Birthday (un)party and the excitement which was the return of Doctor Who!

My son (in his extremely rare wisdom which he must have inherited from his mother, or else how else could he be so wise at such a young age) decided that it would be cruel to subject his parents to the torment which is a party for a large group of seven year olds, and settled upon a trip as a suitable replacement for said party. He wanted to go camping in London (by Hamleys, to be precise). However, once we gently disappointed him by telling him that the London Metropolitan Police probably wouldn’t like us to pitch a tent under Eros, he asked if he could stay in a hotel for a night instead. His reason for this was, and I quote, “because I want to see whether you can get toast with jam or marmite in hotels at breakfast time”! So, not being entirely Scrooge-like in our ways, we suggested that he combine his night in a hotel with two days in Legoland. He was reasonably excited about the idea, and so, last week, off we went. It coincided nicely with school holidays as well, so we were still able to keep our weekend. (I don’t like going away for weekends as, if you go away on a Friday after work and then come back on a Sunday evening, in a strange way it feels as if you’ve missed out on your weekend altogether. I’m just a bit strange like that, I suppose!)

We were really lucky with the weather, which was dry but overcast on the first day and then sunny on the second (really didn’t want to have to carry the coats around all day on the second day, but it seemed like far too much hassle to trudge all the way back to the car!). Two days seemed a really nice amount of time to go around Legoland. We basically walked around all the first day without much of a plan, but really going where the spirit led us. The second day then, organised Husband consulted the map and took us to all the bits we missed (apart from the wet rides – it wasn’t warm enough for those, and I didn’t fancy sending two little boys back to school with streaming colds!). It worked well. I really don’t think we missed much at all. And it seemed that we had managed to take the boys at just the right age. I’m not sure how impressed my younger one would have been a year or so ago, as I think he would have been too young for most of it, but if we’d left it another three or four years, chances our the older one would have found it all too young and tame for him. I suppose as they get older the next place will have to be Oakwood and Alton Towers, although I’m waiting a couple of years for the latter, at least, until they can put up with queuing with a little more patience than they have now!

As you can see, we took plenty of pictures of Miniland in Legoland (I’ve got about another forty pictures of this bit on my memory card, but I thought I wouldn’t torment you with all of them). I’ve just put on the most recogniseable landmarks, although I also have pictures of the Sacre Coeur, the Moulin Rouge and Canary Wharf complete with Dalek half way up one of the office blocks (I may post that later, if I do a post about Doctor Who). In case you aren’t fully aware of what a Dalek may be doing in London’s Canary Wharf, may I refer you to the last two episodes of Series Two (of the ‘newer’ Doctor Who sagas) wherein we find the story of the Battle of Canary Wharf where the Doctor loses Rose (AKA Billie Piper) to the parallel universe. My older son is a Doctor Who ‘fan’ (in inverted commas because the word ‘fan’ doesn’t even start to cover it!) and so as soon as he saw the sign referring to the model of Canary Wharf he was already scanning the area for signs of Time-Lord activity! To his credit, he spotted the Dalek straight away (which was impressive, given how tiny it was) which only confirms his obsession! This is the boy who in normal circumstances can’t see his shoes when he’s falling over them…but I’m veering off topic again. I apologise. Anyway, speaking of veering off topic, this leads me nicely on to the second part of the birthday story.

My son, being such a huge fan of the Doctor, already owns most of the available merchandise. However, this did not discourage him from asking (in conjunction with his brother who, as I’ve mentioned previously, shares the same birthday month) for anything outstanding that has ever been made in relation to Doctor Who (I’m not really exaggerating much!). So we bought him the pin-striped suit (justification – he can wear at least the trousers even if not the jacket for smart meals and family occasions), the fob watch and some of the DVDs which he didn’t already own. But then, the icing on the cake came when the BBC announced that on his very birthday they would be screening the first episode of the new series! I wish I could have shared the look on his face – it was just the definition of pure joy! And so, for the week leading up to his birthday he announced to everyone he met that it would be his birthday on Saturday and that Doctor Who was coming back, in the same breath and with the same level of excitement! I’m not kidding, he couldn’t decide which he wa most excited about. Oh, I can’t resist – here’s the picture of the Legoland Canary Wharf;

Can you spot the Dalek? I’ll give you a clue – it’s black (Dalek Sek, maybe?). No? OK, I’m taking pity – here’s the zoomed-in version of the photo;

Wasn’t that a clever idea of the people at Legoland – I wonder if I missed any other references like this? As you can see from my pictures above, there was definitely no Slitheen spacecraft slicing bits off Big Ben, and neither was there a space-Titanic hovering dangerously close over Buckingham Palace. Maybe they weren’t subtle enough!

Anyway, back to my boy’s birthday. We arranged a bit of a gathering in Cardiff Bay on his actual birthday so that his older friends and relatives would get to wish him many happy returns, and he insisted on wearing his new suit and on carrying his new fob watch and his old (second version as the first wore out!) sonic screwdriver. He does a pretty good ‘Doctor’, if I do say so myself, and got quite a few glances cast his way by people passing by who obviously realised who he was supposed to be (the red Converse boots would probably have helped too!). He was even filmed by a small boy who was enjoying watching my boy save the world outside the Torchwood Hub (otherwise known as Roald Dahl Plass). And my boy was loving the attention! We even took some poster-style pictures of him in front of the Millennium Centre, as he wants to try to get into the Doctor Who Adventures magazine in the feature called “Doctor You”. I wish I could share them with you, as he is such a great little actor, but I set myself strict rules when I started this blog that I wouldn’t share too much information about my family, and that would be stepping over my self-imposed line. Sorry! You’ll just have to take my word for it that he looked great, and thanks to the blue skies with very artistic white clouds skudding across, we got some great pictures.

So anyway, to wrap up in as few words as possible (I’ve maybe written a little more than I planned in this post!) he had a great few days celebrating his birthday, loved his presents, cake and excursions, and the new episode of Doctor Who was a marvellous way to finish his day.


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