Welcome to the family, Willow

Before you all start worrying that Lucinda and I have decided to have a fourth child, you can sit down and relax.  Willow, may be the name of the latest addition to the family, but she is not a child but a cat.

The Bagnalls were not looking for a cat.  The cat was not looking for the Bagnalls.  Yet, Willow, was to become the Bagnalls first cat.  Willow’s story began around Christmas.  A black cat, thin and scrawny looking wandered into my friend’s (Bobby) house during the hiatus betwixt Christmas and New Year’s day.  There had been a house fire further down the street and so Bobby thought that this was a temporary situation until the owners returned.  But they did not return and they did not claim the cat.  That is how it would have stayed except that Bobby wasn’t staying in his house and not wanting the cat to feel abandoned a second time he felt obliged to rehome the cat. Read more

An extra day: a bonus post

It only happens once every four years, and although this blog started with the birth of Éowyn in 2008, its (and, obviously, her) birth was in October, long after 2008’s leap day.   Therefore despite running for 7½ years it is only the second time that this blog has seen bissextus (the leap day).  The first leap day of the blog (and Éowyn and Amélie’s first) deigned a day specific write up so, too, does this second (and Ezra’s first) deserve a whole write up to itself; let’s make it a tradition.

As you may know the leap day is an extra day added to most years that are divisible by 4 (except, of course, ‘end of century‘ years that are not divisible by 400), this is to compensate for the reality that the Earth does not take 365 days to revolve around the Sun.  In fact, the Earth takes 365 days, 5 hours, 49 minutes and 16 seconds to complete its journey around our local star hence the need for the additional day to keep our fragile grasp on notional time in sync with nature.  Therefore, our calendar repeats itself every 400 years, which is exactly 20,871 weeks, which includes 97 leap days.  (This extra day is entitled a ‘Leap Day’ because the usual convention is that a fixed date normally advances one day from one year to the next.  In a leap year is will advance two days, thus leaping over one of the days in the week).  These 97 days are divided thus: 13 times on a Sunday, Tuesday or Thursday, 14 times on a Friday or a Saturday and 15 times on a Monday or a Wednesday.  In 2016, we find that the leap day is on a Monday, which, along with Wednesday (the day on which the previous leap day fell) is statistically the most likely.

So what happened on Monday 29th February 2016, in our little enclave of the world?

The new Monday morning regime began with ensuring all three Baguettes were ready for school, on time and leaving the house by 0810 to allow Ezra enough time to walk to school.  It was a bright, crisp and frosty morning to greet the extended February.  Thus we wrapped up warm and headed off into the winter air.  The first destination was Our Lady of the Rosary where I dropped Ezra off for the start of his second week at school; before then dropping Éowyn off at her base and then Amélie off at hers before walking back home and starting my work day by driving around the edge of Heathrow to Stockley Park.  Lucinda had no children to mind and therefore was alone in the house for a couple of hours before having to return to Our Lady of the Rosary to pick Ezra after his morning session of pre-school.

Therefore, like the first bissextus of this blog the second saw the Bagnall family members apart (five now as opposed to the four as was then) each in their own environ, for the morning at least.

As usual, Lucinda collected the girls from school but bought one extra home.  Amélie had one of her new friends around for an after-school playdate.  This, coupled with inviting Nanny round for dinner and taking Éowyn to Brownies made for a busy evening for Lucinda before I walked in through the door.

I had a very meeting-centric day at work (we are going through a very busy period at work with lots of exciting projects in the planning stages).  I walked through the door with just enough time to warm my dinner up, say ‘hello’ get changed and head back out to pick Éowyn up from Brownies.

As I returned Lucinda took Nanny back home before heading to her Slimming World meeting, while I read with the kids and put them to bed.  Then it was a week’s worth of ironing (see I am a domesticated husband), a quick tidy of the lounge and then relax!  The glamour of the Bagnall household on bissextus 2016!

This is a bit of a departure from the usual fare on BaggieandLucy.com and so there are no photos today, although I am hoping (time permitting) to complete a more traditional update with photos (and there are some on our Flickr pages that have been recently added) later this week – although do not hold me to it.

Hopefully Saturday 29th February 2020 will be a little more interesting than today.  At least being a weekend there is a chance that we will be together as a family (assuming I am not in a similar role to my current one).

Peace and Love



Back to work

So as most of you are looking forward to speaking some time with your families and taking a break from work I, somewhat contradictorily, am heading back to work after spending a fortnight with mine.  Yes my paternity leave has come to an end and it is time to leave Lucinda to look after the kids alone (at least during the day) and enter the adult world again.  In one of those coincidences that seem to belie an innate consciousness or at lease fortuitous planning the end of my paternal leave coincides with Easter Weekend.

