I suppose you could say that is a little late, but what’s two weeks between friends! Christmas is over and it is back to the business of getting ‘back to normal’ for although Christmas does not mean a break from work for either Lucinda or myself, our jobs are different over the festive period due to the fact that the majority of office based jobs and schools are on a break and it does make the journey into work a lot easier as the traffic is considerably lighter.
I can not go further without mentioning the weather. The coldest start to a January in my lifetime, with snow falling in some part of the UK every day for the last 4 weeks and a return to the kind of winters I remember as a child. My inner child has been delighted. Unfortunately as a country we are not prepared for this kind of weather event and many parts of the country grind to a halt to the bewilderment of those from countries that would consider our snowfall ‘a dusting’. Disappointingly the temperature is set to rise over the next few days and so the snow that is lingering in the sheltered corners of gardens will no doubt disappear, however the long range forecast is for a return to the colder weather. A little more snow in my corner of the world would be gratefully received. Not too much mind you, just enough to make everywhere look pretty. Thank you.
For the first time in a while neither Lucinda or I saw the New Year (decade) in. I had been working all day and Lucinda had to get up at 0400 on New Year’s day to work at the airport. So the thought of staying up just to watch the arbitrary turn of a man made concept seemed to lack appeal. It is not as if it has any basis on any observations (like the ancients’ notion of basing the year on solstices and equinoxes), for our society one measures a circle, beginning anywhere. Seemingly the reason that the beginning of January marked the turn of the year is lost in the midsts of time (unless anyone can tell me otherwise) although it possibly dates from 153BC and the Roman Late Republic (and hence it’s spread throughout Europe). Interestingly 1st January was not adopted as New Year’s Day in England until 1752 with the adoption of the Gregorian Calendar, until then we celebrated New Year’s Day on 25th March (the Feast of the Annunciation). See that was Quite Interesting.
Therefore New Year’s day morning it was just Éowyn and me, but she was very kind to her old father and stayed asleep until 7.30, much to Lucinda’s disgust as she had been up with our little one the previous few nights and had been made to get up early on her days off. How times have changed that we think that 7.30 is a lay in! We were kindly invited to Lucinda’s brother’s for New Year’s Day afternoon along with Lucinda’s parents and Uncle Bill and Auntie Sally. After an initial few minutes of shyness, Éowyn was soon enjoying herself with her cousins and chasing their cat around trying to stroke her.
So although New Year’s Eve was a a non-event, the 2nd January was very different. My good friend Sanjiv’s brother, Jay, was getting married to his long term girlfriend Emma at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane opposite Hyde Park in London. It was a black tie affair and with the grandeur of the setting it all added to make it a fabulous wedding and we felt privileged to have been invited. There had obviously been a lot of work behind the scenes to make all the little details (and the big ones) seamlessly meld together. It was great to meet up with Sanjiv and with Si and Stef to whose wedding we’ll be going to in the summer. To take full advantage of the day we decided to stay the night at the hotel so that we didn’t have the worry of trying to get back home. This obviously meant that we needed baby sitting cover for the night. Again, Nanny Fran (and Auntie Liz) came to the rescue. So a big thank to Mom for looking after Éowyn so soon after Christmas weekend.
With a return to the usual routine comes a return for Éowyn to go to Jo’s (her childminder). I’m not sure who missed who the most. Éowyn certainly enjoys herself at Jo’s, and is now quite happy to go and wave us off but I think that Jo genuinely enjoys looking after Éowyn, which is a huge bonus for us.
Éowyn really enjoys interacting with adults and other children. She especially likes singing and quickly picks up the actions to the songs. Perhaps that’s why her great-great uncle David and great great auntie Sally bought her a musical instrument collection consisting of a xylophone, tambourine, hand bells and a pair of maracas. Needless to say she really enjoys that present and makes sure that we all have an instrument to join in. Recently she has begun to make towers out of her Duplo bricks (like we would for her) and then knock them down. As they crash to the floor she holds her hands to her month in mock surprise and horror before doing it all again. But her favourite ‘toys’ are still her books and she will quite often choose one and bring it to you for you to read it to her.
So last week saw the decorations return to their boxes for another year. Éowyn tried to help (she has recently begun to help to tidy, including put things in the bin – whether they need to go there or not! -and putting her toys away if you ask her nicely) and was quite sweet with one of Lucinda’s many snowman ornaments (see photos below). And so with the Christmas decorations down (doesn’t it make rooms look bare? – I think that is partly why there is such a dearth of photos from which I could choose for this update) and the snow and ice making way for leaden skies and drizzle the new decade begins and we look forward to the many surprises and opportunities that it brings. May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at you back.
Peace and Love