Not the update you were expecting

For those of you that are waiting with baited breath this is  not the update you are waiting for.  It is still 5 days before Lucinda’s due date and if Éowyn is anything to go by then we will still be waiting in the second week of October for our new arrival.

The manic stage at work is slowly calming down and so I am able to spend more time at home.  This isn’t as relaxing as it sounds as we are frantically trying to make the house welcoming for a newborn, hence there will be a dearth of photos with this update but let’s face it, you have been spoilt lately.

Keen eyed among you will have noticed a slightly different look to the website, this is because I have moved it to a friend’s server to give me the ability to do a few more fancy things, should I need to.  It may mean that some of your old links will need to be changed as I will not be updating the original after this update.  I have tried to keep the look the same but there are some subtle differences and one big one.  The Flickr link will randomly show one photo every 7 seconds from the Éowyn set in my Flickr account.  OK, I can tell that I have lost my audience.

Éowyn is still showing signs of precociousness.  Her latest skills include reading.  I say ‘reading’, she recognises the dozen words that her nanny has written on flash cards.  These are:  Mum, Dad, Nanny, Granddad, Éowyn, Cat, Dog, Leg, Cake, Cup, Eye and Hat.   Whether the recognition of words is the same as reading is debatable but we do get her to spell them out at the same time.  I took her to feed the ducks this morning (Ducks! Bread!) and pointed out the difference between mommy ducks and daddy ducks and then she referred to them all, correctly, by gender, a keen ornithologist if ever I saw one.  She has also acquired (borrowed) a pair of binoculars (from her childminder) and sat on the sofa watching the telly through them (the wrong way round!).  Another of her favourite skills at the moment is shouting ‘Stop’ when you are approaching a red traffic light, and ‘Go’ when they turn to green.  Talk about having a backseat driver!  My favourite though, is that she has begun to say, “Boing, Boing! Baggies, Baggies!”  I have undone all that hard work!

Congratulations to Neil and Emma on their marriage on the 10th September.  An excellent couple of days (yes couple of days, ceremony on one and big party on the second!).  They entrusted me with taking the photographs I hope that they have enough usable ones!  And congratulations to Jenny and John on the birth of their second child Jacob.  Hopefully they can give us lots of tips as their first child, Leo is only a couple of weeks older than Éowyn so the age gap is about the same.

I will bid my leave of you now, and hopefully the next time you read an update of this website will be to announce our new family member.  Until then…

Peace and Love


13 Babies!

Another new update, this new discipline seems to be working.  How long will it last?

So from the excitement of Nanny Fran’s birthday and a stop over in West Bromwich life has settled back to the norm.  This means that work is hectic for me and on my days off Lucinda is working, so unfortunately we are not seeing a lot of each other.  Éowyn though is seeing both of us on our days off, just not at the same time!

Work has been busy for me for two reasons:  a) that we were gearing up for the end of the EPL season (and other end of seasons for ESPN) and b) we are in the middle of a huge recruitment drive that has seen over 1800 c.v.s pass through our (electronic) door.  After eliminating 90% via their c.v. (and apparently you are not allowed to use the David Brent philosophy of avoiding employing unlucky people by throwing half the c.v.’s in the bin without reading them – shame) we then get the lucky ones into the office to interview.  This is obviously necessary but is quite a strain on the usual workload but nevertheless it is comforting to be part of a company that is expanding especially in the economic uncertainty that pervades western society.   Now, nepotism is rife in the TV industry (as much as in many others) but unfortunately there are laws against child labour else I am sure that Éowyn would be a strong candidate for a number of the roles.:

VT/MCR: she is very good at pressing buttons; can put many electronic devices into modes that are not mentioned in the manual only for her to hand it back to daddy saying (O-oh!) so that he can fix it, and more importantly, can ensure that the correct feed is on her monitor (Cbeebies on the telly).

Sound Assistant: excellent at checking microphones by blabbling into them and can count to 2.

The big news of the fortnight though is that the ‘bird has flown’.  After a month of feeding our expectant mother duck, she began to hiss at us on Friday.  This we took that the eggs were beginning to hatch so we respected her privacy and did not encroach in her space.  Then Sunday morning she waddled across the lawn, tapped on the back door to show her 13 (yes 13!) ducklings.  We put a tray of water and another of duck feed that we have done for the last few weeks and she ate eagerly.  I assume that while the duckling were hatching she did not stray from the nest and so must have been starving.  The ducklings moved as one mass following their mother but (and quite rightly) keeping their distance from us.

