You wait seven weeks and then there are two updates in a week. Yes the football seasons are well underway and work has already started to slip into a pattern. It is nice to know that the hard work put in over the summer have borne fruit quite quickly and workflows and procedures seem to be working. There is one more hurdle to jump, one more client to incorporate into the system and then hopefully I can ease off the weekends and start to see the family more. Don’t hold your breath!
This update however takes us back to before I lost my weekends to the behemoth that is IMG. Lucinda’s friend Lisca decided to celebrate her birthday inviting a select group of friends for a spa weekend. So Lucinda took advantage and headed off to the country while I stayed at home with the kids. I was looking forward to spending time with the kids but it appeared that my body decided to rebel and use the opportunity to lower its guard and let the infection that it was fighting have the upper hand for the weekend. So, probably before Lucinda had even checked in, I was running a temperature of nigh on 40˚C while every muscle ached.
The kids were playing nicely together so I lay on the settee to try and regain some strength. Éowyn saw that I was ill and asked if she could put on a DVD and curl up on the settee with me. So, she chose a film (Brave) put it in the player, handed me the remote controls and curled up on the settee with me. Amélie, wondering where Éowyn was came into the lounge and curled up on the settee too. Then the Bagnall sandwich was complete with Ezra squeezing himself in the group hug. There we stayed watching Brave (the first time for me!) the four of us curled up on the settee. It was delightful.
The following day we had arranged to go to the cinema with the cousins. Ezra was duly packed off to Nanny and Granddad’s and Éowyn, Amélie and I went to watch Muppets Most Wanted. The girls are a big fan of The Muppets (indeed Éowyn’s first trip to the cinema was to see The Muppets) and know all the songs from the first film, so it was an easy choice. Neither of the girls were as captivated as they were with the first film (and in fairness neither was I, and I’m a big Muppets fan) however Éowyn has begun to do a very good Russian accent, in the style of Constantine (the world’s most evil frog).
A fortnight later was our 7th Wedding Anniversary and how did we celebrate this momentous occasion? Lucinda was working, then we had friends round for a barbeque before I, and two friends, went to the cinema to watch the simulcast of the last night of the Monty Python Live (Mostly) stage show. It is a good job that I have an understanding Wife, and perhaps, in part it is why we got married. The show was the first time in 30 years that all the (living) Pythons were together on stage and they kept us all happy by performing all the favourites, with a bit of new material thrown in for good measure.
The favour was returned a couple of weeks later with Daddy spending a Friday night in while Lucinda and Lisca once again went out on the town for a kid-free night. We had told the girls that Lisca was going to stay the night and would be in the spare room and so not to go in there in the morning. This is the room that Éowyn and Raine spent the night when Raine came for a sleep over. Something must have clicked in Amélie’s head and equated Lisca’s stay with a sleep over. Now as Éowyn had the chance to sleep in the spare room with her friend, the cogs started turning in her head and Amélie decided that this was her opportunity. As I put the girls to bed, Éowyn duly climbing into the top bunk while Amélie disappeared; I found her snuggling into the spare bed. I asked her what she was doing. ‘I’m going to have a sleepover with Lisca,’ was her reply. I don’t think that Lisca would have been very pleased to have come home after a few fizzy drinks to have found Amélie starfishing in her bed.
July also saw the harvest of the first of our crops (16 potatoes from the first plant!). Indeed for the past month we have kept ourselves in potatoes and beans. I have always thought about the idea of having a veg patch and so this year was firstly an experiment to seeing if we were any good at growing food and whether we could dedicate the time and effort into looking after the plot. Secondly, it was to introduce the girls to where food comes from and by encouraging them to be involved in the growing process to get them to eat more veg. Any produce was therefore a bonus. Nevertheless we have been fortunate and have had a bountiful harvest of potatoes and beans. It is surprising how much better vegetables grown by your own fair hand, taste; indeed our potatoes are full of flavour. The girls get quite excited when I go to the veg patch to dig up some potatoes and insist on coming with me armed with a bag. I think the girls enjoy it because of the unknown. When you stick your fork in and lift the plant up, you never know how many potatoes you are going to get or how big they are. It is like a poor man’s Christmas day.
