Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Monday, December 25, 2006
Highlights for Elspeth are the step on electronic playmat keyboard, not quite the proportions of the one in "Big" [ok I'm showing my age, but didn't you always want a go on the huge keyboard, and to own one if you could?] but as versatile, and it even plays if you crawl down it like a caterpillar. Thank goodness that has a volume switch! And a brilliant book with material, you dress the girl by placing the material over the shape of a girl and then put the facing page down to hold the material in place. Elspeth has quite a flair for design, we may yet see gold Christmas wrapping paper dresses making their mark in the fashion arena.
Jemima too liked her gifts, particular favourites being the soft ball with a bell in the middle and the [poorly untoy titled] "development cube", as well as a funky mobile phone. The toy "not to release", would appear to be a humble wind up frog which kicks his legs and is intended for bath use but seems to appear at the dining table frequently.
As for Sarah and me, well we've got a mountain of grub to eat, booze to drink and films to watch... we've still got the running machine - I know I need to use it but there is no room for it I'll have to content myself with Gym membership... I am not one for resolutions but I must use the gym more often.
Saturday, December 23, 2006
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
It is the time of year when normally sane rational people go absolutely stark raving mad... Christmas! Not the stark raving shopping lust that fuels the horrendous financial messes that a large number of people get themselves into every year by trying to ingratiate themselves with family members or heal long standing rifts by buying the most obscenely expensive tat or faddy item which will be discarded within 6 months, and then spending the next 11 months paying for it when the credit card bill plops onto the floor through the letter box, but the madness that seems to be escalating to ozone depleting and arctic ice cap melting proportions that is the Christmas [Seasonal - for the PC out there] lights "sensation".
Sod the fact that the ice cap is melting, fuel prices are rising and the ozone is [probably] still depleting [not that people seem to give a stuff anymore now that they have factor 50 sun cream]!! Lets face it, they look CHEAP and NASTY!! In the same way that stone cladding will knock 10% off the value of your house "the lights" can bring the largest house down to the same tacky level.... Stop it I say!!
Elspeth of course, thinks they're wonderful. But might I remind everyone SHE IS ONLY 3 1/2!! Everything is wonderful at 3 1/2...
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
I saw stairgate and daughter careering down the stairs.
My heart raced as I ran the four steps to the top of the stairs to see Elspeth face down about six steps from the foot of the stair. Dashed down the stairs, to grab her, met almost simultaneously by Sarah as Elsepth wailed...
On hearing Elspeth [and being seemingly suddenly abandoned by her mother, Jemima joined in the crying]. Miraculously Elspeth was a little shaken and briefly shocked, but escaped without a scratch!
It appears the dodgy looking stair gate was entirely so and when Elspeth leaned too firmly against it... the rest is above.
Saturday, November 25, 2006
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Monday, November 06, 2006
It seems as if we now have a seal rather than a younger daughter, her "crawl" has evolved into a drag, largely gone is the stage where she teeters on her knees before throwing herself forward onto her stomach with careless abandon [often ejecting part of the meal/liquid she's just consumed on impact], and the new means of motion is "the drag". For the most part rejecting the use of her legs she places her hands on the ground and drags herself along, even better if there's something to grip onto and pull herself up against.
Most things need to be nailed to the floor or put about 6 inches off the ground out of her reach. I was too late to save the poor speaker and returned home to find it limply laying on it's side - Sarah decided after the 5th or 6th time to just leave it lying forlorny on the ground rather than right it.
Sarah had done some ironing and the ironing board was rescued, rather Jemima was rescued from having the ironing board come crashing down on her head.
She'll have forearms and shoulders like a rugby player if this carries on.
If you've seen any war movie you can probably picture the style of motion...
Monday, October 30, 2006
Elspeth woke, without the benefit of an alarm at what she thought was her normal hour - 6.30, but it was 5.30... singing for a while she eventually shouted "is it time to get up yet".... soon there were 4 in the bed -it's a king size, but really it's not THAT big.
Elspeth was full of beans and doing small jumps on our bed near the headboard, I asked her as politely as you can at nearly 7 o'clock on a Sunday morning to stop, in stepping away from the headboard she planted her size 9's and all her weight squarely where stars shot across my eyes. Doubled in pain I heard a little voice exclaim "that was a surprise"... too right it was a surprise!
