As we teeter on the edge of (OK, toppled headlong into) a new year (a new year that will see Lucinda and I celebrate a decade together) it is traditional to look back on the year just gone and look forward to the next. What a year 2013 has been! Probably the single most eventful year we have known as a family. Yes, other years have had big events: births, deaths, marriages, holidays, big birthdays, house moves and new jobs but this year has definitely has had them all (apart from the new jobs! – although work did relocate; does that count?)
At the start of 2013 I made some predictions of what we were expecting to look forward to this year and it was already looking busy; not only did they all come to fruition, fate threw a few more in for good measure. Hence why this site has seen a record-breaking number of updates and a record number of visits, well I do have to keep you all informed don’t I? And seemingly you are interested. Or is it just the photos?
So what were the big events of 2013 and what have we learnt?
Obviously the biggest event of the Bagnall year was the birth of our third child and first son. Ezra John (named after his Grandfathers) was born a week before my 40th birthday. Now whether it is because he is a boy; or whether it is because he is a third child or whether simply it is because every child is different but he seems to be far more relaxed than either of his sisters. Amélie had an excuse with her Milk Protein intolerance and we probably spoilt Éowyn, especially initially as we were learning to be parents (and still are!), but he has been the easiest to get to sleep, he cries the least and apart from an aversion to lumpy food has not shown any dislike to his meals. And although it is a new skill for Lucinda and I to master, juggling the needs of three children, the most important detail is that all three of them are healthy. Even Amélie’s milk protein intolerance has seemingly lessened.
So with three children our home in Stanwell Moor finally felt a little on the small side. Thus we decided to make the tough decision to leave the moor, the village that Lucinda has lived all her life! It did not take us too long to find a house that we both liked. However the course of house buying ne’er runs smooth. So let me give you a précis:
Found house made offer – offer rejected; Vendors found house so offered house at a lower price if we could proceed – we can’t proceed as we had no buyer; We found buyers but so did our vendors and their new buyers offered more that we could afford – we proceeded with our sale; The new buyers chain began to fail so we offered an improved offer (though lower than the other buyers) – the vendors decided to proceed with us.
So far so good – then the twist began. The government formed an Airports Commission to look into the requirements for expanding capacity at the UK airports and invited proposals from interested parties. BAA operate Heathrow Airport and one (two) of their three (four) proposals for the expansion of the UK’s busiest airports involved the building of a third (fourth) runway over the village of Stanwell Moor. This puts a bit of a dampener over the future of a new home and hence our buyers pulled out.
This left us with a dilemma: go back to square one, find a new buyer that didn’t care that their house may not be there in the near future or find a third alternative. The third alternative was found and now we are the proud owners of a new house and landlords (with tenants!) of our old house. That certainly wasn’t the plan at the start of 2013 but as we enter 2014 that is where we are. Will we still be there in 2015? More than probably, indeed we plan to be in our current abode until we retire and move to the seaside!
Both of those changes to Bagnall family life eclipse the other differences the year has brought: a new car (our 7 seater Ford S-Max) and a new place of work (same company just different premises).
It has been a very important year in the life of our oldest child. Éowyn not only had the upheaval of moving home (and we kept both Éowyn and Amélie across the notion of moving from the onset including taking them around the house and asking if they liked it and which room they would like as their bedroom) but she also started full-time education. It was confirmed in mid-april that Éowyn would be going to our first choice school, a decision that was fraught with conflicting emotions. On one hand, it is a well equipped school, with a new head with lots of new ideas and has had a recent injection of cash; on the other it has a bad reputation and is now far from our new home.
The decision has been made and although we and not too obstinate that we would not consider moving Éowyn at the moment she is loving school. She loves her teacher Miss Finbow, she has a new best friend and most important of all she is learning. Her reading and writing is coming along in leaps and bounds and we, as parents, are actively encouraged to help as she gets homework twice a week.
2013 was a big year in Amélie’s development too. Amélie started pre-school at a private nursery on the grounds of Éowyn’s school (makes dropping off so much easier – and a consideration if we are ever to move schools). After a bumpy start and lots of tears (Éowyn was the same if you recall) she now runs down the path to school and sometimes forgets to give her dad a kiss before running into the classroom. It is comforting to know that both of our children enjoy their respective places of education especially with Lucinda returning to work. We just need to find somewhere for Ezra to spend those days.
2013 also reminded us of the circle of life. At the beginning of the year we welcomed Ezra into our family and at the end of the year we said goodbye to my Nan. She was the last of her generation and although she had been ill for a long time her passing was still a shock and obviously upsetting. The comfort that we have is that she met her first Great-Grandson, that her close family were there in her final hours and her suffering is no more. She has left us some great memories, more than a handful of quirks and a wardrobe of knitted jumpers! Sleep well Nan.
One prediction that disappointingly didn’t come to pass was comet ISON. Even in the days leading up to its perihelion (closest approach to the Sun) we were hoping for a spectacular astronomical display with possibly the brightest comet for a generation. Unfortunately like an empyrean Icarus it flew too close to the sun and was destroyed and thus became possibly the only disappointment that 2013 brought.
So, all things considered, 2013 was a good year that brought many changes to this enclave of the Bagnall name. (And I didn’t even mention the fact that both Lucinda and I celebrated our 40th birthdays!) Hopefully after such a busy year you will find it in your hearts to forgive us if we hope for a quieter 2014. Life will change to a new pattern in April when Lucinda returns to work but whatever else happens will be a surprise since the only other plan we have is to finally unpack all our boxes and settle into our new home. I leave you with this toast to the coming year:Here’s to the bright New Year
And a fond farewell to the old;
Here’s to the things that are yet to come
And to the memories that we hold.
Peace and Love
PS If you are into your geeky stats then this page is for you (click here). Also, I have updated a few things in the background which shouldn’t affect you, my dear readers, but you will notice a couple of new widgets in the sidebar to the right. So in addition to seeing the last three update titles and the current favourites there is a form to subscribe to the website so that you will receive an e-mail whenever there is an update.