First update of the year

2014 has begun (in the UK at least – we will not talk about the Polar Vortex in the US) as 2013 ended with storms and flooding, indeed the floodwaters have been encroaching the Staines area and the Thames is approaching the record highs of 1947 and 1894 (and let us not forget the terrible floods of 1774!). Fortunately the new Bagnall manor although not that far from the River Thames and Staines Upon Thames town centre stands on a 1000 year flood plain, which although doesn’t completely guarantee that we will never get flooded, does infer that it would have to be a pretty weather impressive event to do so, which is just as well as I have not found my wellies yet, they must be still in one of the many unopened boxes sitting in the garage.

We may have moved in to Bagnall manor in November with Christmas but with the general malaise induced by the melancholy weather (not to mention the almost perpetual precipitation) we still have a considerable number of boxes sitting in the garage waiting to be opened.  Most of the important stuff has found a new home however the bookshelves betray what lies hidden in some of those boxes.

With the New Year comes a return to routine.  I am at work (not that the Christmas break affected that routine), the girls are back to school (and thankfully their school has remained open during the ‘floods’, many of the schools have closed not due to the flooding per se but because the drains are full) while Lucinda is left at home with Ezra (at least for a couple more months until her maternity leave comes to an end).  Amélie is now entitled to 15 hours of free nursery tuition and so to take full advantage of one of the few government schemes we are entitled to, she now goes to TinyTots 3 days a week.  This means that we only have to pay for three hours of tuition a week (and her lunches) a considerable saving for us but it does mean that Amélie has had a 50% increase in attendance.  Poor little mite, although she enjoys it and it is good for her.

Ezra is growing up fast.  He spends a lot of his waking hours (and to be fair to the lad he does still like his daytime naps) either standing against whatever seems stationary, included your leg if you stand still long enough, crawling around the house or putting whatever he can find that is small enough into his mouth.  Has has also started cruising, holding onto the furniture and walking.  Although he has not yet summoned the courage to try to walk.  Indeed if you try to encourage him by holding his hands he tries to sit down, not yet interested.  Not that he needs to expend any more energy to wear himself out for he is usually good at night.  However over the last week or so he has been a little disturbed but that is due in no small part to his teeth.  He already has 9 teeth, which I think is quite a lot for 10 month old, however we think his back teeth are starting to poke through and they are causing him some pain. We are prepared though, Bonjela and Calpol the pain-fighting duo are at hand to numb the pain enough to get him to sleep.

The biggest milestone that Ezra has just achieved is the power of recognisable words. ‘Daddadaddadaddadda‘ is the main (and most important) one but he has also said ‘Yum‘.  Éowyn is convinced that he said ‘Éowyn‘ and this let Amélie to say that she heard him say ‘Amélie‘.  Poor Mommy.

As part of the new year, new house regime we have decided to mark the height of our children for prosperity.  It will be interesting to see how much they grow over the months and years.  For those of your that are unable to see the results:  Éowyn is 119.5cm (a shade under 4 feet – the height of an average 7 year old); Amélie is 103cm and Ezra is 71cm.

Anecdote of the month goes to Amélie.  I was putting the girls to bed and Amélie, tries to climb into bed wearing an eye-patch.  Thinking that this wasn’t a very good idea I said to Amélie, ‘Take that off please, you are not going to bed wearing an eye-patch.‘ (A phrase that I never thought that I would ever say). ‘But Daddy, I’m a pirate.‘  A fair reply I hear you cry.  However the danger of going to bed with a piece of elastic around her head is a stronger driver so it was time to make a new rule ‘We do not go to bed with an eye-patch in this house, whether we are a pirate or not.

Now as this is only a relatively short write up so I will leave you with this nugget of information: last weekend’s full moon was the smallest full moon for 1,000 years as the full moon occurred within 2 hours of apogee (the furthest point in the moon’s orbit).  It will keep that distinction until 2154 when a full moon will occur closer to apogee.  Unless I live to 181 I will not see this, even the Baguettes will have to break the current longevity records to see it.

I will leave you with some photos and promise that it will not be so long until I update you all with latest events in the Bagnall household.