Friday, October 27, 2006
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Monday, October 02, 2006
It helped that we are similar ages and both experience the "joys of pregnancy" and the arrival of our respective first born children within a matter of weeks, I have fond memories of being sat outside at dusk on a sultry Summer evening, cigar in hand, enjoying the peace and tranquillity and the novel experience of a Romeo and Julietta... half of which is still in the tube in my sock drawer.
I know that we'll see them again and we'll trade mails and maybe phone calls, but in a world that is made so small by technology, nothing can really ever replace an evening sat around a table sharing a meal or a drink. I look forward to raising a glass or two in the Southern Hemisphere next we meet.
Taking a leaf from the Adlards, Sarah and I are exploring the possibility of working overseas before we're too old and decrepit to enjoy ourselves... we'll take the children of course.
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Well, the time has come for the Adlards to leave these shores and return whence they came [albeit with a couple of extra Adlards and a lot more stuff], we said our farewells as they pack for the return to SA next Tuesday... Sophie, Josie and Elspeth enjoyed themselves. The car sunroof pic is the only way James and I could think of keeping an eye on the two older girls as we loaded up with things for the charity shop drop...
Thursday, September 21, 2006
Sunday, September 10, 2006
Monday, September 04, 2006
Following on from the chair story.... the old chairs from the well known national retailer initials "FV" which appear to disintegrate the moment they are 4 years old... well when we went to see the Adlards in August they kindly donated their old chairs, which with some Dylon, now have a new lease of life...
Saturday, September 02, 2006
not a crawl, more like the butterfly on land without the arms - head down and push with the feet. At some rate, Jemima can do the length of the cot in about a minute... I dread the speed when she has the strength in her arms to propel herself and maintain some rudimentary direction.
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Whilst the rain pours it's tempting dwell in the shadow of the clouds... today the weather was foul after a glorious bank holiday, but as I arrived at work I spied a double rainbow, the second was so feint it didn't show on the picture.... perked me up before the dark destructive job of destroying Claimant ideals of spending their compensation on a new kitchen or car....
Friday, August 11, 2006
Over the weekend 5-6 of August we had a weekend to celebrate the ten years we've been married... so much has happened in that time: some great memories and the arrival of out two beautiful girls. We spent the weekend in St Albans and had a day in the ol' smoke on Saturday, packing the miles in... St Pauls, Tate Modern [via the millenium bridge] and the South Bank to the London Eye and the London Aquarium...
Sunday was a day to relax in St Albans with James, Michelle, Josie and Sophie, they are planning a return to South Africa - boy they'll be missed. We returned on Sunday with the collapsed dining chairs that they'd offered us to replace the rather weak chairs purchased from a certain large retail concern with the initials FV, which appear to have a built in timer so that they disintegrate after 5 years use... the thing is there were only 2 of us using the chairs for the most part and now they are all falling apart, so it's hardly excessive use... the usual 2 hour journey took about 5 thanks to the rubber neckers on the M1.
Monday, July 24, 2006
Friday, July 07, 2006
Well we had a week in Wrentham near Southwold in Suffolk, a cottage with enough room to swing a very large cat and then some more room. Nana came along for the week and on the first weekend we were joined by Liz and Derek and Auntie Dawn and Ade, and there was still plenty of room for the cat. In the garden there was a "cabin" which was basically a large wooden triple garage which had been converted into a huge play area complete with train set, music centre , tv, video and x box. A very spacious retreat.
Southwold beach was a favourite, the sand, the beach huts, Warbleswick was deserted and had Elspeth not run a mile when she saw a crab in her shoe I'm sure we could have "crabbed".... I do need a bigger spade if I'm expected to make sand boats though.
Framlingham Castle on Thursday was a great day out, there was no holding Elspeth back as she scaled the steep steps and walked the walls, decending first with Sarah and then repeating the whole 100 and something steps to the top with me.
Colchester Zoo and a weekend with Ade and Dawn at Ade's parents to follow...
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Monday, June 26, 2006
Sunday, June 25, 2006
Sunday, June 18, 2006
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Sunday morning was weird, we'd packed so much into Saturday I woke feeling that it was Monday... Church on Sunday was with the Salvation Army in Doncaster, not sure about the uniforms, God was there and we were in fellowship. After church we went to the Peaks, Ladybower reservoir for a pic nic and a walk, then to Castleton for a not entirely successful cuppa. My banoffee appeared to be offee - tasty, but could do with some ban, and Sarah's "moist" carrot cake was like a brick, what with Sarah attempting to feed Jemima and the darling throwing up all over her.. hey the joys of parenthood.
