To patch or not to patch IV – back to the orthoptist

So, now that you are up to speed with the family holiday from the end of May, it is probably time that I get you up to speed with the adventures of the Bagnalls during June, even though it is nearly August.  Life is certainly taking precedence over telling you all about it – and that is how it should me.

I will take you back to the beginning of June.  We have just arrived back from our holiday in Croatia (via Italy and Slovenia) and the Baguettes are back at school for their last stretch before the summer break, while Lucinda and I return to work. Read more


It doesn’t take long for a week off and a holiday in Turkey to fade in the memory as normality and the daily grind come back into view.  The girls returned to school the next day, while I had an extra day off before heading back to the land of Sports Television.  A land of Sports Television over a summer with none of the additional quadrennial events that tend to fill in the gaps between football seasons.  Therefore, my working pattern over the summer resembles some form of normality with free weekends to spend with the family.

Not one to miss these opportunities Lucinda has booked up our weekends for the summer so that we can make the most of them.  The first weekend off saw the family Bagnall head down the road to Windsor.  To the Legoland Windsor resort, to be specific.  Legoland is an ideal destination for the Baguettes since most of the rides and attractions are geared towards their age range.  In addition it is about 9 miles from home, so takes next to no time (depending on traffic) to get there.  It was with this in mind that we decided to use this year’s Tesco vouchers to buy an annual pass to Legoland.  This allows us to ‘pop in’ whenever we like and not feel obliged to spend a whole day with tired children so that we don’t feel like we have not got our money’s worth.

We certainly got our money’s worth on our first visit though.  We were there from just after the park opened until late afternoon.  We were limited on rides though since the Baguettes are still of an age (or height) where they require an adult on the ride with them.  When you have three children that poses some problems.  However, Legoland have this sussed a little with ‘parent swap’.  Effectively, either the parent stays on the ride and swaps children with the other parent, or alternatively the parents and the children swap to save double queueing.  It works and with Ezra still a little too young to go on some of the rides it was very handy.

There were still a number of rides that we could go on as a family however and so we took full advantage of those even if the queues were a tad long at times but that is the problem of going places at weekends when the weather is nice.

June has been quite a pleasant month, weatherwise.  The overall the temperatures have been below what one would expect for the summer month, but there has been little rain (in the South East of the UK at least).  This is both beneficial and a hindrance to the Bagnall household.  The sunshine is great, not just generally (who doesn’t like the sunshine) but also for our electricity generation.  Having bright, sunny days when the days are longest is a definite bonus, despite the ever growing threat of the pigeons that have decided to nest under our panels.

I have always thought of pigeons as rather dumb birds, which is completely undeserved, they have passed many cognitive tests, but the ones nesting on our roof have demonstrated the exception that proves the rule.  Obviously, they have demonstrated some form of intelligence by nesting under our photovoltaic cells, as it offers protection from the elements, and some warmth from the cells themselves.  Nevertheless they have not yet worked out that laying ovoid eggs on a sloping roof is not necessarily a good idea and we have found many broken on the patio and driveway.  More disgustingly that is not all that we have found splatted on our patio and driveway.  So if anyone has a hawk that they would like to exercise over our house I would be very grateful.

The flip side of bright sunny days is the lack of rain, as our water butts can testify.  I am happy for our lawn to change from green to brown however the vegetable patch is another matter.  Our vegetables will not flourish without a daily watering and so we are having to resort to water from the tap.  Even the thunderstorms of last night (110,000 lightning strikes in one night) haven’t replenished the water butts.  What I wouldn’t give for a heavy downpour (sorry to all of you who are enjoying the weather) or a couple of days of rainy weather.  I would have expected the heatwave (if you can call two hot days in row a heatwave, more a heatsplash) to have triggered more thunderstorms over chez Bagnall, apart from the night before’s mega-storm, as it is being labelled, nothing, just uncomfortable nights of sleep and the knowledge that the baguettes have seen the hottest UK day in their lives.

Since the football season has finished, Lucinda has been filling my weekends up.  The first one saw us in Turkey, on holiday so that doesn’t really count.  Then I was back at work for European Qualfiers!  I thought that the football season had ended.

The following weekend saw Lucinda’s ex flat mate, Emma, celebrate her 40th birthday.  She had reserved a room at a pub in Chiswick on the River Thames.  This is where living next door to a baby-sitter and just a short walk from Staines train station comes in handy.  A direct train from Staines to Kew Bridge and a five minute walk saw us at the pub.  a good time was had by all and return by train although requires some time discipline is far cheaper than a taxi.  I think Amélie must have missed us because at 0330 she crept into our bed, I think primarily to ensure that we hadn’t left for the weekend.