Then Monday morning we woke to find mother duck and her 13 ducklings (yes, all of them are still alive) were in next door’s garden, obviously heading for the stream.  So in a co-ordinated effort, next door opened their garden gate and neighbours positioned themselves either end of the service road behind our houses to warn any motorists of the precious convoy.  Down the family waddled to the stream and off they swam.  Now they are in the big wide world but I think we will still keep half an eye our for them.

Now we can actually get into our garden and mow the lawn and trim the weeds.  It was a good excuse for the last month, and as you can see from the photos below it is amazing how quickly the garden can look a mess if it is neglected, but now there is no excuse.  So this afternoon we will get the lawn looking respectable.

I will use that cue to bid you adieu and leave you with some new photos including some of our adopted family.

Peace and love


50,000 hits

Yes, as you can see from the little stats section in the bottom right-hand column the website has achieved 50,000 hits.  A small milestone, that means absolutely nothing in the real world but brought a little smile to my face this morning.  It is a justification for the hours of work that I have put into the site and a tribute to you all and your interest in our growing family.

You are probably thinking is it that time already it only seems like a week or so since the last update, surely that can’t be true.  Yes, I have managed to squeeze another update in before the end of April.  I am getting good at this.

It has been an important week in the Bagnall family for Nanny Fran achieved a milestone of her own, celebrating her 60th birthday.  She is now armed with a bus pass and therefore free travel (on buses).  This now extends for the whole country so in theory she could visit us via a fleet of buses.  Not sure how long that would take, or how comfortable it would be, but it is possible.  Unfortunately, she will not be travelling on buses (or driving) any time soon as her leg is still weak following her accident at work.  Thus she is on extended sick leave since she could not possibly do her job at the moment yet alone actually get to work easily.  She is therefore trying to resist the lure of day time television and the time vampire that is the internet.  Judging by the e-mails she is sending she is losing the second battle!

Nanny Fran’s birthday was midweek but unfortunately due to work commitments we were unable to go up to West Bromwich and share it with her, however Éowyn and I were able to Skype her, in between her many visitors.  She is a very popular lady.

Friday, Lucinda and I had tickets to see the London Philharmonic Orchestra perform Howard Shore’s score to The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers live at the Royal Albert Hall.  Therefore taking advantage of Nanny Fran’s incapacitation and Auntie Liz’s willingness to take a day’s holiday Lucinda drove Éowyn to West Bromwich to spend a couple of days at Nanny Fran’s so that Lucinda and I could go and then have a rare lie-in the next day.  The concert was fabulous and your eyes spent the time flitting between the film itself and scanning the orchestra.  It made me want to go back home and watch the entire extended trilogy once again.  The only bad part of the concert was that the Royal Albert Hall seem to have bought the most uncomfortable chairs in Christendom.  Our tickets were in the Arena section of the Hall and therefore our seats were removable chairs but they have been designed for those with snake hips and buttocks like rocks.  I fit into neither category so by the time Gandalf falls from the bridge of Khazad-dûm my bum was numb and stayed that way until at least Barons Court on the way home.

Saturday morning I had fully regained the feeling in my buttocks and so Lucinda and I headed to West Bromwich to celebrate Nanny Fran’s birthday and to pick our daughter up and bring her back home.  She seemed to have a whale of a time (Nanny Fran and Éowyn!) over the previous days and although she was happy to see us carried on playing in full contentment.  It was a bit of a rushed visit but that seems to be life at the moment.

Our other family member (Daisy the Duck) is still sitting proudly on her nest of eggs.  Duckwatch is still in full swing and a daily diet of water and duck grain is being administered by Lucinda illustrating that motherhood empathy transcends species.  Apparently Mallards incubate the eggs for about 28 days so we have a while before there are little ducklings for Éowyn to look at.  We also have a second family in the garden: a blackbird family.  Not quite as cute as ducklings but nevertheless still proud that our little patch of land is such a fertile nursery for others.  With that thought I will take my leave.

Peace and love