Has Spring, sprung?

It seems that we go from one extreme to another with our weather.  After a week of freezing temperatures and snow across the land, we now have unseasonably warm weather with the mercury touching 17°C (19°C in some places!) and the news that the south east of England is in drought conditions due to lack of rainfall.  Not bad for February!

Éowyn’s behaviour has improved immensely.  Obviously it has been half-term and so we have been able to spend time with her, without her feeling that she is being dumped from one place to another.  Now she is back at school and we return to the old routine we need to be conscious of not letting the impetus and her behaviour slip.  So far, she has been very well behaved and is receiving copious amounts of encouragement from Mommy and Daddy for this, which she is responding to in the manner we would like.

Last weekend (the end of the half term break) we travelled up the M40 to West Bromwich and Nanny Fran (and Auntie Liz of course). We arrived Saturday morning, dropped the girls off with auntie Liz and headed to Great Uncle Albert’s house to help get it ready for an estate agent viewing.  As you may recall Uncle Albert passed away at the end of January and now there is the difficult task of sorting out his estate, which includes selling his house. Myself and Lucinda joined Nanny Fran, her cousin Ray and Uncle Albert’s friend Yvonne to try and sort the house out.  His house had been broken into during the week but it was difficult for us to determine what had been taken as we did not (obviously) have an inventory. It is quite upsetting to think that some burglar had been in Uncle Albert and Auntie Iris’s house and gone through their things.  We found it very difficult looking through someone’s personal effects but nevertheless fascinating at the same time, especially looking through the effects of someone who has lived for so long and through many interesting times.  One of the most interesting things that we found was an old newspaper (The Birmingham Mail) that was lining one of his drawers.  It was from Friday 28th March 1958 and there was an article bemoaning the fact that televising football matches was having a detrimental effect on attendances.  Specifically, the F.A. Cup semi-final replay at Highbury (it doesn’t mention the teams but I believe it to be Manchester United (who won the game 5-3 but lost to Bolton Wanderers in the Final 2-0) v Fulham and was actually played on the 26th March 1958) where there were only 38,000 supporters in a ground that could hold 68,000.  It is only a small article but it mentions the fact that the grounds are poorly constructed without a thought for the fans so a ‘lukewarm soccer supporter‘ will stay at home if he has a TV set and the clubs will miss his two shillings!  The article concludes that ‘Big games belong to the nation and television is a link.  It must not become the game’s ball and chain.‘ So the arguments between television rights and the fan that turns up every week to watch his (or her) team haven’t changed that much in 54 years!

Éowyn and Amélie were very well behaved for their Auntie Liz and were extremely excited to see their Nanny Fran when we returned from Great Barr.  They both like to see their Nanny Fran (and Auntie Liz) and enjoy playing with the toys that Nanny Fran has at her house (some of which were mine!).  Nanny Fran looked after Amélie over night so Lucinda and I got a little bit of a easier night, although someone should have told Éowyn!

We returned back to Middlesex Sunday afternoon (so it really was a flying visit) so that Éowyn could have an early night ready for her return to pre-school after the half term break.  And so Monday morning Éowyn returned to the routine of schooling.  I was  off work and so Lucinda, Amélie and I headed to Kingston-Upon-Thames for some shopping.  Amélie needed new shoes and I needed a new suit for a black tie event (but more of that later) as my old suit is far too big for me as I now weigh 4 stone (56 pounds for Americans or 25.5kgs for everyone else) less than I did the last time I had to wear that suit.  One successful shopping trip later we returned home with everything we had gone for and the cherry on the cake was the fact that Éowyn received glowing praise from her pre-school teachers.

As I mentioned in the last write up, Éowyn has stopped wearing nappies to bed.  This has been on the whole a great success however, whether it was worries about going to pre-school or just because she was going to bed very tired but she had accidents two nights running.  We have been lulled into a false sense of security and believed that she would just go from the safety of nappies to not wearing nappies in a heartbeat.  Obviously it is never that easy and she has done remarkably well but now we need to help her.  So, when Lucinda and I go to bed which is usually a couple or three hours after Éowyn we have taken to waking her and leading her to the potty and trying to get her to have a wee so hopefully she will then last through the night or just get into the habit of getting out of bed when she recognises the need.

Wednesday, Lucinda was working so before I headed to Chiswick and work I did the usual double drop off of Amélie to Jo’s and Éowyn to pre-school.  I also had to make sure that I had my new suit, dress shirt and dickie bow.  For IMG mediahouse were sponsoring a table at the RTS Television Journalism Awards which was held at the Hilton in Park Lane.  It was my first award ceremony and although thoroughly exciting it was also very humbling to be there.  We work in television but it puts our work into sharp perspective when you hear the stories of the embedded and uncover journalists that risk their lives daily to bring the truth to our television schedules.  Indeed the evening was somewhat overshadowed by the death of Marie Colvin an American journalist working for the Sunday Times in Syria.  Indeed the list of the those journalists that had lost their lives in the line of duty this past year was sobering as were the stories that the won many of the journalists their awards.  Sports television doesn’t seem half as important any more.

I returned home at 0100 but unfortunately didn’t manage to get the 5 hours of sleep I was hoping for.  Lucinda had called me in the afternoon to say that Amélie had been sick at Jo’s and so to prevent the spread of any possible virus that she may have she would have to be dropped at Nanny and Granddad’s, although Éowyn would still need to be dropped off at Jo’s.  Amélie’s sickness continued through the night and the next morning, and indeed throughout Friday.  Unfortunately because we have begun to test her milk protein intolerance we are unsure whether the sickness was due to a reaction to milk protein or whether it was indeed a virus.  So once she has fought this sickness we will have to go back a step on testing her milk protein intolerance and see if it happens again, that will prove whether it was the milk protein intolerance or just a virus.  However, the poor girl has been suffering, which is never good to see and it has affected her sleeping which therefore means that neither Lucinda or I got much sleep either.  But she has come out of the other side of it now and just needs to regain her strength.

Therefore, if you will excuse me I will take advantage of a day off and try and put some sleep back into the sleep bank but before I go I am afraid that I have some more bad news.  The sister of one of my Mom’s friends and my eldest sister’s god mother passed away on 20th February.  Auntie Anne (as we called her) ran a B&B in St Ives, Cornwall for many years a place that we spent a number of holidays when we were children.  She leaves her sister, Teresa and our thoughts are with her.

Peace and love