Then Lucinda took advantage of not only the fact that I was off at the weekend but also having holiday entitlement to use up and went away on Friday returning Sunday lunchtime.  Not just Sunday but Father’s day but more of that later.  I took the Friday off and took the girls to school, then it was a boys’ day for Ezra and dad.  Nothing too exciting but it was nice to spend some time with him alone.  Friday night is usually movie night but this had already been cancelled so after dinner, the Baguettes and I cuddled up on the sofa and watched Despicable Me 2.

I think the kids were aware of the lack of Mum, and although they weren’t particularly upset about it, it must have played on their minds.  For at about 0200 I felt a little presence creep into bed.  It was Ezra.  Although Ezra has been sleeping in his bed, as opposed to his cot, for many months now he hasn’t really worked out that he could get out when he wanted to.  The drive this night must have helped him realise and he found his way to Daddy.  So while I was giving him a cuddle, before preparing myself to pick him up and put him back in his own bed, in wanders Amélie.  So another child to comfort before finally getting back to sleep.

Before Lucinda had left on the Friday morning she has given Éowyn my Fathers’ day present and got her to write the card in preparation for not being there on the Sunday morning.  Therefore as I put them to bed on the Saturday night, and remembering the night before I told them that as it was Fathers’ day that daddy would appreciate a lie in and no nighttime visitors.  At 0700 É0wyn and Amélie come in with a card and presents and asked if it was too early.  How can you refuse that?

With the approaching end of the academic year and the conclusion of after school clubs it means two things.  The first is the perennial Sports Days.  Éowyn’s school has adopted the new Sports Day standard where there are no individual races as such, it is all relay based races and you are competing for your house.  Éowyn’s house won, so she was over the moon.

Amélie’s was probably even less competitive and every child received a medal – real plastic gold!  Nevertheless Amélie was very proud of her medal, and rightly so.

Éowyn’s after school drama class is coming to an end and that means only one thing – shooting has begun.  Last week Éowyn filmed the first of her scenes for the film that Sense Theatre are producing.  There will be a quick turnaround in post production as the premiere is on Sunday 12th July and there are still scenes to shoot.  Éowyn said it was a little daunting with the lights and the camera lens in view and it took her a little while to relax and deliver her lines.  For anyone that has been in front of the lens I am sure that you can relate.

I can’t wait to see the finished film.  Tickets have been bought for the premiere and the dvd has been pre-ordered.  You never know it could be the start of a promising career.

Before I leave you, this month’s funny word comes from Amélie.  Referring to her brother and sisters madly running around and came in complaining that they were acting like Lunar-pigs.  I think she meant Lunatics but Lunar-pigs or should that be Lunapigs sounds so much better!

Peace and Love


It has been a while

I am necessitous of absolution from you dear readers.  Apart from a slow start I have been updating this website with some alacrity this year but as we hit the halfway mark, nothing.  Nigh on four weeks and no news from the Bagnalls.  Now the reason for the lack of updates is nothing to do with a lack of news.  On the contrary there is perhaps a little too much news for one update.  No, the reason for the lack of updates is due more to the fact that we have been taking full advantage of the hiatus before my working life takes over family life for a month or so.  The fact that the UK is currently enjoying (or not – depending on your point of view) its first proper heatwave for 7 years also adds to the desire to enjoy the outdoors rather than sitting indoors on the computer (and if you look on our Flickr page you will see over 100 photos taken over the last three weeks or so).  So although I beg your forgiveness dear readers I make no apology for spending the time with the family!

The disadvantage of leaving four weeks between write ups is the fact that there is so much to tell you and yet I fear that I will bore you if I regale it all verbatim so this will be more a précis than usual.

On the last day of June, Staines-upon-Thames celebrated Staines-upon-Thames day.  So to show support to our local town (and because Ashford on the Map was so good) we decided to head down with the kids.  Unfortunately Staines-upon-Thames days was not a patch on Ashford on the Map and we were actually disappointed, the only highlight was a boat trip down the Thames.  It was then back home for the first of many barbecues.

With the approaching school holidays (and my approaching busy period at work) we decided to get a head of the game and spend a day at the seaside before it gets mobbed with schoolchildren.  We decided on Mudeford since we enjoyed our trip to Hengistbury Head and since we only passed through Mudeford we thought it would be nice to actually explore Mudeford for a day instead of just using it to catch the ferry.  Nanny and Granddad know Mudeford quite well and they joined us on our trip to the seaside.  The girls thoroughly enjoyed themselves, as did Lucinda and I and Nanny and Granddad.

