Back to School

It has become somewhat of a modern tradition that on the first day back to school there is an obligatory photograph taken outside the front door of one’s home of your offspring accoutred in their school uniform.  Not completely sure who or when this tradition began and, although I am not one who usually conforms to fashion for the sake of fashion, somehow one feels like one has failed as a parent if the internet does not see such a picture.  Therefore, to avoid being tarnished with the epitaph ‘Bad Parent’ without further ado please scroll to the bottom of this update to see this year’s photos.

The beauty of such a photo is that it captures the school uniform how it is intended to look rather than after it has been worn everyday for a couple of months and treated with the respect that only a 6 year old can mete.

I find it amazing that after 6 weeks of waking up at 0630-0700 throughout the summer vacation, both of the girls needed waking up from a deep slumber on the first day of school.  Not sure where they get this from as both Lucinda and I enjoy a lie-in (or used to enjoy a lie-in before the Baguettes arrived). There must be an innate ability inherent in all children to know exactly the most inconvenient time possible to wake up.

The 2016-2017 academic year sees Éowyn in year 3 (entering Key Stage 2) and Amélie join year 1.  Ezra is still at nursery and will not enter full time education until September next year.  He also had to return to school a full day before his sisters because of a tactically scheduled inset day at their school that extended the summer holiday by another twenty four hours.

Éowyn and Amélie, although at the same school, are still at separate campuses and will be until next year when Amélie enters year 2 (and Éowyn year 4).  Unfortunately, it will not mean that the journey to school will be a little easier (and consequently the pick up from school) for Ezra will be entering reception and thus attending that campus for two years.  So we will have to wait until 2019 for all three to be on the same campus and that will only be for one year until Éowyn leaves Primary school education and enters Secondary education and year 7 in 2020.  We have a few years (and many updates) before then, so stay tuned.

Both girls came back saying how much they enjoyed their first day back at school.  They both liked their new teachers and were a little over excited to see all their friends again.  Amélie’s class has just moved straight into a new classroom with a new teacher, so it should be a straightforward move and so it seemed from chatting to her about it tonight.  Indeed she seemed to think it was the ‘best day ever‘ because she was allowed two pieces of fruit; very easily pleased our second-born.

Éowyn, on the other hand, has a bigger change to contend with; for not only is she moving classroom and teacher but the school have decided to completely mix up the classes in her year.  This means, unfortunately, she is no longer in the same class as her best friends.  This has been worrying her over the summer but today she was extremely philosophical about it and seemed to embrace the change, probably because she likes her teacher and enjoyed talking to new people. Long may it continue. I, as always, will keep you updated through the medium of this site.

Peace and Love




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 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



Ezra’s 2nd Birthday

No signs of triskaidekaphobia or indeed friggatriskaidekaphobia on Friday 13th March 2015, for this auspicious day saw our son celebrate his second birthday.  Ezra was born on the 13th March 2013 weighing 8lb 13oz, with all those 13’s there is no way he can be superstitious about that prime integer.   Not that at two years old he has any inkling of the nature of superstitions or indeed that it is even his birthday.  There is no doubt he will get used to the idea of having a birthday on a Friday 13th, indeed he only has to wait for 5 years and 2020 for it to happen again.

Unfortunately I was unable to take the day off work and both Éowyn and Amélie were at school, Ezra spent the majority of his birthday with his mum, but even his mum wasn’t able to spend the full day with him.  This is because she has an even more pressing arrangement: an invitation to Éowyn’s Mother’s Day concert at school.  Therefore while Lucinda spent an hour at a concert in her honour Nanny came to look after her youngest grandson.

We could not let Ezra’s day pass that easily though, could we?  So I left work early arriving back home at 16:00 just in time to look after Amélie and the birthday boy while Lucinda picked up Éowyn and her friend Billy from Spanish after school club.  Our neighbour’s boy, Blake, then joined us to make it a little more of a party atmosphere.  Yes, they were both ostensibly Éowyn’s friends but both are boys and they know Ezra very well and to be perfectly honest Ezra hasn’t really got any friends.

When you have you first child you join the local N.C.T. club and meet new parents in the same situation, forge friendships and the children naturally become friends.  Indeed Blake and Billy are children of friends that we met through our N.C.T. class.  This is not the case with the second child, although there some from our N.C.T. group have gone on to have a second child giving Amélie a ready-made friend, but it is certainly not the case with the third.  Thus Éowyn has had ready made friends since her birth, Amélie and, even more so, Ezra are going to have to go out into the big wide world and make their own friends.

