This last weekend we had our first official “local” playdates, woo hoo! (I qualify that because our very first playdate in London was with another family that we used to work with in Belize that were posted to Bulgaria and in London for R&R. 🙂 ) I’m also very thankful that our son is in nursery school full time, or he might have been really lonely by now. So it was great to have, not just one, but two playdates on Saturday and Sunday both at our apartment.

The first one was with a couple of lovely American ladies from the Econ section at the embassy and their three kids. And the second was with a New Zealand/South African couple whose two children attend the same nursery school as our son. There was lots of food and toys and bickering and crying and laughing and running. And we now know that our son’s bed makes a very good pirate ship.

The weekend before last we had a small family outing to the Ambika P3 art gallery at the University of Westminster. Knowing full well that child-centered entertainment is a must for any successful outing, we first stopped at McDonald’s, and then went to a cute little playground tucked into the Paddington Street Garden a couple blocks south of the university. After our son had conquered, or at least touched, every piece of equipment at least once, we then proceeded to the gallery and stood awkwardly in front of the gate for 10 minutes waiting for them to open, which it finally did (late).

Paddington Street Gardens.

Paddington Street Gardens.

Playground fun.

Playground fun.

The exhibit was called “Out of Ice: The Secret Language of Ice” by Scottish artist Elizabeth Ogilvie “…fusing art, architecture and science in an experiential installation comprising ice, water, video projections and film.” It was neat to see it, but there wasn’t quite as much to it as I thought there might be. On the lower level there were two contained bodies of water…one catching drips off of hanging chunks of ice, and one simply sitting placidly in front of a screen that rotated images of ice. The upper level had a few more images of ice with four video projections of ships and sled dogs, etc., running simultaneously in the middle. It was beautiful, but I felt like they could’ve done a lot more with the space.

Ambika P3 Gallery.

Ambika P3 Gallery.

Our son checking out the immersive ice exhibit.

Our son checking out the immersive ice exhibit.

But it was our son’s first art gallery. I asked him what he thought of it. He didn’t take too long to answer and said simply, “It looks cold.” Yes, yes, it does.

Our silhouette against a screen of blue ice.

Our silhouette against a screen of blue ice.

 

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