Once again I feel that I have to apologise for the lack of updates through 2014. At this point last year you would have had 17 updates, this is only this year’s 8th! In fairness, last year was busier than usual mainly due to the birth of Ezra but you have to admit I am normally more prolific than I have been this year. I have always said that this is a window into our world and it is more important for life to get in the way of this website than vice versa. There have been plenty of jobs to do around the house and garden, it has been the traditional end of the season business and there has been something that has been overhanging the family (or not overhanging the family – a little joke that you may understand when you read about it) over the last six weeks but more about that in the next update. Ah well, there are the excuses on with the update!
So what has been going on the in the Bagnall household?
Easter has come and gone since the last update and with it school holidays. Yes, Easter marks the end of the second term and a fortnight break from school for both of the girls. This came at an opportune time for Éowyn as she was beginning to get a little tired and was in need of the break. It is hard enough as an adult doing a full week of work, week after week without a break (I know I have not used an of this year’s annual leave as yet!), it must be ten times as hard for a five year old. Unfortunately we could not take full advantage of this hiatus from school because Easter is also a traditionally busy time in the football calendar and thus it is difficult for me to take time off work. (It has to be said that the busy points in my work calendar: Christmas, Easter and August unfortunately coincide with the term breaks and thus school holidays, that’s what you get for being the Head of Operations of the World’s largest independent sports production companies!).
A week off work was therefore out of the question but a tip to the seaside was still in order. The weather hadn’t truly warmed up but nevertheless this has not stopped the Bagnalls in the past and it certainly isn’t going to stop the Bagnalls in the future. So the S-Max was packed, a DVD loaded to keep the girls entertained and we headed to one of Lucinda’s favourite places, in probably her favourite county: Hengistbury Head in Dorset.
We arrived in good time and parked the car at Mudeford Key before heading across Christchurch harbor on the ferry to Hengistbury Head. Our arrival coincided with a heavy downpour and unfortunately we were on the open top ferry when it hit. As you can see from the photo below there was nothing we could do except grin and bear it.
It was no surprise then that we didn’t head straight to the beach, but rather the cover of the beach café and lunch. The rain clouds blew away while we were indoors and we headed to the beach; if not in bright sunshine at least it was more ‘cloudy with occasional breaks for the sun to peak through’.
The girls love playing on the beach (as I am sure that most kids do) and they do not feel the cold as much as adults. While Lucinda and I barely took our coats off they wanted to strip off (thankfully managed to dissuade them from that!) and paddle in the sea. Despite Daddy trying to convince them that the sea would be cold (it has barely had chance to warm up since the winter) it wasn’t until they had run in that they believed their Daddy.
Despite the weather, fun was had by all and three very tired kids reluctantly were convinced to return to the car for the journey home. Éowyn and Amélie both protested the return but both (indeed Ezra too) were asleep before we made it to the M27 and the journey home.
The Easter holidays also saw a visit from Nanny Fran and Auntie Liz. Nanny Fran’s birthday fell on Easter Sunday this year (a day that both Lucinda and I were working!) and so she came down on Good Friday to stay for the weekend. Her visit wasn’t just to get her present and deliver Easter Eggs.; it was to finally take advantage of last year’s present a ride over London in a helicopter. This was, if memory serves me correctly, the third time that she had tried to take to the skies. The previous two times the weather had put pay to the experience. This time however it was successful and she had a great time viewing the sites of our Capital City from an unusual vantage point.
Before we let her take to the skies though both she and Auntie Liz had to be roped into an Easter egg hunt. You may recall that a couple of years ago Lucinda and I organized an Easter Egg Hunt around Lucinda’s parents’ garden for our friends children, unfortunately without having weekends off and not quite the time to prepare that remains the first and only time (so far) that we have managed to organize such a big event, however that doesn’t mean that Éowyn, Amélie and Ezra should miss out. Therefore, while we were talking to Nanny Fran and Auntie Liz, Lucinda nipped outside and hid Easter Eggs around the garden for the girls to find.
