saw the window for the second Kikki K store and said “Do you want to look in there? It kinda looks like your kind of shop.” I don’t think he’d realised that I had already been into Kikki K.
Kikki K is lovely. It was busy though so couldn’t really stop for a proper look. I have a Kikki K planner already but love looking!
After a bit more of a wander round we headed towards the tube to come home again.
We grabbed some food before getting on the train to come home. Jaxon, Chris and I shared two seats between us and Jaxon had some food to eat as well as drink.
It was a lovely day out although I don’t think I can do London by myself without better planning ahead.