Thursday, 5 April 2007

We are attempting to simplify our lives and reduce our dependence on a car, as regular readers will already be chuckling about. Tonight, we have attempted to find a way to travel by public transport from Hedge End to Thames Ditton. Not the most frequently used route in the solar system, but we have worked out that we can bike it at both ends. So desperate has become our quest, we have looked at getting a coach to Heathrow (one journey is over 5 hours long, and involves a 2 hour stop in BOURNEMOUTH); a bus from Winchester to London (can be done, but only at 6am and still costs over £60; train travel via Reading (4 changes - imagine that with 2 kids and 3 bikes, even the Bowens can't do that kinda travel!). Our best bet seems to be to spend most of a day on a train, with 3 changes, and the whole thing comes in at £65, or £40 if we buy a family railcard. Which would, I assume be an incentive to further travel (we have bought the damn thing so we had better make the most of it!). Still, once we get there (and we did even think about cycling the whole 70 miles - poor H, she only just made it back from Haskins this afternoon) we are doing some travel into London, to inspect the Olympic sites, see the Queen to catch up on her brand preferences etc, and travel with children is free on the underground. Phew. Does the District line come as far south as Hedge End?

R is keen to get back on the computer to check out flight options, and hiring a helicopter might be worth looking into. We are 'saving' £100 a month from our car share, so can splash out from time to time. Andrea's husband has a microlight plane glider or whatever, and he might be convinced to take us - but not sure about the bikes. Anyone have a motorbike, roller skates, horse and cart - hey, we might even have to break our rules in the first week and nick the car from our own drive when H is not looking.

Haskins was good fun, they had a hunt the easter bunny competition on, and as Easter is all about bunnies, gardening and DIY we took part with gusto. As an ENFJ person I get gripped with the emotional fervour of competitions and it makes life tiring for everyone else in my family. I made H wander round the slug killer section twice looking for a bunny. The girls both got some free chocolate out of it, and Haskins was the destination of our 'Family Bike Ride'. This is a big deal for the girls, who think it sounds fun. R has bought a new death wish seat for A that goes on the front of his bike, which she loves. We cycled along the pavement on the A27, and I found the journey there one of the worst journeys ever, as I kept barking orders at H to stop, move away from the kerb, cross now, now NOW, while she sped along downhill at her top speed.

R bought road tyres for my bike as well, which makes me go faster. That's a significant chunk of our '£100 we have for public transport and cycling' gone already, for this month, so it is looking like cycling up to Surrey is going to be the only option open to us. I am sure that local buses would be a good option, but R is not keen. His best plan is for him to road bike the whole journey, while us 3 girls fend for ourselves with a go cart and 2 scooters.

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