Spring is nearly upon us and the weather has certainly got a vernal disposition at the moment, temperatures up to 18°C not bad for what is still, technically, winter (despite what the Met Office tell you). It has been nearly three weeks since you last had your fix of the Bagnall family, so what has been happening in sunny Staines Upon Thames?
It has actually been quite a momentous time for three of us in chez Bagnall. Firstly, and most importantly Ezra has celebrated one circuit around the Sun. Yes, our little baby is one year old, how quickly time flies. His actual first birthday fell on a Thursday (a very difficult day – especially at the moment – to get the day off) but by a stroke of fate the Sunday before his birthday was a ‘Dark‘ Sunday (a Sunday without any Premier League games, due this week to various Premier League teams still on active duty in the F.A. Cup). This meant that I didn’t need to go into work and we could have a party!
Taking advantage of our four bedrooms we invited Nanny Fran and Auntie Liz down from West Bromwich for the weekend, so that they could be part of Ezra’s big day. It was also an opportunity to invite the greater Badger Clan to our home for the first time. So a quick tidy and delivery from Sainsbury’s later we had enough food to feed the masses and a chair delivery from Nanny and Granddad and we had enough chairs for everyone to sit. If we had known that the weather was going to be so glorious (18°c!) we would have dug the barbeque out of the shed and fired it up for burgers and sausages from the local butchers. Unfortunately we were not so trusting of the weather reports and decided that a buffet was a safer option.
Not sure that Ezra quite understood why so many people were in his house and why he wasn’t allowed to launch himself out of the patio doors into the garden. Éowyn and Amélie, however were beside themselves with a visit from their cousins and spent most of the day playing nicely with the girls or chasing Finley around the garden.
Overall it was a successful first party (although we did host a smaller gathering for the Cathrall clan on Christmas Eve) and a worthy celebration of our son’s first birthday and it was especially nice that all of his grandparents were down for his party.
We did not let Ezra’s actual birthday pass without a celebration though. I managed to leave work early (although the West London traffic was still a nightmare) to get home in time for dinner with the family and Nanny and Granddad. Ezra had a second birthday cake of the week and was centre of attention (more even than usual) for the second time that week.
It hasn’t all been about Ezra though. Amélie has taken a big step forward too. Amélie has been dry (i.e. hasn’t worn a nappy) in the day for a long time, but at night she has worn either a nappy or a pull-up nappy. Recently she has been waking up in the night to relieve herself and becoming a little distressed in her confused state to try and take, especially, a nappy off. Then the finger of fate intervened, we ran low of Amélie’s nappies (usually we have a packet in reserve) and instead of buying a new packet we asked Amélie if she wanted to try and go to sleep without a nappy. She was very keen to try and be a big girl, like Éowyn and so we jumped at the chance to encourage her into this brave new world.
Not that she needed it but as a reward for her to aim for, we said that when she managed 7 dry nights (we are not naïve to think that there would not be ‘accidents’) that she would earn a reward from the Disney store. We (or more accurately, I) still owe Éowyn an Elsa dressing up dress from the film Frozen as a reward for receiving 5 superstar certificates from school and Amélie has decided that she wanted the Anna dressing up dress from the same film. Fortunately, for me, unfortunately for the girls both dresses are currently out of stock at the Disney store, but I am true to my word so they will get them.
The third person going through a momentous time is Lucinda. As regular readers will know Air Canada is outsourcing ground operations at Heathrow Airport to ASIG. By the end of next week we will see a conclusion to the decisions that Lucinda has been wrestling with over the last month or so. Without overplaying the situation it is an emotional decision. As someone that has worked for 16 years for the same company it is hard to believe that your job (as you have known it) no longer exists. Obviously the work still exists but it will not be the same. The realisation, which is difficult for us creatures of habit to accept, that things change, and let us face it businesses have to in order to remain profitable, and that you are powerless to prevent that change takes a while to sink in. Although the decision is relatively easy from a logical point of view, emotions and a hankering for the ‘way it was’ cloud that decision and you really have to explore all options before you accept the inevitable. Choice is an illusion.
We will keep you all in touch with twists and turns in Lucinda’s career that are probably still to come between now and the end of April. This will only be three weeks after she returns to work after maternity leave. Life is never boring in the Bagnall household.
Mowing the garden is not going to be boring again either. Not now that I am the proud owner of a self-propelled petrol lawnmower that makes light work of the increased lawn size that the new house has. It takes a bit of getting used to and I would be afraid to use it with the kids in the garden as I need a little bit of practise with it to become comfortable. And that is not the only gardening I have been doing! Our little veg patch now has potatoes planted and the ground has been prepared for runner beans and pumpkins. The strawberry plant and herbs are next and we are going to have a sunflower growing competition too. This must be a sign of growing old, excitement over a lawnmower and gardening, I’ll be discussing boilers and zonal central heating systems next. Too late!
So with the sun shining (and let us hope that this is a template for the rest of the spring and summer, especially with our newest acquisition but more of that next time) and the garden beckoning I will be you adieu and leave you with the latest crop of photos.
Peace and Love