Somewhat belated, but considering the previous post I am sure that you can understand. Yes as the title suggests, our eldest, Éowyn turned seven on the 17th October. However, as you can imagine it wasn’t the birthday that we had hoped for her.
We knew for sometime that I was working that weekend, and with a heavy Premier League fixture list and Rugby World Cup Semi-Finals that weekend it wasn’t possible to take it off. Therefore Lucinda decided that she would take the baguettes to Nanny Fran’s and celebrate Éowyn’s actual birthday in the Black Country, and we would have a family celebration in the week. Éowyn had planned to go to the big softplay in West Bromwich with everyone and then she would ask Auntie Liz to take her to the cinema to watch Hotel Transylvania 2, in the afternoon and then back to Nanny’s for cake.
Unfortunately with Granddad’s deteriorating health we decided that Lucinda shouldn’t be 120 miles away (the right decision it turned out) and we asked Nanny Fran and Auntie Liz to, once again, make their way down the M40 and visit us. I had to leave for work before they made it down, but had hoped that if everything was going well, that I may be able to leave slightly early and see my daughter before she went to bed. However, this day wasn’t going to plan. I arrived at work to find that the supervisor that was rostered on had phoned in sick so I had to step back to the frontline and take his place. There was no getting out early for me today.
Éowyn’s other parent, Lucinda, left almost as soon as Nanny Fran worked through the door (just enough time to give Auntie Liz directions to the nearest cinema – Éowyn still wanted to go – and Nanny Fran general instructions) to help with the transport of Granddad to the Princess Alice Hospice.
So poor Éowyn, on her birthday was abandoned, along with her siblings by her parents. For noble reasons, admittedly, and not completely abandoned they were left in very good hands. The memory I have from my seventh birthday was my birthday party being cancelled because there was a heavy fall of snow (my birthday falls on the vernal equinox and thus the last day of the astronomical winter) and no one could make it. So I can sympathise with my eldest.
Nanny Fran and Auntie Liz kept the baguettes entertained for the day and Auntie Liz and Éowyn certainly didn’t get lost on the way to the cinema. It wasn’t just Nanny Fran and Auntie Liz, however, that came for a visit and kept the baguettes entertained for they brought with them the school guinea pigs that Auntie Liz looks after at weekends. Conkers and Truffles (the guinea pigs) were a big hit with all three, and all three loved to hold them. Living at Auntie Liz’s school the guinea pigs are used to being held by small hands and so were quite content to being handled inexpertly by the baguettes.
The day didn’t go all smoothly for Nanny Fran. The breakers tripped at home plunging the downstairs into darkness. I had to show Nanny Fran how to reset the RCD and flick the current breaker via the wonders of FaceTime while wrestling with problems at work. Then, as Nanny Fran was cooking dinner, Amélie felt unwell and managed to redecorate the bathroom, Poor Nanny Fran and Auntie Liz, while they were cleaning and comforting Amélie, she burned the dinner. It was one of those days! Fortunately it just seemed to be one of those things she didn’t have a temperature and was much better the next day.
I didn’t manage to leave work before Amélie and Ezra had gone to bed but Éowyn (with special birthday privileges) was cuddling Nanny Fran on the sofa watching Strictly Come Dancing. I gave Éowyn a big birthday cuddle before heading off to join Lucinda at the hospice.
Lucinda spent the night at the hospice and since Nanny Fran and Auntie Liz had to return to West Bromwich on Sunday afternoon I checked that my supervisor was feeling better and would be in work I decided that I was better off at home. I could sort a few work things out at home, and with the wonders of modern technology I could send the emails that I was hoping to do on the Saturday so Lucinda could spend as much time as she could with her dad, without the worry of having to come home.
Nevertheless, Sunday morning saw me getting up to take Nanny to the hospice and spending Sunday morning with Granddad and the family while Nanny Fran and Auntie Liz looked after the baguettes. Lucinda and I returned at lunchtime to have lunch and have a belated birthday cake with Éowyn before Nanny Fran and Auntie Liz had to return. Lucinda, also took this opportunity to have a bit of a rest before she headed back to the hospice for the nightshift. Nanny Fran and Auntie Liz begun their return journey and I was left alone with the kids. As it was a school day the next day, we had reading and spelling tests and baths before bed.
As those of you that have read the previous post will know Granddad passed away the next day, so although it seemed unfair that we abandoned Éowyn on her birthday, it was without doubt the correct decision and she had a great time with Nanny Fran and Auntie Liz anyhow.
With a week of sorting things out and it being the last week at school before the half term break we planned to extend Éowyn’s birthday into the next weekend. As you may recall we are, as a family en masse, proud owners of annual Legoland passes. At this time of the year Legoland hold firework displays at weekend evenings so it seemed a good excuse to head over to Windsor and have an afternoon at Legoland and stay until the evening’s firework display. As an added bonus the UK returned to GMT in the wee hours of Sunday, meaning an extra hour in bed (yes, that doesn’t exist when you have small children!) and potentially more importantly it would be darker one hour earlier, all good for fireworks.
For a Sunday in late October the weather was unseasonably mild, in addition it was the first weekend of the half term break and so as a consequence Legoland was packed. Every ride had an above average wait and the concession stands were rammed. Nevertheless we managed to go on a number of rides and find a relatively good place to watch the Ninjago Firework display from the harbour area (for those of you that know the layout of Legoland).
The fireworks were very good, with the occasional fireball that you feel the heat from across the lake although I’m afraid that I did not fully feel the power of the masters of Spinjitzu, Neither did Ezra, We thought that he may be scared by the loud noises and so took headphones to help cover his ears, they did not work the poor little mite was still scared. However, his big sister came to the rescue and covered his ears with her hands for the entire display while I held his hand. It was very touching to see Éowyn act the carer and look after her little brother, especially since it meant that she could not fully enjoy the fireworks herself.
To complete Éowyn’s alternative birthday celebrations, and as an extremely belated birthday party for Amélie too, we headed to Build-A-Bear workshop in Uxbridge for a birthday party for a select group of friends. Éowyn asked to take Aaliyah and Kavya (her best friends) and Amélie asked to take Georgia (her best friend) and thus Lucinda and I shepherded (imagine shepherding cats) 6 youngsters to Build-A-Bear via a McDonald’s lunch treat. The birthday party meant that each of them could build a bear of their own and buy an outfit for it. Somewhat ironically none of them built a bear. Georgia built a cat, the remaining girls built ponies and Ezra built Kevin the Minion to add to the (non-Build-A-Bear) minions of Bob and Steve that he already owns.
And so Éowyn’s final birthday celebration drew an emotional week to a close with her closest friends, her siblings and Mommy and Daddy.
Before I leave you I would like to tell you about the Muchloved site that we have set up in Granddad’s memory. It is in its early development stages but please feel free to pop by and light a candle or leave a memory (click here). I will leave a permanent link in the column on the right hand side of the site, in case you want to go there in the future.
Peace and Love