Friday, June 09, 2006
The sunny and very warm evenings are proving quite difficult to get the little darlings off to sleep, the other evening Elspeth asked "when will it be dark?", I answered saying "about 10 o'clock" to which Elspeth replied "when it's really my bed time?"
Elspeth was very pleased with all her gifts on Wednesday, the easel was a huge success and the prolific artist keeps churning them out... Window pens were the best gift though I feel, everyday on returning home there are fresh window pictures for me to see.
Saturday, May 20, 2006
two pictures of the girls... Jemima asleep and Elspeth pulling faces in the mirror at John Lewis in Sheffield whilst mummy shops, the last bank holiday we were in York, yes it rained, but we had a great day at the Railway Museum, we have a wheel in Yorkshire... ok it's not as grand as London and the pod we went in leaked so consequently Sarah had a wet bum.. You can probably guess that Sarah's not too good with heights, even more when the wind blows and the cradle rocks... Elspeth on the other hand had a great time.
I'm sure there's a good view on a sunny day... the sun did come out later as you can see...
With the first feel of Summer came the influx onto the roads of the fair weather motorcyclists, you know the ones, they forget how big fast and heavy their machines are and spend the first few weeks of use re learning all those skills whilst everyone else tries not to be killed by them, the bikers appear oblivious, thinking that a) they're cool riding around in t-shirts and shorts 'cos it's just too hot and inconvenient to squeeze yourself into leathers on a hot day, and b) they're immortal... if helmet wearing wasn't mandatory I'm sure they'd go without. Hey stupid!! It's not as if the leathers have any other reason... I got off the soapbox when the sun disappeared and the rain came down as the fairweather bikers seemed to evaporate.
I am starting to think the birds have a collective eating disorder... They have been busy, the feeder has been empty and refilled every so often... I am so bad at keeping it topped up it often sits for days with the dregs at the bottom and then I fill it and it seems to go in 3 days, when I was regularly topping it up when it got empty it never seemed to be devoured so quickly. Surely they're not bingeing and then starving themselves waiting for me to refill the feeder...
Thursday, May 04, 2006
Saturday, April 29, 2006
A few weeks ago we went to visit my Aunt and Uncle in Bakewell, we had a great day, as ever more food than you could shake a big stick at. The river at the back of the house was very full and fast flowing so we weren't able to paddle and I and Brian failed miserably at the Krypton factor test of trying to re fold on of these childrens pop up tents that is made from some memory metal that springs out of a matchbox [well ok I exaggerate...] Why is is these things never pack down as small as when you first buy them. You purchas what appears to be a space saver but after one use it's just never packs down again...
Anyway, the highlight for Elspeth was the scooter ride, and not just any old scooter, an ELECTRIC ONE...
Friday, April 28, 2006
Anyway I had read the papers and briefed counsel, even spoken to the ex-colleague who I would be up against only to have the claim taken from my grasp by my boss as she didn't think it was fair... and to check out the barrister we'd instructed. It was his first job for us, so I suppose part curiousity on the management's part.. oh yes the result, the judge kicked out the Claimant's claim, so we won. Wonder if I'm black balled there now!
Friday, April 21, 2006
Thursday, April 13, 2006
Jemima has only been here 4 days but the sleep pattern is as if she's been on a long haul flight, she tends to lie blissfully asleep -waking only to snack from the hostess until about 4pm when she perks up and just will not rest, last night was better than the night before, I think I got 4 hours sleep...
Elspeth has coped admirably with the new arrival and the guests, she really has enjoyed her sister, especially the funny noises she makes - although there was an episode in the bath last night that is best left, although I must say that if the reaction of Elspeth to the incident can be a guage for the future I'll put her down for the high jump and the sprints as she jumped high and moved very fast. Perhaps a joint bath was a bit optimistic so soon.
The joint bath idea was purely to get them both into bed in good order so that we could have an early night... I'm sure we'll crack it soon...
Sunday, April 09, 2006
Monday, March 20, 2006
3)driving claims forward and being proactive rather than reactive
I might be proved wrong of course…
Saturday, March 18, 2006
Wow, fun galore, a little over priced, although perhaps this impression was only formed after Elspeth was muscled out of doing a lot of the activities by some boisterous and frankly rude, beavers, cubs and brownies. 1st Cottam somewhere in Lancashire, so much for “Akela we’ll do our best”….
