The perks of having kids

by Julie Alpine-Crabtree

Taken in Coram’s Fields, my favourite pastoral idyll in Bloomsbury, where adults are only admitted if accompanied by a child, this picture could have been lifted straight from the 1800s.

If they’d had Baby Gap in the 1800s.

Out of shot are the parents: guys who look like music journos, standing around minding the Micro scooters; women in cashmere and Breton stripes and vintage tea dresses, lugging benches to a good spot of sunshine; exquisitely wrapped Japanese chicks who might have children in tow but certainly don’t have child-bearing hips. Distracted-looking English eccentrics, male and female both, in dusty, tweed.

We check out what the sheep are up to – these ones can climb stairs. We bounce across the wobbly bridge, we wee wee behind a tree.

After buying a Mini Milk from the café, we set up camp in the paddling pool and catch water from the fountain in an empty Victoria plum punnet.

Later, much later, we set off on foot, buggy and buggy board respectively, back towards Shoreditch, via the sublime Lambs Conduit Street, where window shopping, like entry to Coram’s Fields, is free.

I give Milo £1 for the plastic toy-dispensing vending machine outside the Italian restaurant, tell myself what I’ve been telling myself so often lately, in these times of newfound parental responsibility, of talking late into the night about choosing the right school, the right commuter town, the right car: “you wouldn’t have this if you lived in the country”.