Monday, 29 December 2014

Sam, Sam, The Funny Old Man

My Grandad's legendary status is perpetuated further still by the fact that he achieved it whilst still alive. As a youngster I knew that Grandad could not be equalled in knowledge, strength, or ability. My childhood was jammed packed with proof of just how awesome this man was.

An engineer by profession, Grandad was a man of sagacity, and he was always on standby when we had a problem. He helped us to find answers and reach conclusions under the vigor of our own mind. He understood the worth of self sufficiency and wanted to equip us with life-skills.
Having a healthy body was up there on Grandads list of important attributes. Upon every visit to Gran & Grandad's, Grandad would present himself for a punching. We children lined up awaiting our turn to thrust our fists into his stomach as hard as we could, all the while Grandad goading us to try harder.
And, if ever something needed fixing, making, or pealing, he was onto it. With the aid of his trusted penknife no diy task was beyond his reach.

However, it didn't suffice for Grandad to display such prodigious traits alone, he wanted to instill such important qualities within his grandchildren. Having attained such stature himself, the rest of his life was dedicated to helping us reach such heights too.

It's only as an adult, with the experience of time, that I can recognise and fully appreciate the love and dedication that Grandad gave us. I now know that he cannot be surpassed in devotion, fervency or love.

Grandad Sam
1918 - 2013

Sunday, 14 December 2014


2014 saw the celebration of our 10 year wedding anniversary. The day itself was overshadowed by the general hubbub of our busy life together.
The only way to escape the bustle of our daily lives and give the occasion its due glorification was to take an extended child-free weekend away, or so AC said.

A child-free weekend for us meant a child-full weekend for Team Gran & Poppy. Confident in their child-minding capabilities they readily accepted the challenge of 4 kids for 4 days, allowing us to make definitive plans in preparation for our 10 year celebratory tour of ROME! 

The nearer the occasion drew the more excited we grew. Like the A-Bomb counting down the days till his next birthday, we began the countdown to our highly anticipated time away.
"This time next month we'll be eating ice-cream for breakfast"
"This time next week we'll be sightseeing by chariot"
"This time tomorrow we'll be shaking hands with the Pope"

That time at the airport just before we boarded the plane with our neighbours.

Looking to the heavens to be saved from my husbands fastidious examination of
every ecclesiastical artifact in Rome.

That time Aaron had a run in with the local law enforcement.

That time we visited the Trevi Fountain and it was hidden by scaffolding.

Aaron checked it out on Rightmove. It wasn't To Let.

That time at the Colosseum when local criminals provided the entertainment. 

That time on the Spanish steps.

That time AC caused a scene with his exhibitionist tendencies.

As opulent and breathtaking as the city was, nothing is as attractive or as awe inspiring as the creations we made ourselves.  Dearly missing our 4 little darlings (and concerned for the toll we knew they would be taking on Team GP) we were just as excited for our departure home as we were for our arrival in Rome.

Friday, 30 August 2013

Long Time, No Blog.

Both AC and I are from large families which was probably a contributing factor in our desire to have a large family ourselves. Offspring - I wanted at least six. Whilst AC never committed to a figure he seemed comfortable enough with statements such as 'Imagine having to buy a mini bus to fit all our children in'.

All these much thought and talked about plans (mostly by myself) lasted only until we became pregnant for the first time. Nothing could have prepared us for the horrendousness that lay ahead. The physical and emotional turmoil that persisted for those long 9 months made life almost unbearable.  Rendered completely useless by the parasite growing within, I would vow to never put myself through this again.

However! The only emotions that could ever overpower my distaste for pregnancy would be my fervent desire to have a family and be a Mother. And with the arrival of each of our 4 babies, what seemed to have been the greatest of sacrifices seemed then to become the greatest of privileges.

The H-Bomb, born 18 April 2013, weighing 7lb 2oz.

The H-Bomb aged 4 months.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Dribbly Blood

Last week whilst training for the Olympics (doing laps around the dinning room table) The A-Bombs head finally met it's match. The radiator was able to do what concrete slabs, an enforced glass window-screen, and Shemily's aggressive tendencies could not.

The A-Bomb fell head first into the radiator and cut his head open: blood was gushing, tears were streaming, and he was screaming. This distressed Missy greatly. It pained her to see her brother in such a state. All our attempts to soothe him were in vain. So it was with great sincerity and compassion, with tears of her own, that Missy declared 'I would take this pain and have it for you if I could'. And she meant it.
The sentiment was lost on the A-Bomb who understandably couldn't think about much more than the pain he was in. But to her mother, in those tense moments, it melted my heart.

More recently Missy has been the one suffering (with illness). There she was, sitting on the sofa, exhausted by her troubles, and crying with pain. I extended the same words with the same sincerity that she had offered The A-Bomb only a few days prior 'Darling, I would take your pain for myself if I could'. And I meant it.

Missy looked me straight in the eye and with such fortitude, defiantly replied 'I would definitely not let you'. Then I was crying too.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

An Unusual and Very Special Family Event

Each year since we've been married, motivated by the happy memories we'd be creating, AC and I make plans for our annual family camping trip. This year we were planning to exceed and better all previous endeavours, we would do more than plan and talk about it, we were actually going to do it!

Before other events could interfere with our long overdue camping expedition, we booted up the computer and created a New Event in our Google calendar. All that was left to do now was book AC some time off work and Missy some time off school.

...admittedly a little last minute

K-Camp 2012 also happened to coincide with the wettest July in (my) living memory. Not once in any of our 'planning sessions' did this trip involve us getting wet. We abandoned our good intentions and postponed KC 2012. However we didn't want to waste the day AC already had booked off work. We put our planning hats back on and opted for a day trip to the lake district.

Our children are explorers. Whilst most of their exploring is about exploring the limits of parental emotions and physical capacity, a large portion is left for the world around them. Wanderers through the ages have claimed lands, raised flags, and left their mark on the territories they stood. It seems our children have followed this noble tradition in a less dignified but nonetheless enthused way. Keswick was claimed and conquered by the unified efforts of all three of them. However the frequent urinating in no way detracted from the fun we had in Keswick.

Climbing mountains

Pulling faces

Failing to take a decent family photo


The cabin cruise was the highlight of the day. Just ourselves and the A-Bomb's full bladder for company. As extravagant as a cabin cruise sounds the only luxurious thing on board was Shemily's flowing hair. There were no on-board facilities available, so when The A-Bomb said he needed the toilet in the middle of the lake.... it was with great enthusiasm that he added a small portion of his water to the vast supply on which we floated.

AC struggled to relinquish control

Another unsuccessful family photo

The British weather was reliably unreliable. We'd counted on it being wet and miserable and instead it was dry and glorious. Our only regret of the trip was that we didn't take our tent with us.