It is a very very strange feeling to board a train with only your bag (and a chocolate brownie) in your hands, sit wherever you like, read a magazine and have a little doze. At least it is when every trip for the last nine months has required military grade planning, careful selection of the only spot on the train with space for a pushchair and a journey spent bouncing, cooing, feeding and generally doing anything in your power to prevent baby meltdown.
This time there were no silent looks of "oh no" from my fellow passengers, I was pleasantly anonymous on the 15.50 from Waterloo and it was wonderfully liberating.
The reason for this little adventure was that I was off to a hen weekend! A whole 48 hours of grown up conversations, fizzy wine and maybe even a lie in or two. Bliss! Oh and a jolly good send off into married life for a very lovely friend.
Of course in reality I hadn't just chucked my best drinking shoes in a bag and headed for the station, these two days had required several months of planning. The main issue being that Evelyn is still breast feeding. Fred is a pretty good hands on Dad, but there are limits, so I have spent weeks gradually building up the supplies in the freezer and although I am very grateful to the little yellow breast pump for all the help it gave me with feeding Evelyn in the early days, getting her taking boob or bottle and allowing me this precious weekend away, Oh My God I am sick of it! I really can not tell you just how very sick of it I am. It is about the most gratingly boring and undignified thing you can imagine, and this really isn't helped by the noise it makes. It moos.
It did the job though and off I went, except you can't really escape that easily from the moo. To keep up supplies and my comfort levels the pump had to come along too so I was very grateful to discover that I was not the only one in this situation. Every so often me and another of the Hens broke off from the spa/gossip/wine/phallic drinking straws to turn our little corner of Centre Parks into a milking parlour. Classy. Is that TMI for this blog I wonder? It's amazing how you just stop noticing that line.
Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed the hen do and was impressed with Centre Parks, although it was so full of little ones, many the same age as Evelyn, that once it was time to head home I was pretty desperate to see her. I did wonder on the train back if she would remember me or show any sign of being pleased at my return but I shouldn't have worried. When I met her and Fred at Waterloo on their way home from an outing to Great Grandpa's I got a great big little grin and some very excited arm waving and that more than makes up for all the mooing.
Meanwhile back in London....
Evelyn has her first go in a paddling pool
And makes another (failed) attempt at crawling