Peace and Love


A rainy Bank Holiday May Day

So after the wettest April in recorded history the drought continues and May doesn’t seem to be much of an improvement.  Indeed with the May Bank holiday looming we are living with the threat of ground frosts killing our spring plants.  Glad the Met Office predicted it all (not!) but at least they have updated their prediction for the next few months (apparently there is a great than average uncertainity, i.e. we don’t know!).

Work is still gearing up for its busiest period for me, the conclusion to all the football seasons and the inevitable last day of the season shenanigans.  Hence the lack of exciting trips and a dearth of photos to delight you with this time, hopefully as my busiest period comes to an end I can begin to spend a little more time with the family.

Work was in the way of seeing Nanny Fran for her birthday but not so the following weekend.  So although Lucinda was working until the afternoon the house was full of travelling Bagnalls, as Nanny Fran and Auntie Liz made their way down from West Bromwich and Auntie Mary across county from Woking.  Éowyn is always exciting when Nanny Fran and her Aunties visit and this was no exception.  She even tidied her toys away before they came.  I think as soon as Amélie comprehends the notion that people can plan a visit, (i.e. grasp the idea of the future) then she, too, will get over-excited at the proposal of a visit from Nanny Fran.  With Nanny Fran retiring at the end of the year then it is quite possible that those visitis will become more frequent.

Éowyn entertained her elder relatives with Amélie as support act.  Éowyn even let Auntie Liz plait her hair, something that she will not let Mommy or Daddy do, but it is Auntie Liz!  They also cheated Nanny Fran and Auntie Liz at snakes and ladders,  you have to watch them!

Amélie is going through one of those rapid learning phases.  A couple of weeks ago it seems that her vocabulary was limited to the usual half a dozen or so words, but that is rapidly increasing and it probably will not be long before she is constructing complex sentences, ‘Mater, pray tell your opinion on Boris Johnson retaining the Mayorship of London?‘  Perhaps not that complex.  The current favourite sentence (if you can call it that) is ‘Dad, dad, dad, dad: look!‘  Which is usually followed by her taking a large bite out of what ever she is eating and making a real show of finishing her mouthful. 

She has also begun to enjoy playing with Éowyn, not that Éowyn appreciated it all the time!  Although one game that they both enjoy playing is hide and seek.  Although Amélie’s notion of hiding is to stand by the wall and close her eyes and giggle when you find her.  When it is her turn to hide, she will stand there counting up to 10 (more of a long continuous word onetwothreefourfivesixseveneightnineten than what strictly could be called counting) but with her hands over her mouth rather than over her eyes.  She then runs around giggling while trying to catch you.  She is very good at hide and seek, for an nineteen month old.

Amélie is also very good at eating her food and it is rare that she refuses food or doesn’t finish her meals – unlike her big sister at the moment.  We have been introducing her to the Alpro Soya Milk for Toddlers, mainly with her breakfast.  She doesn’t seem overkeen but neither is she rejecting it out of hand.  It is to be expected and the nutritionist has told us that even if she grows out of her Cow’s Milk Protein Intolerance the chances are that she will never be that keen on milk or dairy products.  We just have to ensure that she gets her required calcium from other foods.

Éowyn is back at pre-school and seems to be enjoying herself.  We think she is really going to miss her friends at the start of next term when many of them going up into the infant school, while she has to wait another year.  One can understand why there is a cut off date but surely a staggered start to school would be better, Éowyn is only 6 weeks younger than some of the children that will be going to infant school in September and is equally on a par in terms of development to most (if not all) of the children that will be leaving.  We fear that there will be more displays of naughty behaviour as she will be bored and not challenged, however on the other hand it might do her good for I think she is part of a little gang.  Not that we think that she is being influenced by them, indeed on the contrary it wouldn’t surprise me that she is the ringleader and at the very least there is a lot of mutual influencing.  So breaking that little clique may be a very good thing.  We shall see.

She thoroughly enjoys herself there and I asked her the other days what is her favourite thing that she does at school.  ‘Dressing up,‘ she replied.  So what do you like dressing up as then I inquired. ‘A Unicorn,‘ came the surprising reply.  Although given her name maybe not that surprising.

I will leave you now to shelter from the May cold and perhaps leave you with a timely reminder of the old English proverb: ‘Cast ne’er a clout ’til May be out.’

Peace and Love