The turn of the school year marks a big change for Éowyn.  No longer will she be at pre-school but will start full time education at Town Farm school in Stanwell.  The last few weeks saw Éowyn begin the transition and preparation for the move.  Lucinda and I had a tour and introductory chat with the staff; Éowyn spent an hour and a half at school (and although she was very teary when I left her there by all accounts she was on good form and was one of the more confident children) and then Éowyn’s teacher Miss Finbow paid her and us a visit at home.  It was something that surprised us but in a nice way.  It is good that Miss Finbow got to see Éowyn in her environment and she how she spends her time.  I think that Miss Finbow was a little overwhelmed with the greeting that she received.  The girls were both very excited to see her and Éowyn had drawn her a picture of a butterfly and wouldn’t leave her alone.  At least Miss Finbow is forewarned before she receives Éowyn in September.

Éowyn has taken the fact that she is going to ‘Big School‘ to heart.  She has stopped sucking her thumb (which is a massive achievement as she has been sucking her thumb since birth), begun taking showers and ventured in the realms of older children television programmes.  She has insisted that we teach her to read and has been practising drawing (drawings that actually look like something) and writing her letters and numbers.

Her choice of television programmes are interesting as they are the same ones that I used to enjoy when I was a child:  Tom and Jerry, Bugs Bunny and Scooby Doo.  In fact as I came home one evening I opened the door to hear one of the most delightful sounds there is.  Éowyn was giggling and Ezra was giggling too!  Éowyn was watching Tom and Jerry and thought it was one of the funniest things she had ever seen and Ezra was sitting there giggling at Éowyn giggling.  The small things in life are the best.

Ezra is also developing at a rapid pace.  He is now four months old but looks much older (he is a bit of chunk!).  He is still relatively placid only crying for a reason (hunger, nappy change, wind), however he now wants a little more entertaining.  He enjoys holding his toys and rattling the ones that make a noise.  He has also begun to roll over.  Therefore you have to be careful where you leave him and not only does he roll on to his belly and also rotates around so he can be quite far from where you left him.  As a consequence we have to be careful where we leave him unattended.  It probably will not be long before he begins to crawl – taking after Éowyn more than Amélie!

Let us not forget about Amélie, she, too, is growing up.  Unfortunately she is starting to go through the terrible twos.  Not quite as terrible as Éowyn’s terrible twos but because Amélie is so much of a cutey that the slight change in attitude is noticeable.  Again you have to look at everything in an holistic manner rather than in isolation.  Thus with unemotional attachment you can see that Amélie could be overcompensating for a perceived lack of attention with Ezra taking at lot of our time and obviously with Éowyn’s imminent change in school, Amélie could feel that she is being left out.  Obviously we are trying not to make that so but I think it will be the perennial problem facing us that there is always the possibility that one of the three will feel left out at some point.  So no doubt this will become a common, if somewhat unwanted, theme.

It probably didn’t help that I paid a flying (literally and metaphorically) visit to New York (well Stamford, Connecticut) for a meeting with one of our new clients for the Premier League, NBC.  As an important client it was an important meeting to have to ensure that we can provide the level of service that they expect.  We were only on the other side of the pond for 36 hours and the states were experiencing a heatwave every much as intense as ours.  I think that the girls (and Ezra) missed me but the little cuddly toys that I picked up at the airport more than made up for my absence!

The other big news of the last month is the fact that we have accepted an offer on our house.  It is in the region of what we wanted to accept and the couple that are buying it seem very nice and so we feel that we are handing it over to worthy custodians and at the same time not leaving the neighbours with someone that we wouldn’t want to live next door to.  We still haven’t found anywhere to buy ourselves though, so it could be that we could be homeless before the autumn (a caravan in Nanny and Granddad’s back garden could be an option!).  The only house that we have both fallen in love with is a little out of our reach but we have put an offer on the table and entered into a negotiation with our ability to move quickly the ace that we are trying to play over the higher offer that they have already accepted.  The joys of buying a house!  Let us see how that pans out.

Before I leave you to look through the photos there is just enough time for me to wish Lucinda a happy anniversary.  It has been 6 years since she said ‘I do’ and made me a very happy man.  We have squeezed a lot into the last 6 years but probably not as much as we will fit into the next 6 weeks, with a potential home move, a definite work move, Éowyn due to start school, Amélie due to start nursery and Ezra due to start crawling.  Thus, I am sure you can appreciate that the next few months are going to be somewhat busy so I apologise in advance for any perceived lack of news and any tardiness in relating it to you all via this medium but there are only so many hours in a day!

Peace and love


PS This must be the only website written on the 22nd July 2013 that hasn’t mentioned the birth of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s son, our future monarch.  Damn!