It is the gift that keeps on giving; we still have beans and potatoes to harvest and now the tomatoes are beginning to ripen. We thought that our three raspberry bushes were not going to fruit this year, however it looks like we might get a late harvest, which I am quite excited about. Unfortunately we have had a bit of a disaster with the sole remaining pumpkin plant. The leaves developed a white growth and within a couple of days all the leaves had died before we had a chance to try and cure the infection. The vine itself still seems to be alive and the pumpkin is ripening so we may be lucky, we will have to wait and see.
The pumpkin probably suffered due to the heavy rain that we have recently had. Indeed Bank Holiday Monday saw a month of rain only a couple days after the lowest August temperature recorded in the UK (a shade above -2°C in Northern Ireland) and the news that a glacier has begun to form in Scotland (despite this article from 7 months previous stating that they will not return in our lifetime). So we many feel that we are hurtling in Autumn, and the return to school but it wasn’t like that at the beginning of the month.
Indeed we were more worried about sun cream than wellies when we spend the day at Bushy Park. We headed there with our N.C.T. gang and enjoyed a traditional day at the park, playing football, frisbee and soft ball all based around a picnic. The day was made more exciting by an invasion of the Bushy Park resident deer. First it was the Red Deer that actually kept a discreet distance but not so their smaller relatives. We sat amazed on the picnic blanket as a couple of fallow deer wandered over and unafraid stuck their noses into our bags to see if there was anything of interest. I had to stand up and usher them away, only for them to head to an unoccupied picnic blanket and helped themselves to the food that had left behind. (See our Flickr pages for photos). So if any of you decide to take a trip to London’s second largest Royal park watch out for cervine thieves, it was definitely a first for the Bagnalls.
Another first for the Bagnall was Amélie’s first visit to the haridressers. Amélie’s hair has never grown as quickly Éowyn’s but has recently become a little wild, so we thought it was time for her to go for a haircut. Lucinda took both girls to our local hairdressers in Stanwell Moor. Éowyn has been before and only needed a trim of her blond locks. Amélie, however, needed a bit more work and we were a little worried how she would react. She nearly fell asleep when she had her hair washed and was as good as gold while they cut her hair until she saw it on the floor. Then she started to cry and asked them to put it back on. The hairdresser was very good with her and said that they collect all the hair and put it in a magic box. Then we you are older and you would like it back you can take it home. This seemed to placate her and then said that she wanted to get rid of her curls as she didn’t want her curls any more. So the hairdresser straightened her hair. Fortunately, the curls have fought back but not before Lucinda took some photos of her without curls. She looks very different I am sure that you agree, and probably not as cute.
Before I leave you to enjoy the photos let me regale one small amusing anecdote. Éowyn may suffer, like her father, from an inability to carry a tune she nevertheless, like her father, enjoys to sing. However her choice of songs seems to be far too influenced by Disney films and her mother’s CD collection. One of the songs that she likes is 22 by Taylor Swift. However, she hasn’t quite nailed the lyrics. For those of you not familiar with the song, it opens with the line ‘It feels like a perfect night to dress up like hipsters.’ In fairness to our oldest child, she is only five that therefore doesn’t know what a hipster is never mind what they dress like, so Éowyn fills in the unknown word with a more familiar one singing ‘It feels like a perfect night to dress up like hamsters’. A somewhat different fancy dress shop but would probably work better visually.
A big welcome to the latest member of the greater Badger clan: Letty Louise Woodman the first child for Lucinda’s cousin Kate and her partner Nolan was born on the 17th August 2104. Interestingly another girl, the 11th of her generation (compared to only 2 boys), there must be something in the water. She looks a real cutey from the photos and we can’t wait to meet her!
Peace and Love