After an early hat-trick of updates at the beginning of November this site has been a little quiet. Three weeks into our new home I thought it was perhaps times to rectify this and give you a little insight to the life of the Bagnalls in the new Bagnall manor.
November was always going to be a busy month. A wave of productions were due to relocate from Chiswick to our company’s new base at Stockley Park and a number of these involved Live Operations (and hence me and my team) including the Football League Show. Therefore if there was one month I didn’t want to move home it was November. Unfortunately fate conspired against me and so a busy month at work coincided with the move. With no opportunity to take leave, the relocation of the family was done on days off and hence we are still mainly in boxes.
Although I, personally, have not had much time to settle into the new abode it does feel like home. Again that is despite the fact that we still have dozens of unpacked boxes and the heating isn’t working. Yes, the biggest problem that we have faced is the fact that the temperature has dropped close to freezing point over night and the heating has serious issues. We have had heating engineers around who both have confirmed that the system is full of gunk and thus the hot water is not filling the radiators. The good news is that the boiler works as does the pump, however that hot water is not reaching the radiators and thus downstairs, especially, is barely warmer than outside. Unfortunately due the design of the hot water system it is not the easiest of systems to service and that design is part of the issue, there are lots of turns and u-bends where gunk can gather. Fortunately phase one has begun and now the radiators take the chill out of the room (I wouldn’t say it is tropical but at least it is a step in the right direction) and hopefully the chemicals in the system carry on dissolving the gunk and allow the hot water to do its job.
Apart from the heating, we are as much in love with the house now as when we first looked round it. There are only a couple of minor annoyances that we hadn’t noticed when we looked round: a) the kitchen light switch is located behind the door, so as you walk into the room, you have to then close the door before you can switch the light on. Why do people do that? It is so annoying, surely when you are designing a room you automatically place the light switch on the opposite wall to the door hinge so that you can open the door with one hand while simultaneously turning the light on with the other and b) the hot water tap in the downstairs shower room (hark at us – downstairs shower room!) opens clockwise and closes counterclockwise which is the opposite direction to every other tap in the house including the cold water tape on the same sink. These are minor annoyances and the kitchen light switch will be changed when we manage to scrap enough spare cash together to redesign the kitchen.
The girls have settled in well too. They do not notice the cold (something that we have to watch for as they wander downstairs with no dressing gown or slippers on). They do not seem even to miss the old house, which is nice. They have settled in quite quickly and both are happy to use the extra space that the house offers to run around and play hide and seek. Their playroom is coming together and now we have just got to encourage them that their toys live in there (or in their bedroom) and are to be put away each night in the new boxes we have bought them. Let’s see how that goes.
So while I have been busy at work, the girls have been busy at school. Éowyn, especially has been excelling at school, she has begun to read and write and is brilliant at breaking words into their letter and then blending the sounds together. It is great to sit with her and see how excited she is when she reads a sentence. It is quite exciting for her parents too! She also has a line in the Christmas play, but more of that in the December write up. Needless to say there is plenty of practising She knows it off by heart and now we are working on projection. Éowyn wants to take it one stage further though and has started making up some actions to help emphasise the words, building her part up! We have a little diva. There is no truth in the rumours that her rider includes 23 orange smarties and a bunch of daffodils.
Although it has been a busy month at work, there was one ‘dark weekend’ and my friend and colleague cleverly chose that weekend to get married. John and Sara have lots of friends that have small children so their wedding was organised with children in mind and as a consequence my invite also included an invite for Éowyn, Amélie and Ezra.
John and Sara were married at St John’s the Evangelist in Blackheath and therefore the shortest (it turned out not to be the quickest route) was to drive through the centre of London. It was a great opportunity to point out the Natural History Museum, Buckingham Place, The Houses of Parliament and the Tower of London. There were colouring books and pencils to keep the children entertained during the ceremony and afterwards there was cake and bubbles. Then it was on to the reception at Devonport Hotel at Greenwich. This is where the beauty of the S-Max comes into its own. One of my colleagues, Matt, was going to have difficulty getting from one venue to the other, so with our seven-seater beast we could offer him a lift.
Now, Éowyn and Amélie have started to make up their own language and phrases. Bongo, bongo Stylee is one of them (it means something that is very good), others are more nonsensical. One day going to school they were talking to each other in one of these made up languages so I started to join in and they thought it was one of the funniest things that they had ever heard. So now they will ask me to talk in my made-up language.
So on the way to reception the girls requested that I spoke my made up language. So I strung together a line of vowels and consonants into an amusing set of words and they started laughing. Matt thought that he would join in and copied what I had done. Amélie, however turned to him and said, ‘Matt, you’re not even funny!‘ Put into your place by a three year old, how we laughed!
Ezra, too can be amusing and seems to be a ladies man. He is forever trying to catch the eye of the ladies and with his blue eyes and cheeky smile he tends to melt their hearts. Sometimes he is not content with just a smile though. In a restaurant a week or so ago, he had caught the eye of a couple of ladies and they were cooing over him. However they turned away from him and begun talking to each other, Ezra was not happy. He started calling out to them, getting more and more agitated. When they turned to see what he was doing, he immediately stopped shouting and just looked at them and gave them a big blue-eyed smile! He is going to break hearts if he continues like that! His latest smile is even cuter as he screws his eyes up as he grins. I will try and get a photo.
Unfortunately we have all been fighting a winter cold. Éowyn was the first to succumb, although we were not convinced at first. The Bagnalls are the kind of family that do not stop for a mere cold, so when Éowyn had a bit of a cough we gave her some cough syrup, wrapped her up warm and sent her to school. We were surprised when Lucinda received a call on a Tuesday afternoon to say that Éowyn had vomited and would we collect her. Lucinda asked her why she had vomited and Éowyn told a different story, namely that she had accompanied one of her friends to the toilet and (I quote Éowyn directly) ‘She did a smelly poo and it make me sick.‘ Therefore thinking that there was nothing in it, we sent her to school the next day. School must have thought that we were bad parents and immediately called Lucinda to collect her again, saying that when a pupil had vomited they needed to be off school for 24 hours.
Thursday morning came and we sent her to school. Her cough had got a little worse but nothing too much to worry about. However at lunch Éowyn had a coughing fit while eating and once again vomited. So the bad parents were called back and they requested that Éowyn stay at home the next day. Thus Éowyn will not receive a 100% attendance certificate for the next half term.
So as we settle into our new home we haven’t had many visitors (we are still in boxes and it is a little cold) but the first of my friends to visit has one of the longest journeys. Sanjiv, was over in England for a couple of weeks from his home in New Delhi (India for those of you with an F in geography) and we managed to meet up (for the first time in ages) and he came round to look at our new home and also to meet the family. Éowyn was a baby the last time he met them, now we have Amélie and Ezra – how scary is that? It was good to see him and it illustrates how we let life get in the way of living, years seem to pass so quickly and before you know it, friends’ children are going to university. Surely I am not that old? Although I have just ‘celebrated’ 18 years at IMG. I can now employ people that were not born when I started at IMG in November 1995!
With those thoughts I will leave you and see you in December!
Peace and Love
PS Apologies for the lack of decent photos, have been a little busy, I will try harder for the next update.