We took the son of a family friend I grew up with, who now lives abroad, out today. Being Easter Monday it was great to drive through parts of London that are normally out of bounds. However, most events require an entry fee and with four of us travelling around, that added up to a lot of money. Our guest was already aware of the costs of things in London and had informed me that he aimed for places that allowed free access. We tried to peer through the bodies of people queuing between the columns and the ticket desks of St. Paul’s Cathedral. I also tried contacting the verger of the cathedral to no avail. Apparently, as a church attendee it is possible to get a pass to gain entry to the cathedral, but the verger also has to validate the entry. From there we took our guest on a sightseeing tour of London’s modern high rise architecture, which proved to be of interest to him. Finally, we ended up at the Science Museum. The Natural History Museum had a slow moving, excessively long queue. I was told by staff that this was because it was a bank holiday. Disappointingly the Science Museum had very little that was interactive. The Launch Pad on the top floor used to provide free access to a great interactive area of scientific learning for youngsters under 10. That has been replaced by the ticketed Wonderlab. Beyond that the museum is made up of exhibits showing the benefits science has had on mankind historically.
We ended up on the top floor where the three possibly fun-filled events were ticketed. One area looked like a scene from a science fiction movie. Males and females, most in dark clothing sat motionless with virtual reality (VR) headsets on, watching astronaut Tim Peake’s descent from space. The privilege of seeing that was £7. The other events on offer was a flight simulator and a 360 degree flight pod for £12. My niece was ready to have a pod experience. However, her brother and the young male guest were less keen. What struck me was my niece’s reaction when I informed her that neither of them were interested in the 360 degree flight pod experience. ‘Really!’ she exclaimed, shocked that that they did not want to do what she wanted to do. I watched interestingly as her brain computed this fact and hoped that this was another life lesson learnt. One of many she is working through. I also suggested to her that maybe she needed to ask them if they wanted to join her before taking it for granted that they would.