Matthew Munson: Exploring natural history and more during half term

Matthew and Bryan

It’s early on Sunday morning, and I’m sat quietly in a hotel room in Central London. An unusual spot, perhaps, but I’ve taken Bryan away for a couple of days as an end of term treat. It’s lovely that we can still do things like this, and I’m making the most of it.

We travelled further down the south coast for Bryan to meet up with his siblings, who he adores, and then we came to London on Saturday morning. I’d hoped we could see some street theatre, but there were a couple of bursts of rain, so we decided to retreat back to our hotel room and relax. As it turned out, both of us were rather exhausted and in bed asleep earlier than planned – but we clearly needed it.

Today, we’re doing a trip to the Natural History Museum. I’ve been wanting to see the cast of the new dinosaur skeleton found in Argentina for a while now, so this is a good excuse. It’ll be nice to just wander round and explore our living history.

It’s nice to do simple things like this; sharing experiences with my rapidly-growing son, and just enjoying his company for as long as he lets me!

Life returns to normal after half term, but we have another week to enjoy first; I’m working for three days (unavoidable), so Bryan gets some opportunities during the week as well. Being a single parent can sometimes be difficult to balance all of the holidays (there are quite a few to keep track of), but there are loving grandparents and holiday clubs there to support us, so that’s a blessing.

I’m on a reading week from university this week, too, and I’m already missing it. Every class allows me to learn new things; even though I’m a writer, I most certainly don’t know everything about the subject, and my course is really giving me new opportunities to broaden my mind. I need to make sure I’m still open to learning, because if I ever sat in a classroom thinking, “Huh, I know all this”, that’s the moment I need to be given a reality check by everyone I know.

I love being challenged to broaden my mind, and i do think this is going to really help expand my writing skills – so that can only be a good thing.

Now, I’m afraid this week’s column is a little shorter than usual, as Bryan has risen from his slumbers and is itching to get some breakfast (so am I, to be fair), so I’d better get a shift on.

I’d be interested in knowing, however, what your favourite experiences have been? Bryan and I once went round the Jack the Ripper Museum in Whitechapel which was fun. I also love the science museum and taking Bryan over the 02 (we walked over it) was an experience – he strode confidently ahead while I trod more carefully. Lots of lovely memories.

Right, I said I was going early, and now I will. Bryan is standing at the door to our hotel room, staring at me. Message received, Bryan.


  1. I’m not sure that the Jack the Ripper museum could de described as “fun”
    What happened to those women was horrific.

    • The child would probably not want you to take them! History is history and whatever Mr Munson decides to do with his son to broaden his knowledge is his decision. Nothing to do with you!! Carry on Mr Munson and I look forward to your weekly report

      • I wouldn’t even have asked my child if they wanted to go there. And if they had told me they wanted to, I would have said no, and explained why.

        • MM Rees Well what about offering which museum or experience you enjoyed most visiting in London? Instead being negative about Matthews post.

  2. Matthew I recommend The London Canal Museum in New Wharf Road Kings Cross and The Old Operating Theatre Museum & Herb Garret housed in the attic of the old St Thomas’s Hospital St Thomas St SE1. Keep writing your column it’s a relief from some of the other columns here you are always upbeat. Remember working with you for a short time in 2008 when we both worked for a certain organisation based at Fort Hill in Margate!

  3. History is history, which is important. It doesn’t matter if it is Spongebob or something macabre. If you wipe it out then you are deluding yourselves. That is down to you but don’t tell people what to do please. Matthew knows what he is doing is for Bryan’s education.

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