Éowyn and the boys were a little hyper after a long week at school and so we had to mould that energy into games.  Lucinda had set up a treasure trail for them, with clues pointing to the ultimate prize.  With a bit of prompting they solved the clues and retrieved there Red-Nose Day related prizes.  Yes, not only was Friday 13th March 2015 Ezra’s second birthday it was the 30th anniversary Red-Nose Day, a day that saw them pass the £1,000,000,000 mark.

After a rest for a party meal musical statues and musical bumps were the next focus for their energy with more prizes, this time in the form of sweets and before you knew it Ezra’s party was over.  There was just time for him to blow out the 2-shaped candle on his birthday cake before bed and a well-earned rest for Mommy and Daddy.

It was not, however, Ezra’s only birthday party.  The weekend prior to his birthday, was an F.A. Cup weekend (although less said about West Bromwich Albion’s performance the better) and as such there was no Premier League football (not strictly true as there was one errant match that had been rescheduled to take advantage of both teams lack of interest in the F.A. Cup).  Usually this would mean a weekend off for me, however IMG doesn’t like me taking weekends off.  This weekend saw the start of our latest acquisition Major League Soccer.  Since this is the start of a contract and not really sure what we were going to get or exactly what we were doing with it, I went in to shepherd the first weekend.

Now for those of you for who the letters MLS or indeed Major League Soccer mean nothing, it is the United States version of the Premier League (although without being too unkind the standard is some way off the latter).  So with evening kick-offs on the West Coast of the United States this meant overnights for yours truly.  It has been a long time since I have done overnights and although in themselves it wasn’t too bad, I have felt jet-lagged ever since.

Nevertheless this did mean that although the day time was for sleeping, with three little ones this wasn’t going to happen that easily (although I did pretty well on the Saturday), we could do something during the day.  Therefore we invited Nanny Fran, Auntie Liz, Auntie Mary, Great Uncle Michael and Great Auntie Yvonne for a celebration of Ezra‘s birthday.

Lucinda’s mum and dad were away for the weekend in the Isle of Wight else we would have made a bigger event, although with hindsight the fact that I had only had 3 hours sleep did start to take its toll and so I was glad there were only 5 guests.

I think Ezra enjoyed being the centre of attention although being the 3rd sibling he wasn’t the centre of attention for that long.  His sisters hogged the limelight as much as they could.  However, they were not the one getting presents and since it was his party we let him open the presents that we given him.  He was very excited with his Peppa Pig Weeble set.  As mentioned previously it is his favourite programme (although he insists on calling it Georgie Pig) so having his own Peppa Pig characters that his sisters have to ask him to play with gives him a little more power.  He also received some more wooden track and a new train for his train set.  Now he can play choo-choos with a bigger tracks and even had points so he can have a second route.

With all the new, boy-related, toys that he received for his birthday the toys that he has taken to bed and played with the most was, somewhat predictably, the cheapest. While buying Ezra’s birthday present Lucinda saw the first edition of a collectible magazine set.  With all those collectible magazine sets, the first edition is 99p to entice you in.  This magazine set was aimed at young children and was about my favourite subject as a small child, dinosaurs.  With the first magazine you received an adult triceratops and a baby tyrannosaurus rex.  We thought he might like them but did not foresee the fact that he will not put them down and they would take precedence over his weeble George.

With the advent of Ezra’s second birthday comes the next health care check up.  When you have your first child you look in the books and the guidelines to make sure that your little one is meeting all the targets (or in Éowyn’s case exceeding them all), this becomes less important as the second and third come along.  Nevertheless when a letter comes from the doctors wanting you to make an appointment to check on your third child’s development you start to look at the list of targets and mentally tick them off.

Ezra is meeting and exceeding them all except the target number of words.  By a child’s second birthday they expect them to know 50 words.  When we received the letter we though about all the words that Ezra says and could not make it passed thirty.  Slightly concerned about this I jokingly said to Ezra that he needed to pull his finger out and start saying a few more words.  He has taken that chiding to heart and is seemingly coming out with a new word or two everyday and stringing them together.  We haven’t seen the health worker yet but Ezra now knows his fifty words and all is good.

Two days after Ezra’s birthday was Mother’s Day or Mothering Sunday, whichever you prefer.  As usual it wasn’t much of a rest for Lucinda as I was at work but, as mentioned above, there was a celebration at Éowyn’s school on the Friday before (Friday 13th, Ezra’s birthday and Red-Nose day – what a busy day).  The Mother’s day concert started with songs sung by the children followed by cakes and cup of tea for all the mums.  Not exactly relaxing considering everything else that was going on, but it is the thought that counts.

I will leave other family related news to the next update and let Ezra have an update all of his own for his birthday (well, nearly all of his own).

Peace and Love