Has anyone seen a dinosaur go by?

My goodness, it seems scarcely believable but November is upon us already. Half-term week took the children and I across a rather bumpy Irish Sea and up the motorways to Belfast. I optimistically took my laptop intending to download photographs and perhaps even manage a postcard style blog post but in fact the laptop stayed firmly in my suitcase and the days passed quickly in a blur of puppet shows (there is an old chest in the bedroom that once was mine and it is full to the brim with old Pelham puppets) and outings.

Whilst in Belfast we managed a trip to W5, a science museum. The children love this place and although we have been many times there is always something new to see. This time it was the Dinosaur Exhibition and the pile of dinosaur poo was of particular delight to my children.

Unfortunately while we were visiting the alarms suddenly began to sound and we had to quickly leave the building by the fire exits. I was born in 1970 and growing up amidst The Troubles means I am no stranger to having to suddenly leave buildings, the memory of my being stuck one leg in, one leg out of a pair of skin-tight corduroy jeans in a busy department store changing room when a bomb scare was suddenly announced has a particularly tender place in my memories; although I suppose on the positive side, I can no
w proudly claim to be super fast in changing rooms. Thankfully Belfast is no longer troubled, indeed it is a vibrant, flourishing city and on this occasion it was nothing more than a false fire alert. The building was quickly checked and we were allowed to return. Whilst we stood shivering on the dockside, this Belfast girl cursed herself for being so foolish as to have checked in all our coats and her handbag containing, phone, purse, number etc., thank goodness it was a false alarm and we soon warmed up once back in the building.

Tilly found the whole thing a little frightening and I was worried in case she had somehow overheard someone mentioning the word bomb or explosion but while sitting in the cafe later, cholate muffin in hand, she confessed that she had been very worried that the alert was in fact due to the escape of one of the dinosaurs! I can see how that would a terrifying thought, especially having seen that pile of prehistoric poo.


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