Easter is quite often associated with April, although of course it can occur at any time between 22nd March and 25th April.  (Easter is the only major holiday in the Western world that is moveable since it is defined as the first Sunday after the first full moon occurring on or after the vernal equinox.)  So although this Easter is on the early side, although it is only 5 years ago that we saw one of the earliest Easter Sundays on the 23rd March 2008 (and we will have to wait until 2285 until there is one even earlier than that – 22nd March) the weather is far from paschal.  Not only is it cold but the wind is bitter and cuts right through you.  Our corner has missed the major snow event that has hit other parts of the country, with only disappointing snow flurries that barely make it to the ground but last Easter we were on the tail end of an impressively hot March and had organised the first (and so far only) Great Bagnall Easter Egg hunt.    There will be no repeat of it this year, with me at work and Lucinda coming to terms with looking after three children all on her tod in addition to the threat of a White Easter.

So what have we done with these final days of family time?  Not a lot is the honest answer.  I have been fighting some unspecified virus that has knocked me off feet a little.  It is one of those viruses that gradually works its way around you body so you feel awful all over.  Fortunately I seem to be coming out of the other side of it with only a hacking cough as the battle scar.  Unfortunately Lucinda’s mum now has succumb to the same virus, so we wish her a speedy recovery.  Obvious she is blaming me but I am blaming Amélie who has something similar last week.  We are hoping that neither Lucinda, Éowyn or Ezra fall victim.  However, Ezra has been fractious for the last day or so and although he is barely two weeks old this is out of character, so we hoping he is just having a bad day rather than he has the virus or worse still that it is a change in behaviour.  We will keep you up to date.

So with the combination of illness and bitterly cold weather we have stayed in and let people come and visit us.  So although we have been cooped up inside we have not been lonely.  We have had a number of friends pay us a visit over the last week and it has been nice to see so many of our friends that we haven’t seen in a while.  It is one of the fantastic things about a new child, they bring friends and relatives together.  It must be some kind of deep ingrained instinct that predates human civilisations that still has the power to bring communities/ tribes/ collective noun of your choice/ together.  A very powerful force indeed.

The only non-friend visitor of the week has been our first visit from the Health Visitor.  She was a very friendly lady and in addition to being very pleased with Ezra’s progress she was amazed at Amélie’s elocution and could not believe that she was only two and a half.  In fact because the Health Visitor wanted to check Ezra’s hearing and needed silence to do so, I had to invent a task to encourage Amélie to leave Ezra with Mommy and this strange lady and help me collect something from the car.  We timed it just right and the hearing test was successfully conducted (and Ezra successfully passed).  The next major test was another weigh in for Ezra and he topped the scales at 4.14kgs (9lbs 2 oz).  So he has zoomed passed his birth weight in his first fortnight, the boy (and let us not forget Lucinda’s part in this) is doing well!

When I said that we have been effectively bunkered down for the last week, that is not quite strictly true.  Éowyn has still had her last pre-paschal week at school.  It has been nice for the last fortnight taking and picking Éowyn up from school.  I quite often drop Éowyn off at school but it is rare that I pick her up.  I think that she has enjoyed this little bit of extra father and daughter time too.  It is nice to have a bit of time to chat in the car both before and after school looking forward to the day and then reflecting on what has happened.  It is also a time for her to ask questions and on a bright morning it will quite often be, what kind of bird is that daddy?  We are blessed with a number of the more unusual bird species in the village: Ring Neck Parakeets, Kingfishers, Red Kites and Herons rub wings with the more usual Collared Doves, Magpies, Chaffinches, Blue Tits and Mallards but the bird that caught her eye this week was a new visitor: a Little Egret.  I mentioned that we saw one on the day that Ezra was born.  It was looking a little tired and I feared that a fox might get it if it wasn’t too careful.  Now it is flying quite strongly, it is obviously feeding and more than that it is one of a pair.  Yes we have a pair of little egrets.  I wonder if they are raising little little egretlets (I don’t think that is the technical name – but it should be!).

Obviously now that I am back at work the frequency of the updates that I have been spoiling you with will drop back to a more usual once a fortnight (if you are lucky) and for that I make no apology however I promise to post lots of photos.  Also if you are at all interested and I didn’t bore you too much earlier in the update the latest Easter can be is the 25th April.  This will next occur in 2038 so although my children may have missed the extremely early Easter in 2008 (although it was about the time that we announced that we were pregnant with Éowyn) with good fortune we may all see the latest possible Easter occurrence (assuming we all survive the year 2038 problem).  Don’t forget to put your clocks forward at the weekend and I will see you in April.

Peace and Love