One of the mantras that get bandied about in the home educating noncommunity is that you don’t need money to be able to home educate.
Probable theory but on the whole, it’s balderdash.
Here’s a breakdown of our last London outing which almost didn’t happen because train tickets for one adult and three children under 12 were going to cost £60 had it not been for the Friends & Family Railcard that I managed to borrow from my friend, Spiker.
Just leaving town cost me £26. We had to stand for most part of the 1hour 40 minutes train journey. As a dangling carrot reward for the children who were crashing about in the carriage every time the train took a turn, I promised them a Krispy Kreme doughnut each when we got into Victoria.
Four doughnuts cost us around £7.50. The kind man behind the counter informed me that if were to buy a dozen, I would only be paying £9.99.
Running total so far was £33.50.
At least the tube travel was built into the train fare. Our journey to the Warner Bros building did not cost us any extra.
In fact, the children had a whale of a time. They had face painting which kept The Small Shouty One happy, the then yet to be released Lego Harry Potter and Lego Lord of The Rings Xbox games which Zak Cool spent a good hour playing and fancy enough sandwiches and cakes laid out to impress even the connoisseur in Potato Bottom.
The slippery slope from then on was all my doing. We left the Warner Bros blogging event at around 2ish. I insisted that the children needed to visit Peggy Porschen’s cake boutique in Belgravia. One tube journey away and half an hour of getting lost, we found it.
The cake boutique was quaint and cosy. It was beautiful. We stood behind this lady who vocally declared that she was allergic to chocolate which ruled out most of the cakes on sale there. She was also allergic to fennel and chamomile so her tea will have to exclude any combination of the two. By the time it was my time to be served by the kind young man behind the counter, he had aged about ten years, acquired grey hair and had developed that wizened look that doctors take on when attempting a rather complex drugs calculation.
Four cupcakes, one cappuccino and one bird shaped hand decorated flooded icing biscuit on a stick came to £23.90. I like to remind myself that my water rates monthly direct debit is less than that.
So, I can see what you guys are thinking. You’re probably wondering, hang on, the math doesn’t work. What was it that cost so much that the total came to that amount?
Behold the bird shaped hand decorated flooded icing biscuit on a stick. I’d have taken a photo of it had The Small Shouty One not dropped it two streets after we left Peggy Porschen’s and broke it into two. That, SniffnSnorters cost £6.95. Here. Have some !!!!!!!!!!!! on me. Feel free to apply as many you need to that sentence.
Running total: £57.40.
By this time, I was dragging The Small Shouty One along behind me as she was too tired to carry on. We abandoned the plan to go to the Natural History Museum and headed off to Victoria Station. I was guessing then that maybe we would get there, have a drink and see if we could get on the train home. It was approaching office chucking out time and it would have been nice to be out of London just as that was happening.
Except our super duper cheap as chips Friends & Family tickets were limited to travel after 19:42
. It was at that point,16:30
. We had 3 hours and 12 minutes to spare.
And this is what it cost us.
Soft drinks and fries for four £12.49. Gluttony really does pay because four of their average sized meals would have only been £15.
Sub total so far: £69.89
Hot chocolate x 4 (one with a hint of tea and the other tasting like mocha) at Costa’s because it was too damned cold to be waiting elsewhere: £9.45
12 doughnuts from Krispy Kreme, of our own selection. £10.95
Dinner for the children, who had by then eaten all the pack sandwiches made by Slaveboy because they were so damned cold, was from Wasabi. Two pots of Teriyaki Chicken noodles (£4.95 x 2) and tray of sushi selected by The Small Shouty One who really did insist that she needed all £7.95 worth of it. £9.80 + £7.95 = .£17. 75.
Two bottles of water taking it to £110.04
£4.20 for the use of the public toilets. This includes the 3 x 10p that The Small Shouty One jammed into the coin operated entry system which almost brought London Victoria grinding to a halt with commuters desperate for a wee but unable to get through fast enough.
Final total: £114.24.
Whether the trip was of any educational value to the children, I’m not sure but it sure hell was a steep introduction to the concept of false economy. This also isn’t the time to remind me that the original train fare of £60 would’ve been less costly in the end. However, the children had a grand time and were still talking about it a week later. We are planning on going back for outdoor ice skating. That trip will be the making of me, as far as my cool rating in the eyes of the children. I shall be wowing them with my nimble feet. This will eradicate their memory of me repeated misreading the map on my phone and making them walk six times the distance needed to get places.
The last time I ice skated, I was 7. It can’t be that much different to role skating, can it?
Warner Bros Blogging Event: Country Bumpkins Do London