Oct 21, 2015

Pat to the Rafters

The ongoing search for the perfect playground continues, taking us this time Southside again to the Pat Rafter Tennis Emporium, opposite which is a modern well-appointed playground built on the site of an old power station and so themed, like that makes any difference to toddlers whatsoever, on power, electricity, and even more thrillingly, the architecture of the local electricity supply infrastructure.

Parking is abominable (in terms of its availability rather than practitioner skills, I hasten to clarify) and a walk is required through a modern precinct of well-defined design lines and clearly delineated activity zones - cars go here, people go here - with features such as an apparently pointless and yet strangely pleasing step-based amphitheatre dedicated to an old tennis player whose name currently escapes me but which offered plenty of opportunity for innuendo.

The playground is pretty good as it happens, offering plenty of shade on this sun-soaked day and we spend some happy hours with Lyra and Georgia actually playing together companionably which makes a nice change. There are all the things you would expect of a playground, with the addition of a large cubist climbing frame and a strange thing which defies easy description but involves a freely-moving plastic ramp which, when a toddler is attempting to climb, can be violently agitated from beneath by an irresponsibly adult with predictably hilarious if mildly dangerous results.

There are plenty of different things to do until Georgia urinates voluminably and ostentatiously in a sand-related piece of playground equipment. I am the Good Samaritan who uses a discarded coffee cup to bail the puddle to a less offensive elsewhere before it becomes necessary, in view of the mysteriously besocked onlookers, to call it an armpit and hoof it once more for the safety of the Northside.

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