Although you have had three updates this month it seems an awful long time since I have given you a detailed summary of life in chez Bagnall. Let me see if I can put that right.
September has been dominated by the return to term-time routine for Éowyn and the start of full time education for Amélie. For Éowyn this means a new teacher, in Miss Bernath and a change of campus. It is also a slightly earlier start and 20 extra minutes at the end of the day. She still seems to be enjoying school but now there will be more homework. In addition to the mathletics and reading homework, she will, from next week, have a weekly spelling test. This is probably her weakness at the moment. She finds maths relatively easy (or at least the maths that she has at the moment) and her literacy is very good and is always praised for her imaginative writing, however her spelling is awful. It will be interesting to see how this improves as she receives more spelling homework.
Amélie on the other hand is no longer enjoying school. That is not exactly true. She enjoys it when she gets there and speaks fondly of it when she comes home but is getting herself upset when she is thinking about have to go to school. Indeed in a morning, and on occasion before she goes to bed, she has been crying saying that she doesn’t want to go to school, because she has no friends and it is too small. It is true that the classroom is smaller than she was used to at pre-school, but I think it is the former that is more the issue. Amélie is not backward in coming forward in introducing herself to people but most of the class have come through nursery together and so have already formed friendships that Amélie is not party to. This will take time but we have no doubt that it will happen but it is not easy to see your daughter so upset.
The school have always employed a traffic light system for behaviour. Everyone starts on green and depending on your behaviour then you can be put on blue, yellow or red depending on how badly you have behaved. This is good for making the children think about their disruptive behaviour but doesn’t reward children for good behaviour. There have always been stickers for good work (and both girls have received a number of stickers for good work so far this term) but nothing for good behaviour or sustained good work. Hence the school has introduced bronze, silver and gold for good behaviour or good work. I like this and am pleased to let you know that not only have our girls remained on green they have both been awarded bronze level so far this month.
The girls are not the only ones who have received a reward for good work. As I mentioned earlier this year, NBC (the Premier League rights holders in the United States won an Emmy in the 36th Sports Emmy Awards for Outstanding Technical Team Studio. NBC were gracious, not only to recognise the fact that my department assist them in their technological endeavours but to include me and a number of other IMG staff members on the official list of winners. I was very touched by this kind gesture and NBC had no obligation to include us in their win nevertheless it means that I am an Emmy winner and entitled to say so in perpetuity. However, just saying it isn’t enough and as an Emmy winner I am entitled to buy a statue, so I did. This has now arrived and sits with pride of place in the lounge. It also means that I have become the second person in the world to be the proud owner of an Emmy and a Blockbusters dictionary – Stephen Merchant being the other – a very elite group.
The second weekend in September sees the annual Broadcast convention at the RAI in Amsterdam. This is the chance for techie people of television to see the new gadgets that will hopefully become industry standard in the coming years. I flew in on the Friday morning and caught the flight back home on the Saturday evening and the majority of the time in between was filled with meetings. At many of the stands there were pots in which to put your business cards for draws for various company related prizes. I usually toss one in and think nothing more about it, and so it was when I threw one into the SIS draw for a Rugby World Cup official ball, signed by the England squad.
Imagine my surprise when I received a call a week later to say that my business card had been drawn and I was the proud winner of the ball, complete with plastic display case. A fine addition to the Emmy (and Blockbusters dictionary)! This completes a trio of wins for this year with the trip to Austria that I won in the raffle at the Austrian Embassy at the Eurovision Song send-off party. An impression triumvirate of prizes that I would swap in a heartbeat for things of more importance.
Since I was away from the familial bosom for an evening it seemed only right and fitting that I should return with pressies, especially since, because my flight was delayed, I had some time to kill at the airport. A trip to the toy shop and 40 euros later the girls had a ‘Fright-Mare’ each and Ezra a cuddly minion. Unfortunately my minion knowledge isn’t great so I was unable to definitively pick out his favourite (Bob) from the shop, so just randomly picked one. I need not of worried for the reaction from Ezra was priceless. I pulled the minion out the bag and his bright blue eyes lit up and he whispered in awe, ‘A minion for me?‘ took it off me and gave it a big powerful hug and took it to bed – this is highly unusual as Ezra doesn’t usually take toys to bed, unlike his sisters where there is often so many toys in their bed that they can’t stretch out. Ezra’s reaction was worth the total and indeed it doesn’t matter how much things cost when you get a reaction like that. The girls were also delighted with their Fright-Mares which took pride of place among their toys.
