Despite complaining a lot, oh alright an awful lot, there are some truly wonderful things about having kids. They can be hilarious (Mummy! I dreamed about hippos!) and occasionally do things that are so cute it almost stops you breathing (like scoring a goal for the first time at football and running up to give you a high five with the biggest grin you’ve ever seen) OK, all the kids got a goal, but it was still pretty special. And even the hardest husbands were welling up.
But, I have to say, one of the very best things is sharing the little cherubs with their grandparents. I realise that this sounds super corny but it really is a truly special relationship, and although they’re only knee-high my boys already get super excited at the mere mention of any of their four grandparents. It might have something to do with unfettered access to the biscuit tin and the Ribena bottle, it might not.
With the Devon grandparents they dig for vegetables in the garden and throw snowballs on the moors, and they adore it when the London grandparents take them to splash in muddy puddles (thanks for that Peppa Pig), to collect leaves and bits of bark, and to watch the boats on the river in their local park. So we were all horrified to hear that the King Edward VII Memorial Park is under threat from Thames Water who want to build a big stinky sewerage works on the site. Have a look at www.thamestunnelconsultation.co.uk.
It’s baffling stuff. We’re talking about one destroying one of the few conservation areas in a very urban part of east London, and blocking a part of the Thames Path.
If they have their way the park will be swallowed up by a 20-mile long tunnel, following the route of the river from west to east London, as park of a £3.6 billion upgrade of the city’s aging sewer system. Granted, our household contributes more heavily than most to the 39 million tonnes of sewage which flow into the river each year, but that’s not stopping us from fighting to change the construction sights which will blight areas stretching from Chelsea and Putney, including digging up Leaders Gardens and part of Battersea Park in the west to Wapping and the Docklands in the east – for up to seven years!
King Edward VII Memorial Park regularly wins Green Flag status – an accolade for the best kept parks in the UK – but instead of wild flowers, mature trees, amazing views of the river and kids giggling on swings there could soon be a 15 metre high outlet tower.
by Nadia Cohen