There was a time when you needed to go to London you could spend the time after your work appointment how you wished and go to an exhibition, pop to the British Museum or National Portrait Gallery, listen to a lecture or have a pint. However, as a parent you have to remember your responsibilities and collect your offspring in time from the nursery. This can sometimes be trickier than normally.
Archaeologist Husband and I were invited to an interview for the same job very recently. By coincidence we were both teaching on this particular day until noon – in different cities. I was at Leicester and Archaeologist Husband was at Warwick. His interview was to be after lunch were as mine was later in the afternoon. He had a car and I was on foot. When looking at the travel options, parking, train lines and time tables we realized that neither of us could make it back to the nursery by six. Archaeologist Husband would have to park in Coventry in order to have a change to be in time in central London and then return for the car whereas I would have been back around half past six or seven.
Even if we could have asked the Nursery Nurse Neighbour to collect Number One Son, this arrangement would have meant that any visit to the British Museum or a pint drunken after the interview would have been taken with a bad conscious. In addition you always want to leave that sort of arrangement for a true emergency. This could be sorted out with some organisation after all.
After some consideration we decided to ask if we could swap the slots. In this way I could be at the Leicester station by five and be there for the Number One Son before six. The interviewers agreed and the problem was solved. I only had to leave my lecture at noon sharp and make a quick walk to the station.
In London I still could make most of it and see the Cyprus Gallery at the Institute of Archaeology while waiting and pop to the British Library to glance Magna Carta afterwards.