All their toys, however, pale into insignificance compared to the iPad. The favoured toys of the early 21 century is a constant feature in the baguettes lives. They come down downstairs in a morning to play games or watch cartoons via Youtube. We have drilled into them the importance of looking after such expensive items and they are very good with them. This is usually because of the fear of dropping them and the screen smashing, we did not realise how they can be used a weapon.
Éowyn was carrying the iPad horizontally and walking downstairs to show the others something that she had found. Ezra heard Éowyn’s excitement and came running out of the lounge. Unfortunately the height that Éowyn was carrying a horizontal iPad and the height of Ezra’s eye was equal and the corner of the iPad took a chunk out of Ezra’s cheek just under his eye. In Éowyn’s defence she was extremely upset and in Ezra’s defence his didn’t really cry despite blood pouring from the wound. You can see from the photos below that he had a significant injury and it developed into an impressive shiner. It had healed well but he still has a bit of a scar, hopefully it will fade in time, but nevertheless it will remain an impressive war-wound for future stories.
Ezra is going through a rapid growing phase. His speech is coming along extremely well and is progressing well with his potty training. He is always proud of himself when he does something on the potty and wants to show you. He was particularly proud of his first potty poo. Unfortunately he was less than impressed with Lucinda when she flushed it down the toilet. He threw a tantrum (a rare event) bemoaning the loss of his poo. How could his mother do such a thing?
He is also now refusing to have an afternoon nap on some days. When he refuse a nap it does have an effect on his behaviour as he is tired and grumpy by the end of the day. He also used to sleep in each morning. That is no longer the case and, in addition, to the occasional night visits he will wake at 0600 and want to go downstairs.
He is normally pretty good at going to bed although recently he has been taking advantage of his good relationship with his oldest sister. We will put him to bed and go downstairs. You then hear little feet across the landing and then bigger feet in the opposite direction. Ezra will have gone into Éowyn and Amélie’s room and asked Éowyn to read him a story. It is not something that we are going to stop. Éowyn enjoys reading to him and it is good practice for her, Ezra enjoys the stories when she reads them to him and we don’t have to walk up the stairs and tuck him back into bed. Everyone’s a winner!
Everyone may be a winner in that scenario but if the latest doom and gloom eschatologists are correct then there is not long left for the world! The latest line in nonsense warnings from people who really need to get out more is that tonight’s lunar eclipse, which will occur as the moon approaches perigee, will herald earthquakes and a rain of fire ushering in the apocalypse. This is, they say, because it is the last of 4 ‘blood moons’ (because during a lunar eclipse the moon appears reddish) over the last 18 months and we have had a blue moon (see below for a definition) this year. Amazing scientific reasoning!
They really should do a little research before spouting such balderdash, it is possible to have as many as 7 eclipses (a mixture of solar and lunar) in one year! Indeed this last happened in 1982 and will happen again in 2038, when 4 of them will be lunar eclipses. If you are lucky enough to still be around in 2132 there will again be 7 eclipses, 5 of which will be lunar eclipses. So 4 lunar eclipses in 18 months is nothing to concerned about. Neither is the fact that we have had a ‘blue moon’.
The definition of a ‘blue moon’ has changed over the latter part of the 20th century. The original definition of the term ‘blue moon’ came from the fact that the lunar and calendar months are different. Folklore named each of the 12 full moons in a year according to its time of year, therefore the occasional 13th full moon that came too early for its season was called a ‘blue moon’, so the rest of the moons that year retained their customary seasonal names. Thus the third moon in a four moon season was the ‘blue moon’. However, with an increasing amount of the population divorced from the farming traditions and reliance on the changing seasons it now has come to mean the second full moon in a calendar month. This is not as uncommon as one would be lead to believe, a ‘blue moon’ occurs once every 2 years 261 days (or thereabouts) yielding a frequency of 1.16699016 x 10-8 hertz.
I’ve lost you haven’t I?
Let me just say if you are awake at 01:10am tonight and you happen to have clear skies look towards the moon and it should begin to turn red as it finds itself in the Earth’s shadow. That is it, there will be no earthquakes, fire rain or horsemen of the apocalypse. However, a blue moon followed by a blood red moon mixed together would make a purple moon, so maybe, just maybe, Prince, the time travelling Maya, with his purply music has saved the Earth once again from the planet Nibiru. It makes about as much sense.
I will leave you now to have a nose at the photos below and maybe get a nap in so that you can still be awake in the early hours to witness such a beautiful astronomical event.
May I also send congratulations to Matt and Sharon who got married on Saturday, trust that you had a fantastic day and are looking forward to beginning your married life together.
Peace and love