So as we sit Janus-like at the start of his month I will take the opportunity to review 2012 and attempt a prediction of what is to happen over the next 12 months.
So firstly what did we learn in 2012, the year that the Olympics came to London and Britain became really good at sport (except Football)? The World didn’t end; we didn’t fall over a fiscal cliff and the best way of guaranteeing the wettest year on record is to issue a hose-pipe ban in March. From a Bagnall-centric point of view we discovered the joys of all-inclusive holidays and the holiday island of Tenerife. Éowyn had been asking to go on a ‘plane again throughout 2011 and Amélie had not had the joy. We, obviously wanted a family holiday that was easy and would be rain-free and therefore would be relaxing for us too and so we opted for all-inclusive (eliminates the worry of finding child-friendly meals). Tenerife seemed to be a good bet for weather and had the attaction of Loro Parque as well as being the third largest volcano in the world. Both girls were extremely well-behaved throughout the holiday and thoroughly enjoyed the ‘plane ride, the food and the pools. Éowyn discovered her burgeoning love of photography (behind the lens, she has fallen out of love with being the object of the photo) and the horrors of a camel ride while Amélie was content to take the experience in her stride.
Éowyn also discovered the joys of the cinema. She has been a film fan for a long time but going to the cinema is very different, especially when you are three years old. Her first film was The Muppets and she thoroughly enjoyed it, so I bought the soundtrack (on CD – I am still 20th Century when it comes to music) and it hasn’t been out of my car stereo since. Both of the girls request the album before I am even in the car and they know all the words to all the songs. The film therefore had to be bought (on Blu-Ray) and has been watched a number of times. It is a good job that I am a big Muppets fan and I think that it is something that the youth of today have definitely missed out on and I can not wait for the sequel.
The biggest lesson from 2012 however was all about the preciousness and fragility of life. The beginning of the year saw the passing of a number of friends and family members and without wishing to put one life over another possibly the most significant to me were my Dad’s brother, my Uncle Roy and my Nan’s brother, my Great Uncle Albert. And although we are sad at their passing the circle of life continues and in June we were delighted to find out that Lucinda had fallen pregnant for the third time. However our joy was somewhat tempered by the blood results at the 12 week scan, which indicated a high risk of chromosomal abnormalities. Both being of the mind that we needed to know we opted for Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS) to know for certain. Fortune looked upon us and the results came back that we were expecting a healthy baby boy. Both of us feel that this now makes our little family complete.
Then in early October a second reminder was sent our way with Lucinda suffering from Appendicitis. She has put the initial pains down to pregnancy twinges but as the day continued the pain got worse. A trip to A&E confirmed the worse and Lucinda was rushed into theatre for an appendectomy. It was a close thing with the swollen appendix about to burst (it was already weeping) but she is now fully recovered (apart from a small scar) and it is but a memory and we will not dwell on the statistics regarding pregnant women, unborn children and burst appendicies.
And to end the year Nanny Fran has retired; therefore it is our mission to keep her as busy as possible and with 3 grandchildren she will not have time to put her feet up. As both Lucinda and I came from three child families and so for us it seems quite natural to have three children. However in the modern world that doesn’t seem to be the norm. Indeed, holidays, family tickets and even cars do not seem to have been created with three children in mind. The biggest of those problems is the fact that modern cars have not been made wide enough to fit three car seats across. When we were growing up that wasn’t a problem as there were no car seats. Indeed there were no rear seat belts! However the modern age dictates that a child should be in a child’s car seat (which it right and proper) however to fit three car seats into a car one has to opt for the seven seater, the MPV. At least should we opt for the Ford S-Max (which is our current favourite) then we can take Nanny Fran with us on our excursions!
It seems a bit of a moot question to inquire as to what we are looking forward to in 2013. A new car, a new house (if we can possibly find what we are looking for in our price range) or a change in work premises (yes, after 10 years in the current building we are moving from the surburban idyll that is Chiswick to the leafy business park that is Stockley Park)?
Obviously these are all totally eclipsed by the fact that we are expecting our third child and it is to be a son. With two kids already under our belt we are not entirely newbies to this parenting business but they have been girls. By all accounts the leap from two to three is not as big as either the jump from one to two or indeed zero to one but as Éowyn and Amélie have taught us, no two children are the same. Indeed Éowyn and Amélie are like chalk and cheese in some respects. So where will the latest edition sit? Or will he take the Bagnall children into a third direction. Whatever, as long as the little one is healthy, it will be a fun journey and give me even more reason to update you all via this medium (and, more likely, yet another reason why I will not have time to) and to fill the servers of this corner of the internet with more photos of the growing family.
It will also be a momentous year for our other children. Not only will they have to cope with another child vying for their parents’ (and grandparents’) attention and eventually playing with their toys and upsetting their games but they will have to move in together so that their little brother can have his own room. At the moment Éowyn and Amélie have separate bedrooms but as we live in a three bedroom house the sisters will have to move in together. Eventually they will be in the bunk beds that we have bought but until Amélie is a little older we will just move their current beds into the same room. Therefore there will be a whole learning curve of compromise that they will have to go through.
In addition, Éowyn will be going to school. Not pre-school, but actual full time education. We are obviously anxious that we have chosen the right school and that she will enjoy it. She will be going from being one of the oldest (and tallest) at her pre-school to being much further down the pecking order in a much bigger environment. Although she can be a little on the shy side I am sure that she will take it in her stride. Hopefully the fact that she will be in a more structured learning environment will be good for her.
When we know what school Éowyn has been accepted for, then it will determine which pre-school we will send Amélie to. We have delayed sending Amélie to pre-school only because we don’t want to end up causing ourselves issues with the girls being at completely different sites across the Staines-Upon-Thames (!) area. Hopefully it will not be long until we know the answer.
With a new baby, probably a new car, a new work environment and maybe a new house it is already gearing up to be a busy year. A year that will see visits from two bright comets. The first, Panstarrs will grace the skies around my birthday (and possibly my son’s birth) and the second will perhaps be the brightest comet of our generation, if not the century. Comet Ison is heading our way and should be visible to the naked eye for the last few months of 2013 and at its peak should be brighter than a full moon.
So as portents adorn the heavens and Lucinda and I complete 4 decades on this planet – don’t tell anyone – (I don’t think those two events are related) I leave you a little bit of trivia with which you can impress your friends. 2013 is the first year since 1987 where all four digits are different from each other. Do with that what you will.
And finally I hope that 2013 brings you love and wisdom; the strength to follow your dreams and to learn from your mistakes and the wonder of a child to appreciate the beauty of this World.
Peace and Love
PS: The photo below was taken on our Christmas trip to Chessington World of Adventures, at the Sealife Centre there, it was Yuletide so excuse the reindeer antlers!