These boots are made for walking!

The time to update this website has again eluded me over the last couple of weeks.  For this I apologise.  I think this is mainly due to adapting to Lucinda’s return to work.  Éowyn is also having to adapt to mommy’s return to work.  No longer has she the monopoly of mommy’s time, and now she has to spend whole days with daddy and at least once a week at Jo’s her childminder.  I think that Éowyn is adapting well (I suppose kids do) more so than her mommy, who has to cope with not being at ome with her baby as well as dealing with passengers and the world’s busiest international airport.  I love spending time with Éowyn although it is hard work and you do not get a minute to yourself; but it is so rewarding.  Taking her to Jo’s is still hard as she gets upset when you leave her, however it doesn’t last long and she is soon happy playing with Jo and the toys that she has to offer.  So much so that when you pick her up she is nonplussed when you arrive and only comes to you to show you the toys she is playing with.  It slightly upsetting but reassuring nonetheless.

Jo is excellent with Éowyn and very flexible with our hours.  However, as all childminders, she enjoys having the weekend off.  Unfortunately with the nature of both Lucinda’s and my jobs weekend work is a necessary evil.  Once every 6 weeks we are both at work for the Saturday and the Sunday.  Therefore an alternative has to be found: in steps Nanny Fran.  My Mum jumped at the chance to spend the weekend looking after her granddaughter.  Especially with my sister on holiday in the U.S.  Mum came down on the Saturday morning and stayed until the Monday lunchtime and I’m not sure who had the most fun.  Éowyn really enjoyed playing with Nanny Fran, playing with all her toys, making Rice Crispy cakes and showing off her newly mastered skill:  Walking.

Yes after many months of cruising and the odd step here or there, the 32 step epic at the manor house has become second nature.   She toddles all around the house and is rarely resorting to crawling.  Walking is so much easier, you keep your hands free to steal things and run off with them.  She was walking so much after our return form Puncknowle that we decided that it was time to get her feet measured and buy her some proper shoes.  In the UK there is only one place that you can really get that kind of service:  Clarks.  The service is excellent, the staff seem well trained and they even take a photo of your little one in their first pair of shoes.  For £30 it is the least one should expect!  Especially since they will only last about 6 to 8 weeks because a baby’s feet grow so quickly.  Time to win the lottery.

A belated congratulations to our friends Mark and Lou who had a little girl Abbygail Lily on the 3rd November.  We took Éowyn to visit and introduce her to her new little playmate. However, I’m not sure that she was too interested and seemed to be more intent on playing with Abbygail’s chair and when she finally decided to have a look she just poked poor Abygail. Fortunately no damage was done, we will have to teach her to be more careful. With her little friends she is usually more caring. When her friend Billy was crying she went up to him and stroked his hair saying, ‘Aarrrr’, and, again on another occasion when he was crying she walked over and picked his comfort blanket up and gave to him. So she does have empathic tendencies but perhaps she thought that Abbygail was a doll and was trying to find out what she was made of.

Christmas is nearly upon us and we are trying to be a little more prepared than we were last year.  We have even bought our Christmas Tree.  As you may recall from last year (or search in the archives if you are that bored!) we didn’t manage to get a tree put up for Éowyn’s first Christmas (the bad parents we are).  This was mainly due to not owning an artificial tree and not wishing to put up a real one with a small baby about.  This year we were determined not to let that happen and so we have been scouring the shops for a nice artificial tree.  We have decided on a pre-lit one so that there is a distinct lack of a trailing cables for our little technological terror (she has inherited her father’s love of techno-gadgets and seems to know instinctively how to switch them into a mode that is not referred to in the manual and requires a very specific and complicated series of button pushes) from pulling them over, switching them off or just chewing the cable.

I wish you all well with your Christmas shopping and I hope not to leave in as long to update you all next time.

Peace and Love


A week in Dorset

We have just got back from a week in sunny (yes, sunny) Dorset (unbelievably for the end of October the temperature peaked at 20°C).  Every year (for the last 6 years) Lucinda’s family have hired Berwick Manor in Puncknowle, Dorset for a week as a big extended family holiday.  I don’t know of any other family that does such a thing and some of you maybe horrified by such a thought but it is actually very enjoyable and I think each of us very much look forward to it.  We were unfortunately unable to go last year (as we were waiting for the imminent arrival of Éowyn) and so we were looking forward to it more than usual.

The week is usually relaxed with trips to the coast and local towns confirmed in the morning depending on the weather and number of others who are interested, we are usually back as it gets dark and each family takes it in turn to cook an evening meal.  There are number of places that we usually go to and this year was no exception.  They include visiting Bridport market, Lyme Regis, Hive Beach, Weymouth and a number of walks especially along the Jurassic coast.

We did however journey further afield and one of the most memorable trips was organised by Lucinda’s cousin Adam and his girlfriend Lucy:  A ghost walk around Dorchester.  Alistair our guide for the evening (dressed in full Victorian regalia, including top hat and cloak) pitched the tone just right.  The bravado of the children was soon replaced by a healthy fear, but realising that he was actually getting to them he turned it round quickly so that they thought they were getting the upper hand on him.  If ever you are in Weymouth or Dorchester and enjoy a ghost walk I would highly recommend him.  Éowyn slept through the majority of the evening, although she was enthralled at Alistair’s voice at the beginning of the walk.  She was however, the only one that dressed up for the occasion in her fancy dress bat outfit.  What cruel parents we are!

Lucinda’s dad, John, is rapidly approaching his 70th birthday and realising that since most of the family would be in the same place at the same time Lucinda decided that it was a ideal opportunity to hold a surprise birthday party for him while we were at the manor.  To add to the party atmosphere Lucinda invited a number of his good friends to join us.  Amazingly he never caught wind of the party and it was a complete surprise and we were also pleasantly surprised that his friends made the long journey to join us.  He was truly touched and thoroughly enjoyed himself, and Lucinda was happy that all her hard work had paid off.

The week was also good for Éowyn, as apart from at her Granddad’s party she was centre of attention from all generations of the ‘Badger’ clan (everyone is either related to, or partner of someone related to, Lucinda’s Granddad Badger – although interestingly this year there was no one with the surname Badger at the manorhouse).  Her confidence in walking grew this week (taking at one point 32 steps – I will now stop counting) to the point where she now likes to walk alongside you holding your hand.  She especially liked playing with her cousin Finley who was very good with her, and knew exactly how to make her laugh.  She also has semi-learnt a new trick:  to blow a kiss.  However, she understands that you have to kiss your hand but as not yet blown that kiss to anyone.  I don’t blame her!

The week seemed to be over very quickly (especially with work for both me and Lucinda looming on the horizon) but to extend the holiday we decided to head to Monkey World on the way back.  Thoroughly enjoyed ourselves but made it a long journey back especially since it was heavy traffic all the way back.  And now we are back at work at seems to have faded into a distant memory – well there is always next year!

I will take my leave of you now but please enjoy the new photos.

Peace and love