The Olympics are here!

So after 7 years of preparation the London Olympics are here, and aren’t we doing well?  16 Gold Medals and still counting! Unfortunately throughout the build up to tournament I was a little nonplussed by it all, I didn’t apply for tickets and to be honest was thinking more about the impact it was going to have on me at work and its impact on being able to get to work.  Both fears have been somewhat allayed in this first week.  The traffic is incredibly quiet (even for August – i.e. school holidays) and apart from some long shifts at work it hasn’t been too bad!  And now I really wish I had some tickets, even just to the Olympic Park.  The girls are a little young to appreciate it but at least they would be able to tell their children that they were there!

It is always good when there is a major sporting tournament on because part of my work responsibility is ensuring that the television signals from those tournaments are arriving back at base in an acceptable way.  That means I get to watch an awful lot of sport on television.  It is my job!  And whereas most people have to chose which one of the many Olympic channels that the BBC are making available to the general public (on satellite and through their website) I can watch all of them at the same time.  The beauty of a monitor stack!  And what do I do when I go home?  Switch the television on and watch some more!

The week leading up to the Opening Ceremony was the best week (weatherwise) of the year so far with temperatures peaking over 30°C.  However it was not to last and by the time the Opening Ceremony began we were back to 20°C and the chance of a shower.  We are used to it by now, aren’t we? And three days of summer is better than none at all!   The sudden increase in temperature and return to norm was accompanied in the Bagnall household with all of us succumbing to a summer cold, this made the girls a little miserable and they both keep waking up in through the night.  Thus a disturbed week of sleep followed by some long days at work left both Lucinda and me exhausted.

Lucinda was so exhausted that she missed the Opening Ceremony and opted for an early night instead (she was working at 0500 the next morning, in fairness).  I watched it at work arriving home a little after 0200, so we were passing ships in the night.  The talk before the Olympics was how London would compete with Beijing’s Opening Ceremony.  For the first 20minutes or so I was worried, and perhaps a little embarrassed, it was all a little too twee.  Then the Lord of the Rings motif began and with more than a nod to The Black Country (O.K. it was the Industrial Revolution) complete with Olympic rings of ‘Molten Metal’.  The James Bond/Queen sketch was genius and Mr Bean dreaming of Chariots of Fire very amusing.  Overall is was fantastic, at times bewildering but definitely an Opening Ceremony to be proud of.

However you do not read this website to find out what is happening in the Olympics (Team GB doing really well) you read this website to find out what is happening in the world of the Bagnalls (or at least to look at the photos!).  So what have we been up to?  Obviously August is probably the busiest month for both Lucinda’s job and mine so holiday is not an option so we have to take advantage on days off to do things.  So when I managed to get 3 days off in a row we filled them with a couple of trips.

The first was to visit my sister Mary and her new flat.  She is still in Woking but has moved out of a large shared house into a top floor flat with one of her friends, Louise.  We decided to be nosy and this enclave of the Bagnall family visited en masse.  Éowyn loves to see her Aunties, probably because she gets so much attention and this time was no different.  Children do not have that same sense of personal space that adults have and Éowyn quickly explored Mary’s flat.  Then it was time for a game of hide and seek.  Mary got bored more quickly than Éowyn, then Louise decided to take over.  We then didn’t see either again.  Louise kept Éowyn thoroughly entertained (or was that the other way round?).  Indeed on the way home Éowyn if we could visit Auntie Mary the next day.  I asked if she enjoyed seeing her auntie. ‘Yes,‘ she replied, ‘but I want to play with Louise.‘  Someone has a new best friend.

Then we headed out on a bit more of a journey, to Cranbrook in Kent, to pay our annual visit to friends of our that we met on our N.C.T. course.   Ed and Marisol moved to Cranbrook not long after they had their daughter Frieda and so we do not see them that often.  Frieda and Éowyn were the only girls that were born in our class so since Frieda has moved Éowyn had to grow up playing with boys.  Considering that Éowyn and Frieda hardly know each other, their initial cageyness soon gave way to sororal closeness and were playing in Frieda’s room hiding from Amélie, something I think Amélie will have to get used to.  It was a long day trip but great to see Ed and Marisol and were very happy they could see us especially considering the fact that Marisol is due to give birth any day now.  We wish them all the best.

The biggest news to affect the Bagnall family though is that Jo, our childminder for the last 3 years has given us notice.  We can fully understand why, we only give her around 8 days a month and that means that she can not take on other children who would give her more days work a month and in this economic clime then everyone needs to maximise their income but it is quite sad.  Both Éowyn and Amélie love Jo and going to her house.  Jo does so much with them and educates as well as entertains them so they are going to miss going as much as we are going to miss them going.  It puts us in a difficult position for since we only need a few days a month it is almost impossible to find a childminder or nursery that will take children on a shift pattern (as opposed to fixed days) and that is why Jo was a godsend when our paths crossed (with thanks to Nanny Vera).  Nevertheless we wish Jo well and thank her for three years of hard work looking after our brood.

The next few weeks are join to be very busy for me and so there may be a gap before the next update but before I leave you a quick update on one of the saddest stories that this website has bought you.  In February 2009 a friend and work colleague Eilidh Cairns was knocked off her bike and killed by a lorry while on her way to work.  The incident was put down to a tragic accident and the driver was free to continue driving.  However the Cairns family have not been the only family who have been affected by his actions and this week saw him in court once again for causing death by dangerous driving.  This, however is not the forum for this but if you are interested please click here for a more detailed write up.

Peace and love