But, someone in their wisdom (the government!!!) decided to make all the national museums free, so off we went to enjoy the railway museum at the tax payers' expense! Thank you tax payers!
Our route to the NRM goes through the station, so we got into the mood by watching several long London trains arrive and depart and even got to see a Virgin train leave on time! Nathaniel, unsuprisingly, did a lot of "tra, tra, tra, tra, TRA!"
And then onto the NRM. There was a brief wobble when we got him out of the carrier and put him down in the great hall. To be honest, its pretty overwhelming when you are a full grown adult. Trains seem so big when you are at wheel height.
But we got into the Japanese bullet train, and Nathaniel had fun storming up and down the isles and then lead us out to explore.
I'm not entirely sure how obvious it is to a 16 month old that some of the big hunks of metal are actually trains. After all, they don'l lok much like modern trains, and from 2 ft from the ground they are mainly giant pieces of oddly shapped iron. But there are lots of interesting textures to feel and shapes to find, all of which is fun.
There are also lots of giant, brightly coloured wheels. They are totally recognisable and interesting.
But one of the best things about the NRM, especially on a deserted Sunday afternoon, is that there is lots of space to charge around, most of which is totally safe, so you don't have irritating parents running after you taking way interesting items that you have picked up (note to self: Marks and Spencers, though fun, is not an ideal playground).
Nathaniel declared the outing a (blurry!) success.
And the great thing is that we only went to half of one of the rooms! There are plenty of other rooms that we haven't even glanced into! By the time we have worked our way around them, it will be time to come back to the Great Hall and Nathaniel will have a totally new take on it! Expect many, many, many more visits!
We wound our way back through the station (still more "tra, tra, tra, TRA!" - how many trains until he gets bored?!), and started to walk back through the sleet, when we passed a pub pumping out the most delicious smell of beer and burgers and chips. We are not great at being spontaneous at the best of times, we tend always to have a well thought out and prepared plan, so we decided to act on whim and head back into town for some food. After smelling those burgers, it could only be to the Gormet Burger Kitchen. After all, we eat horribly healthily normally!
So we had a lovely evening consuming delicious burgers in a deserted restaurant. Nathaniel played with straws very well, and ate all his food off a ceramic plate with no breakages! Obviously our love of eating out is improving his table manners, as yesterday we ended up in the Pig and Pastry for lunch and Nathaniel coped with their breakables as well!
All in all it was an extremely satisfying solution to a miserable Sunday afternoon!