General ramblings, My Make Do and Mend Year

A Grand Day Out (and a very small confession…)

Last week, hubby had some time off (hurrah!) and we took the Smalls to the Natural History Museum.


BigSmall has been desperate to go ever since once of the bigger children at Pre-School bought in a video of the moving T-Rex that is there, a YEAR AGO. I thought he would forget about it, but he hasn’t, and it is after all one of THE MOST AMAZING places ever, so we decided to make a day trip.

We made it out of the house reasonably, and drove to Richmond, and then got the Underground to South Kensington and the Natural History Museum.
Trying to explain to a 4 year old why the Underground train wasn’t actually underground for most of the journey, took up most of the journey, and they were both VERY excited at seeing all the trains and waving at all the planes that kept flying overhead. I was slightly concerned that the actual purpose of our trip was going to be an anti-climax after the joys of London Transport…


And it may well have been for SmallSmall, who decided to have the biggest nap he has had in  several weeks, and slept for most of the way round…


But it wasn’t for the rest of us.

BigSmall LOVED it! He got his ‘Explorer Backpack’ complete with hat and binoculars from the Information Centre (these are free to borrow and have a few bits for the kids to do in them-BigSmall was chuffed to bits with his!) and we were off.


We had a fabulous day, learned lots, saw lots, walked lots.

BigSmall posing next to Charles Darwin's statue :)

BigSmall posing next to Charles Darwin’s statue 🙂

BUT I have a teeny tiny confession. We bought something new….
Technically, we made a donation to the museum, of £5, for a kid’s guide to the museum, but really, we bought it. I was fully aware of what we were doing and that we were buying new, but I had thought about it and decided that it really wasn’t the end of the world on several levels:
-it is produced and printed ‘in house’ by the museum and so all the money goes straight back to supporting it
-it is printed on recycled paper and with soya ink (which I never even knew existed, but sounds pretty ecologically sound)
-it contains lots of information about the museum and the exhibits and dinosaurs and creepy crawlies and I knew BigSmall would love it, and why should he keep on having to miss out because of a decision I made? He didn’t even ask for it, but it was just one of those moments when I though “what the hell”.
So there we go, our third ‘slip’ in our year of Buying Nothing New (the others are here and here in case you missed them…), but I think the point is more that I thought carefully about the decision and weighed it up, and decided that on this occasion (this rarest of occasions over the whole of this year) that it was justified.

I hope you won’t judge me too harshly….

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  • Reply The Disenchanted Costumier May 27, 2013 at 9:46 am

    I think buying something recycled is an acceptable loop hole, esp in this case where the money was donated. After all recycled isn’t technically brand spanking new!

    • Reply Jen May 27, 2013 at 8:48 pm

      Thankyou! Good loophole-will try not to exploit it again this year though..!

  • Reply Vivienne Downes (@VivienneDownes) May 26, 2013 at 10:27 pm

    Sounds like the kind of day I would like to take my Grandson on, he loves dinosaurs as does every 3 year old boy ! Agree with previous comments it was a donation to support the museum it would be bad manners not to … !
    <3 the backpack lending idea, my Grandson takes his own when we go to Knowsley Safari Park with his binoculars, camera, safari hat etc. Yearly tickets for Xmas for whole family off Moi !

    • Reply Jen May 27, 2013 at 8:48 pm

      What is it with Small boys and dinosaurs?! They really seem to capture the imagination. Having his own backpack sounds a great idea 🙂

  • Reply KnitNell May 26, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    Forgiven! Money well spent. Museums and galleries rely heavily on sales within their shops etc. All helps to keep the admittance free and makes these wonderful places accessible to all.

    • Reply Jen May 27, 2013 at 8:47 pm

      Thankyou! It is so amazing that that whole enormous building and evrything within it, is FREE to visit 🙂

  • Reply Lucy May 26, 2013 at 8:18 pm

    I think that’s ok. Plus it’s educational, something very specific to that trip (it’s not like you could make it yourself or find it somewhere secondhand easily) and it seems like he’ll love it for a long time. P.S. How cute is that little explorer backpack?

    • Reply Jen May 26, 2013 at 8:54 pm

      Thankyou. VERY cute is the answer! I think we must have been the only people who knew about them though as hubby had done some research on the net the night before!

  • Reply mehubbyandthekids May 26, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    We go to the Natural History museum in Cardiff and we love it (as does little lady thankfully).

    Technically you made a donation to the museum, especially as it is all done in house. Must look up soya ink though. That sounds interesting.

    The way you need to look at this is that you were laying the groundwork for the rest of your lives. In a few months your year of buying nothing new is over so you could go out and buy, buy, buy. But here you weighed up the facts and made a conscious decision to buy this book. That is the moral of today’s story 😉

    • Reply Jen May 26, 2013 at 6:43 pm

      Thanks Nicola. That makes me feel much better. You are right-as the year ends, and life after My Make Do and Mend Year begins, I guess it is all about being a conscious and ethical consumer.

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