With Éowyn paired up with Nanny Fran and Amélie with Auntie Liz they headed into the garden armed with Easter baskets. All but one of the eggs were found (I am sure the local foxes will have found it by now) and divided evenly – you have to be fair! These were then added to their, not too unreasonable, hoard of eggs and other assorted chocolates. I would like to know whose idea it was to associate Easter with chocolate; I don’t recall Jesus telling us all to eat chocolate in memory of his resurrection.
As you may have guessed from the above, the Easter term break also saw Lucinda’s return to work. Not great timing on our part but she has had nearly 14 months off and you can’t put off the inevitable. As avid readers and friends will know this return was going to be more emotional than her previous returns as the end of April saw Air Canada cease ground control of their flights at Heathrow Airport, responsibilities now undertaken by ASIG a general handling company. Therefore Lucinda returned for her half a dozen or so last shifts for Air Canada.
Change is sometimes good and sometimes beneficial. Time will tell if this change is good, but it has certainly been beneficial with Air Canada offering V.S.P. (redundancy for want of a better phrase – which Lucinda took) and ASIG requiring a large influx of staff trained in Air Canada procedures (which Lucinda obviously is – if a little rusty). Thus redundancy was taken and a new job at ASIG applied for and got. A little Brucie Bonus that doesn’t happen very often in life and thus one that should certainly be taken advantage of when the opportunity arises. It neatly concludes where 2013 left off, with new house, car, child etc.
So with Lucinda returning to work and with me in full time employment we are in need of an alternative child care facility when grandparents are in need of a rest and when we can’t manage between ourselves through holidays and shift swaps. This makes it difficult to arrange child care. Most nurseries and child minders want a set number of hours a week and set days, then they can plan other children around the slots in availability that they have. This is understandable but very frustrating from our point of view. However, a friend of ours uses a child minder literally around the corner from us, someone who only wants a few extra days a month. An ideal scenario.
After meeting her we took Ezra around for a one hour taster session to see how he got on. He was fine, thoroughly enjoyed himself and so we were happy to book some dates with her.
Lucinda’s shifts tend to be earlies. This can be anything from a 0500 start! This means a few things. Lucinda needs to go to bed not long after the kids in order to get a decent amount of sleep. Lucinda has to get up about 0345 (at the latest) in order to get ready and out for work. This means that I have to rise a little earlier in order to get myself and three kids washes, dressed and fed. Bags packed and out the door ready for three different drop-off points before heading to do a full day’s shift at work. Indeed I feel like I have done a full day’s shift before I get there. It doesn’t help with the little inter-sibling squabbling that tends to happen and when your youngest starts to cry and try and hold on to you when you drop him off at the child minders for the first time. By all accounts he soon settled down and was fine for the rest of the day (and in that respect was no different to Éowyn or Amélie on their first days too!) but when your enduring image is of your little one in floods of tears reaching out to you it doesn’t set the day up very well.
Ezra is still tending on the lazy side (Lucinda would disagree). He crawls at lightning speed and is on his feet whenever there is something to support him but he still is not interested in walking. If you encourage him to take a few steps he immediately sits down. Legs are for standing so that your arms can stretch to reach whatever it is that you are not allowed to have. They are also useful for climbing. He has been able to climb the stairs for a while but now his little mind has worked out that if there is something shiny out of reach that climbing may just help. He started off by pushing his walker or Lego table towards the settee and using it as a ladder to climb higher. Now anything that gives him a little extra lift is fair game. Indeed Lucinda left him in his high chair momentarily to find upon her return Ezra sitting on the kitchen table. He had seen the biscuit barrel on the table and thought to himself while there is no one around I’ll have a couple of those. For that is exactly how Lucinda found him, sitting crossed legged on the table with two malted milk biscuits!
That is a bit of an epic but there a few more stories I would like to regale so pop by in the next few days for another snippet (or two) on our world. In the meantime enjoy some of the photos of the past month or so.
Love and Peace
We would also like to take this opportunity to welcome Olivia Lynn Eccles to the world,the first child of my 2nd cousin Charlotte and her husband Paul. Congratulations to them both.