I’ve been meaning to write something about taking the girls up to The Gadget Show Live in London all week, but it’s taken me a week to gather my thoughts (and photos).
As the blog name suggests, I am a paradox in technology terms. Whilst I delight in technology and all things geeky, I find urban life traumatic. If I can’t get to the middle of nowhere within a 10 minute drive, I’m uncomfortable. Maybe not so much of a paradox then. Its not the tech that freaks me out, it’s people!
With this in mind it’s not surprising that London holds very little charm for me with it’s millions of people, bus fumes and general grime. A city chick I am not.
Even less so after experiencing the underground with two small children. We queued like normal reasonable people, waiting for the correct train before moving towards the door. LSH and beanpole squeezed on and promptly dissapeared into the crowds somewhere along the train. I tried to follow with TinyPants. A 7 year old child who’s slight build still has her in age 5 clothing. We held each other’s hand tightly as I allowed her through the train door first to watch her be promptly elbowed in the head by a woman barging on and for me to be pushed out of the way of other people jamming themselves into the train. At this point the doors began to close with me still on the platform, and I had the choice of letting go of my small child or dragging her back to me through a closing train door. I chose the latter. It was against everything I know about train safety, but it was that or lose her on a train. Think of the therapy. I can’t think about the ‘or worse’ scenarios.
So, it wasn’t a great start. I had previously been ambivalent about London, but that experience cemented all that I dislike about people living there. When it becomes acceptable to put a child at risk to make your journey few minutes shorter, something has gone wrong. I was ready to go home at that point.
Thankfully we didn’t.
What we did instead was to iniate our girls into the world of geeky stuff.
We were greeted by a diver showing off just how waterproof the latest Sony phones are (felt totally wrong, but he was able to take photos of people from inside tank!!)
After that we discovered the toy zone. We could’ve spent ages there but it was age restricted, so thank goodness for children!! LSH and TinyPants were rather enamoured with the AppPen (guess what Santa has on his list!).
BeanPole went for the girly option of trying out the Nerf bows. She’s been after one for a while and this confirmed the decision. (I won’t mention the fits of giggles when the boy next to her promptly shot a random child in the head from a good 40ft away)
Never to be out done, TinyPants headed for the biggest Nerf gun in the room (seriously, this thing was the same size as her) only to have it whisked away from in front of her and handed to a boy. *cue feminist rant from mummy as the girls had already been told by a stsff member that the Nerfs were for boys*
Instead, she took pot shots at the target (and said member of staff) with a smaller version.
Then onwards to proper robotics where LSH and the girls got to have a game of Robot Wars. Nerdtastic!
Next was Playstation. I’m a PC gamer. It’s in my dna, but this guy almost convinced me to get one. He had the girls entranced (the dinosaurs helped). That man should get one hell of a bonus for making every single child feel like he was there just to show them the game. Kudos young man.
Of course, there was the obligatory Minecraft photos.
And an interesting discovery of the GameStick. Probably not the first generation, but when we replace the Wii for the kids, that it way way up there on my go to list.
Microsoft was a total winner with us. LSH got chatting to the techies about having got one exam away from his MCSE and the various pathways that could lead from this whilst dribbling over tge Surface 2 Pros. The girls got creative with paintbrushes and touch screens running Windows 8 paint. Seriously, nearly 45 minutes of peace was gotten from those brushes. And no mess!!
They even got to email their artwork home.
Meanwhile, I sat and watched a man use the Surface 2 to paint a picture of Alan Turing and promptly shocked him by guessing who it was. I explained it wasn’t that impressive as I’m a computer science teacher and really ought to know who it is! He congratulated me on being a teacher of computing, then doubley so because I’m a woman. Errr… a little sexist no? I think it was meant as a compliment.
We finished off the day watching a demo of bmx and skateboarding with wearable cameras, after which the girls got to have a go on the boards. In a half pipe. Oh yeah.
Thankfully the train back was nowhere near as traumatic and we got home tired, but with many ideas of cool stuff we want to try.
Even so, I’m much happier being back on the chalk. London is not for me. Will we go again? Probably. Next time we’ll get the bus.