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


Where did those three months go?

And so here we stand in April.  Where has the year gone?  For most of the year Lucinda and myself (and Éowyn of course) have been keeping a big secret from all and thankfully the weekend of Mother’s day we were able to share that with you all.  Judging by the speed of the last three months it will not be long before our family of three becomes a family of four.  With such momentous news it was only right and fitting that it was a separate entry and should hog the front page for a couple of weeks. Therefore this update will cover nearly a month and so there are bound to be many omissions, but hey, you’re only here for the photos!  Right?

So what has been happening in the Bagnall household over the last month?  Obviously the Mothering Sunday weekend and following week was dominated by the news that Lucinda is pregnant, this included a flying visit to West Bromwich to let my Mom and sisters know and a meal with Lucinda’s parents to let them know.  Obviously all are delighted, our main concern will be Éowyn.  She will be going from the centre of attention and the apple of Daddy’s eye to sharing that limelight with a sibling.  Éowyn already shows signs of jealously if Daddy is showing attention to others, and woe be tide that Mommy and Daddy have a cuddle: the tears start and she demands to join in for a group hug.  I think that it will be a bit of a juggling act and new skills to be learnt when the new bubba comes along.

Éowyn has already begun to push the boundaries.  She is seemingly entering the terrible twos six months too early.  In some ways it can be quite funny to watch, when she looks around for something to throw and then launches herself on the floor kicking and screaming.  But when you are trying to do something, or go somewhere, or just get her to do something it can be extremely frustrated.  Months of watching Super Nanny on telly somehow still doesn’t prepare you for the tantrums.  In all fairness her tantrums tend to be short lived and she is as good as gold before and afterwards.  Hopefully this phase is over by September and there will be little or no troubles when the new arrival comes along.  I really am clutching to straws there, aren’t I?

As it has been nearly 7 weeks since a detailed update it is quite hard to remember all that we have done (visited a farm, bought new shoes, lots of time around Nanny and Granddad’s, playing with cousins, fun at the childminder’s, fun at home and skyping Nanny Fran).  Hopefully it will not take me 7 weeks before the next update.  By then we will have a new government (we presume) and the airline industry will have gone bankrupt due to the unpronounceably named Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland.  It is a timely reminder from Mother Nature that however powerful we think we are as a species how she can affect so much and cause so much disruption with what is, in essence, a very minor geological hiccup.  Living so close to Heathrow airport (still the busiest airport in terms of international traffic) the effect of a total ban on traffic in UK airspace is dramatic.  The village seems eerily quiet and the skies are not punctured by large aircraft heading for exotic locations.  The sky is clear blue (it has been particularly fine April weather the past week) without the merest hint of a contrail (or chemtrail should you believe the conspiracy theorists).  However, I think that when they return we will really notice the noise levels, the smell of aviation fuel and the great big iron birds in the sky.

While the big iron birds have been conspicuous by their absence the bird life in our little corner of the land has been very noticeable.  The number of species around here is fantastic for an amateur bird watcher like myself.  One in particular has taken a liking to our garden.  As we all know spring is the time when birds nest.  Maybe you have nesting birds in your garden, but I think we are quite fortunate with the species that has decided that it will raise its family 10 feet from our back door.  A mallard had decided that our borders make an ideal nesting ground.  Unfortunately we didn’t notice her at first and we scared her off the nest, which gave us the chance to have a look in at the dozen or so eggs in her down lined bowl on the ground.  We have been very careful since and Lucinda (probably empathising with impending motherhood) has been on duck-watch ever since.  Hopefully most of the eggs will be viable and we should soon see a team of little ducklings.  Duck is probably Éowyn’s favourite bird mainly due to the fact that it is the one bird that she can recognise.

I don’t think that I am going to waffle on too much, but by way of appeasement I have uploaded more than the usual number of photos for your enjoyment and hopefully you will not have to wait quite as long for the next instalment.  A quick mention goes to West Bromwich Albion who will be plying their trade in the English Premier League next season, well done boys, the new bubba will be born supporting a top flight side (Oh yes it will, it has no choice!).

Peace and Love