August is always a lean month on Baggie and Lucy dot com mainly due to the start of the football seasons, which keeps me busy at work and the fact that, along with millions of other parents, the kids are to be entertained. Thus there is little time left for tinkering on computers and little time to keep you abreast of the trials and tribulations of the Bagnall family.
So with Éowyn heading back to school (Amélie has a few more days!), what has happened since the Bagnalls returned from Flookburgh and the Lake District? Six weeks is a long time so forgive me if there are omissions.
In an attempt to break the holiday up and prevent the girls from getting too bored we signed them up for a couple of courses. Neither of our girls are very strong swimmers, something that we want to rectify, so the first of the courses we signed them up for was swimming. Not that Éowyn really needed any encouragement but her best friend (from her previous school) Aaliyah was also signed up for the week. Thus the added incentive was that after every lesson she got to play with Aaliyah, a whole week of playing with her best friend!
It seems that the girls have inherited my swimming ability. It appears that I am denser than fresh water. In swimming pools (not the sea) my resting suspension is about 6 inches (15cm) below the surface of the water. Therefore to prevent drowning I need to keep swimming, hence I have never been a strong swimmer and it appears than neither of my girls have a natural affinity to water. Nevertheless it is an important skill to have and so once they are settled back at school we will be signing them up for more swimming lessons.
The second course, only Éowyn could attend for Amélie wasn’t old enough, and again attended with her best friend Aaliyah. Cheerleading isn’t the first course that one would naturally think of as a one week session but we thought that Éowyn would enjoy it. The idea of combining gymnastics with teamwork appealed to us as something that would also be good for Éowyn.
The culmination of the week’s work was a performance at the Rainbow Nursery summer fair in Lyne. Fortunately, the weather held off and so the field didn’t turn into a swamp. The girls’ performance was the first of many acts, which was nice as they didn’t get too nervous. Éowyn and Aaliyah were the youngest of the troupe and so didn’t do many of the over-complicated moves. Nevertheless Éowyn’s forward roll was executed to perfection and was steadfast as the base of the human pyramid.
Éowyn wasn’t over-enamoured with cheerleading, which surprised us somewhat, but it is possibly due to the fact that it was such a quick course: four days, all leading up to a performance. Therefore there was no time to develop the skills that she was lacking. If you could do a cartwheel, you did one in the performance. If you couldn’t, you didn’t. There was no time to teach them how to do a cartwheel, and I think that was endemic throughout the skills. In fairness, it was a taster session and thus wasn’t designed to develop skills but to use the strengths they already have but unfortunately it may just have put her off. We will see.
As alluded to above, August has not been the greatest of months weather-wise, in the UK at least. Temperatures below average, sunshine (and thus my electrical output) below average, rainfall: the fifth wettest August on record. Despite the Bagnalls usual stoicism in the face of such inclemencies even we decided not to incur the wrath of Indra (insert rain deity of your choice) that frequently and risk too many far-flung days out.
Lucinda took Amélie and Ezra to Legoland (Éowyn was having a play date). Fortunately, the rain deity of the day was looking upon the Bagnalls with kind eyes and it was one of the warmer days. Unfortunately, this meant two things: a) Legoland was packed and 75 minutes was not an unusual queue time and b) the wasps were out in numbers. Amélie currently has a real phobia around any kind of flying insect – to the point of hysterics if there is a fly in the house. Obviously, we can’t let that continue and are trying to help her overcome this problem, although with wasps she probably has a point!
Unusually for me in August, I managed to secure 5 days off in row. Unfortunately the weather was awful so we concentrated on jobs around the house and visiting friends in the local area. Nevertheless we decided that we would have at least one big day out. Initially, we thought that we would head to the seaside, however unsure that the weather would hold we decided to head to Frensham ponds.
Frensham Common and ponds cover about 1000 acres lying between Farnham and Hindhead. The common is heathland with two large ponds known as Frensham Great and Little Ponds, and great for wildlife watchers. But we headed there for its sandy beach and to bathe in the Great Pond. Angling and Sailing are also available for member of those clubs but there is a special area for swimming. Unfortunately, the weather was more Autumnal rather than Augustal (if there is such a word). Indeed shorts were a very bad idea as I sat freezing on the sand. Even paddling in the pond was out because there was a bloom of blue-green algae which meant that the pond was closed to the public. However, we made the best of the weather eating our picnic and building sandcastles and reflected that we were glad that we hadn’t headed to the seaside!
The flipside of 5 days off was that I managed to sign myself up for 9 days in a row. Therefore Lucinda decided to take the kids to visit Nanny Fran in West Bromwich. Although it was a flying visit (they were only there for two days) they all enjoyed themselves as they usually do in West Bromwich. I, however, was not having as much fun. I got home on the Tuesday night and decided to have a Chinese takeaway for tea. Now whether it was the Chinese takeaway (fingers point at the Prawns on Toast) or whether I picked up a bug I spent most of the night with my head down the toilet. Now, I now I need to lose a few extra pounds but that wasn’t the way I intended to do it. Unfortunately I had an important meeting the next day and so after a couple of hours of sleep I dragged myself into work, had the meeting then headed home. In a deluge. The rain was coming down so fast that the drains couldn’t cope and the car park at work and our street had inches of standing water. I got home crawled into bed and fell asleep until Lucinda returned home with the kids in blazing sunshine. For a split second I thought I had been asleep for days such was the difference in weather conditions.
The summer has also been a time for changes in the house. We have decorated our bedroom and en suite and Ezra’s bedroom. We have moved a couple of radiators around which has enabled us to change the furniture around in the house making the lounge more cozy and exposing the wall where we are going to have a chimney and wood burner installed. For if the summer is anything to go by we could be in for a cold and snowy winter and so the extra warmth from a wood burner would be most welcome.
The summer has also seen Ezra growing up. His speech is coming along and he is saying a new word nearly everyday. Although some of his phrases are rather strange. One that he spontaneously came out with was ‘I don’t like mayonnaise‘. Not sure why he said it, as we were not offering him any mayonnaise, so we laughed. This only agitated him further and started to get irate shouting ‘I don’t like mayonnaise!‘ I think we have the message!
This week is an important week in the girls lives. Éowyn will enter year two and the large campus of her school while Amélie will start full-time education. Both will be worthy of their own entries so stay tuned.
In preparation for Amélie’s first day, her teacher miss Snow came for a home visit. Amélie was very excited and showed her some of her favourite toys and more importantly her new school shoes. Miss Snow said that she thinks she has seen all of her new pupils school shoes. Must be something very important to all of the new starters.
With those teasers I will leave you there and keep an eye for those updates as well as the Flickr pages as there will be new photos uploaded in the next few days.
Peace and Love