What little Elspeth could do before the swarm of light blue jumper brigade squeezed, pushed and bullied their way en masse like a plague of locusts through each zone she enjoyed. Multiple pictures of her and Michael playing in the garage area, sat in cars merrily turning the steering wheel on stationary vehicles.
I don’t recall being so badly behaved as a cub…
Sunday, March 12, 2006
The birds can now eat their fill as the feeder is refilled.
Friday, February 24, 2006
She did just have an apple juice while Josie had Blackcurrant, I'm beginning to dread her teenage years....
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
I walked into the lounge last night and before I caught her eye was able to eavesdrop on Elspeth in “conversation” with the nursery “Hello is that the nursery, would I be able to come when I’m three on June 7th to be with Josie?” I was stunned… I walked into the kitchen and told Sarah what I’d just heard, not only does she actually want to go to nursery [although I’m not sure whether she just thinks she’ll get to see Josie, or whether she genuinely wants to go], but she also knows precisely when her birthday is.
Sarah is planning to “release” Elspeth to nursery in September, I say release because I fear it will be difficult for Sarah, before then Elspeth may feel a little like a caged lion, and once out she may never look back.
Sarah has a fear that Elspeth will be the ringleader who manages to be yards away from danger when the scheme falls apart, she has that “butter wouldn’t melt in the mouth” face and the sweetest “innocent eyes”. Now which parent she takes after… well I’m not going to say who got in trouble the most at school [although that could be who got caught the most at school…]
She’s going to be a real handful when she starts to really answer back and argue.
Whilst it is hard to ignore the greater racial issues of the “Danish Cartoons”. Where has common decency and regard for people’s opinions gone? The furore over Mel Gibson’s “Passion of Christ” was just as heated, a particular distinguishing factor was that the film was in a somewhat closed environment, you would chose to see the film, paying to see it - a discrete and definite choice, [with many walking out in disgust]. For a Moslem there are no images of the prophet, it is simply not acceptable for the prophet Mohammed to be represented in human form, Christ is represented in human form, Christ taking human form was the point [“his” actions in the film were the cause of the indignation]. To print images in the general press in full knowledge of this is simply disrespectful and wrong. To reprint them crosses the boundary, there is no defence to such actions by waving the “Freedom of Speech” banner.
The other “news” story which has raised my hackles today is that of David Irving. I admit, I have visited his website and I am appalled. It seems incredible to me that the small minded/pig headed and arrogant can, in the face of the incontrovertible evidence in testimony and written form, deny the holocaust. Arrogance is no excuse, because you don’t want to agree something doesn’t mean it didn’t happen… I can recommend the Judgment of Justice Charles Gray, who described Irving as an anti-Semite, a racist and a neo-Nazi sympathiser who “persistently and deliberately misrepresented and manipulated historical evidence.”
Whilst the notion of “Freedom of Speech” being an absolute “freedom” is utopian, it simply cannot be the case that it could be a reality in society. Obviously if we were in a utopian society as a notion it wouldn’t be objectionable. Society has tensions; racial, ethnic, class, amongst others and to maintain the fabric of its own existence; must set rules and boundaries. In the same way that you say thank you when someone holds a door open for you there are common courtesies which we should extend to all.
We owe each other a “duty of care”, in the same way that it is assumed that car drivers owe a duty not to drive into other drivers’ society has obligations to protect and to limit disclosure which may be harmful/ distasteful. Whilst Mr Irving and his opinions may be as disrespectful to the Jewish Community [and other victims of the Nazis], as the “Danish Cartoons” are to the Moslem faith, I feel there is a distinction; comment and discussion is fair it is open and transparent, but to simply do something that is not acceptable is simply unconscionable.
I am not seeking to make any comment on the subsequent protests, simply the act of printing the images.
Freedom of speech is not a valid argument for portraying offensive images and/or opinions without fetter, censorship can be good,
So long as speech does not directly incite racial hatred, it must remain free. Without censorship, those minority interests best limited by the “family filter” would be open on the internet [like the cinema and choosing to see a particular film we choose to censor these elements through engaging the filter.]
Bird feeder refilled, they’ve been going after the peanuts this week.