Monday, August 06, 2007


Matthew has been in desperate need of a haircut for a couple of weeks now and so I took the 'bull by the horns' (or 'hair by the scissors') and had a go! I had more confidence as Neil, Mags and Phil were around and there have been a few DIY haircuts in the house recently - all successful I might add! Matthew was amazing and sat very still, clearly aware that Mummy had not done this before and his ears are very precious! Anyway, Phil did a whizzy montage of the photos so you can see before and after shots and how delighted Matthew was when he could see clearly again!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Monkey Business

Neil has broken up from school (just in time for his thirtieth birthday) so we're getting into holiday mode. It's nice to get out and about and the newly discovered walking means Daddy can now begin discipling Matthew in football!

We've actually had some summer weather lately which has been a treat - especially as we've had lots and lots of visitors! First some Norwegians came for the night on their way to Momentum - that sounds like we didn't know them which is nearly true (though Phil did, but he was climbing a big mountain in Wyoming!) but I do know Miriam Cave rather well from time in Sheffield and it was so good to see her again. Then the Manserghs returned (we'd like to say they can't keep away from us but the arrival of a new niece was the greater pull I think!). Not much personal space when there's three in the bath!

I managed to get to Momentum for the day (student Soul Survivor) but I have to say my very spiritual encounters were catching up with friends over hot chocolate and lunch! Here are Matt, Toby, Phil and Miriam sheltering from the rain in one of the venues.

It was good to have some time with Debbie and to see Joannah S and meet the very beautiful Tia and Zoe. It's so nuts you don't see people for three years and nothing very much feels like it's changed (yes, we've had children and moved countries - twice - but other than that...). The downer of the day was that I wasn't very thoughtful lifting stoller and travel cot and toddler in and out of the car in the rain and my back objected strongly over the next few days - praise the Lord, it's much better now but I must be kinder to it in future...

Giles and Naomi stayed overnight and then the lovely Ducker family came to hang out for a couple of days; we went for a walk and a bit of a kick around on the Downs though it was a little blustery! Here are Ella, Skye and Matthew having a look down the Avon gorge towards the Clifton Suspension Bridge.

To add to the fun the Shepherd family descended (with the obligatory surprise thrown in; Neil's parents flew down from Hartlepool for the day and it was lovely to see them. We've decided the surprise to pull next is when there's no surprise and everybody in the clan knows everything!). The plan was to head to the zoo but the afternoon was spent in the children's emergency department checking out a dubious rash that Matthew and Emma both had; it turns out they both had randomly and independently caught hand, foot and mouth! They are both fine now and we don't think we passed it on to anybody else which is quite miraculous considering the amount of hugs and kisses that pass between Skye and Matthew at the moment!.
We did manage to get to the zoo on the following day and Matthew is now beginning to appreciate such visits and there is much pointing and many excited noises made! The Monkey Jungle allows you to get very close to the lemurs and it was amazing to be just a couple of feet away - amazing that is until they all start going ballistic, shrieking, bearing their teeth and then running straight towards you!

For a few moments I thought the traditional bars were a better idea but on seeing that the warden looked completely unphased and the lemur bounded off over our heads to join it's mates I thought it was probably ok. Matthew was not bothered though Skye was slightly more sensitive and there were a few tears.
Our children don't stay still for very long so photos were hard to come by but I'm sure Alastair and Helen will appreciate this one!