Tuesday, 1 September 2015
We haven’t managed many what I’d call ‘proper trips out’ this summer holiday. Apart from a holiday club visit to Wicksteed Park *grits teeth* where I was in charge of my anxious PWS teenager, my Zebedee-like six year old boy, and two of his over-excited school buddies. (Severe Post Traumatic Trip Disorder prevents me from saying any more about The Outing That Dare Not Speak Its Name without falling to the floor in a sobbing heap).
Today, however, we went on a visit to the Nene Valley Railway. As always with a PWS person in the family, there were a couple of issues. My daughter had been pre-warned that the Thomas The Tank Engine train is currently out of action for repairs/refurbishment. But it wasn’t until we checked the website just before we set off that I realised the passenger engine in service today was a diesel, not a steam engine.
This was enough to set the mercury rising on my girl’s anxiousometer, but a quick negotiation - emphasising that we’d return when Thomas was out of train hospital so we’d get to go to Nene Valley twice - was enough to calm things down.
And, discounting the odd panic over cameo appearances by bin wasps, and worries that the train would be too noisy (it wasn’t - the emergency earplugs packed in my magic handbag were not required), we just about managed Happy Family Fun, marred only by a tantrum in the car on the journey home from a certain small boy who needs to learn how to lose Top Trumps gracefully.
The train was impressive (I think it was a Class 14, if that means anything to locomotive nerds out there). We seated ourselves on springy bench seats in a private Hogwarts Express-style carriage off the main corridor, spread out our picnic on the dining table, and supplemented it with no sugar Fruit Jets for the children and a pint of Nene Valley Railway Ale for the adults.
We've got some nice photos. The kids have got stamped souvenir tickets. And they might even remember our day next week when they go back to school and have to write down what they did in the holidays.
Yes, next week. All of you parents out there who’ve been gleefully updating your social media accounts with details of your kids going back already can do one. In this neck of the woods we’re in the seventh week, people. The seventh long, long, week. It’s lovely to spend time with your children. But not that much, FFS.
Song is The Prodigy - Diesel Power