Friday, 20 March 2015

Pax Lodge but where are the Brownies?

Back in February, the seven Guiders who make up our Brownie and Guides leadership team did something very unusual - negotiated three days off from life and headed to London for the weekend!

We're almost all mums - six out of seven of us have kids ranging in age from three to twenty, five of us work, and both organising and not feeling guilty about taking time out from the families is rare, so we really enjoyed ourselves.

We joined a division trip to Pax Lodge World Guiding Centre, organised by a member of the Trefoil Guild working towards an award. It's great that adults in Guiding are able to work towards a few awards too, and we were really happy we got involved.

Those of us with school age kids dropped them at school and then the two drivers scooped everyone up and we headed off in tandem down the M1. We made good time and we able to drop our bags at Pax Lodge and head out again by about 1pm.

Our aim for the afternoon was the British Museum, where one of us had a brother in law on staff. He proceeded to give us a two and a half hour tour of pretty much every corner of the place, telling us the key things to look out for in each area. I've been a few times and I confess that after the Rosetta Stone, the Parthenon statues, the Easter Island statue and the Egyptian gallery, I feel overwhelmed by what's left and don't know where to start, but I do now! We learned so many great things as we went and he was very patient. Highlights included seeing Assyrian statues that basically as we saw them are being destroyed in Syria and really brought home the value of a museum, beautiful centuries old pottery, secret doors to back rooms that he has a key to (very exciting!), a Michelangelo cartoon that few people see because it's on the top floor, and a Doctor Who banknote.

We were flagging by the end of the tour, though he did a great job, but there was only so much we could take in. After that we headed back to North London where the others had arrived at Pax Lodge, where we could chill out for a while, unpack in our rooms, before heading out to dinner.

We found a place nearby that took the 15 of us and had a lovely meal, anyone who is friends with us on Facebook will know that most of the pics we posted all weekend were of us out eating and drinking but we walked miles and miles over the weekend so I reckon we worked most of it off.

Saturday, after flag ceremony in the morning it was up to us what we wanted to do, we picked a few highlights and once again headed out as a seven, there were three groups out of the 15, each working on a different London Challenge so we could earn a badge at the end!

After a trip to Kings Cross to see Platform 9 3/4, we headed for Borough Market first and oh, the food! Lots of tasty samples, if I'd been heading home that night I might have indulged but with no fridge access it was pointless. Then Shakespeare's Globe, Tate Modern, the Millennium Bridge, Southwark Bridge, a walk up Fleet Street, past the Royal Courts of Justice, down Drury Lane (no sign of the muffin man but we did find a primary school!) and into Covent Garden where the next few hours were spent wandering, having lunch, shopping. I picked up wooden rulers for my two kids with their names on, as a reward for some great school news I received for both of them in a call from my husband while we were at lunch.

We headed back up to North London again and this time split, with four heading for Camden Market and three straight back to Pax. We reconvened later, for dinner as a 15 again, this time at Pax followed by an international evening of Guiding which was great fun.

Sunday we had another flag ceremony, received our badges and said our farewells. Some people were heading on to Crystal Palace to see the Girlguiding Centenary Maze but most of our seven had seen it and were happy to head home.

It was a lovely weekend, spent in the company of some fantastic ladies. It brought us closer as a team, and I think made us all value each other a bit more and feel part of something bigger than us. And it was lovely to have a weekend where we only had to look after ourselves, no Brownies with us to constantly count while on the underground! We do love them but it was fun to be away without them for a change.


K Ville said...

Nice. Sounds lovely.

Jennifer (Jen on the Edge) said...

What a fabulous weekend in one of my favorite cities.

Working Mum said...

Great idea and will not doubt have recharged your batteries as Guiders as well.

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