Half term seemed to come and go in a flash last week. I was working for most of it, and had conveniently found the boys a sports camp to go to (thank goodness these seem to exist in the UK too), but I did have Monday and Friday off, so I decided to treat the boys to some London culture.
We visited the National Portrait Gallery, which was a somewhat mixed success. The half term drawing workshops I'd noticed on their website were fully booked (something I should probably have anticipated) and by the time we'd taken a bus and two tubes to get there, the boys were already hungry. Nevertheless I marched them around the Tudor Gallery. Littleboy 2 has a big Henry VIII obsession, so he was interested to see the six wives as well as various portraits of Henry himself.
Littleboy 1 was more interested in Queen Victoria so we had a look at her, and found various other monarchs including a very bizarre portrait of Charles II as a six month old baby. But other than the Royals, the boys took little interest in the line up of the great and the good that the NPG offers.
We did like this picture of Michael Caine, and Littleboy 1 was very intrigued to hear that he voices Finn McMissile in Cars 2.
After that their hunger could not be staved off, so we went off in search of a burger and found one at Gourmet Burger Kitchen. Now, the boys are really missing our new York favourite, Smashburger, and gbk offers a similar experience (order at the counter, sit down and wait for your food, kind of half way between a McDonald's and a proper burger restaurant). And the food was pretty good. But I have to say that Smashburger is half the price. Why does London have to be so expensive I wonder? And then, on the way home, we decided to go into St Paul's Cathedral, but stopped when I realised it would cost about 50 quid for the three of us to look round. What's that all about?
Our second treat of the week was The Lego Movie. I'd booked tickets in advance, knowing it would be hugely popular at half term, and the boys were super-excited. And we did enjoy it. But I have to say, after all the hype, it wasn't quite as fabulous as I was expecting. Making everything out of Lego was, of course, enormously creative, but the script felt it had gone through a lot of rewrites and some of the jokes felt like they'd been done before (in movies like Wreck-it Ralph and Toy Story). But things do perk up when Will Ferrell appears and it all gets a big meta. We hummed "Everything is Awesome" all the way home. What did anyone else think?
The week was rounded off by a trip to see some friends in the deepest Kent countryside. Despite the fact that the UK countryside is now one big marshland, we managed a beautiful walk, seeing spring lambs gambolling and crocuses and daffodils blooming. So I think we got the best of both Town and Country during half term, and maybe the boys are starting to understand what living in England is all about.