A Nature and DIY Weekend

 
This Saturday we skipped off to Pett’s Wood again. It’s so peaceful out there, barely a soul for miles and the rustle of the squirrels and balmy wind in the autumn leaves, the sound of birdsong, and random mushrooms sprouting off the leafy paths are all so relaxing for a brain, child, relationship and body constantly on the go during the week.
 
It’s only a 25 minute trip on the train from Brixton Station, then a 10 minute walk to the forest. We did take a detour through the charity shops where we found a Matchbox motorbike for 15p – Freddie’s not lost sight of it since.
 
We also found this cool tree with eight trunks and a raised bit in the middle. Freddie and Mary stood in it, and with the sun shining through the canopy captured this halo of light and family-ness:
 
 
Saturday night Craig stopped by for dinner then Freddie and I toddled off to Brockwell Park this morning while Mary practiced her yoga. Freddie’s pal Leon (they both get childminded by Patricia) and his German parents Phillip and Stella were there. Really nice to meet them after all this time.
 
Last month we bought a dishwasher. Plumbing constraints forced our workbench elsewhere, so a few weeks ago we picked up a 2.5m x 60cm worktop and finally got around to installing it this afternoon/evening. And here it is in all it’s glory:

What you lookin’ at?

Sorry no post from Ireland. Suffice to say, there are some snaps up under ‘Daily Snaps‘. and that we spent the time there tooing and froing from Waterford Hospital to Clashbrack. Mary’s mother Maureen isn’t feeling well so we were keen to see her.

Mary’s back there tomorrow (Monday) for four days so Adam’s gonna be a solo-dad in London in the meantime.

Today we went for dinner at Craig’s where his sister Anna took some great photos of us all. Here’s one of Freddie, click on the photo for a slideshow.

Yesterday we made another IKEA trip, my treasure was the spice rack jars. We also picked up a 2.5 metre worktop to put in the kitchen, but we’ve now hit the problem of how to hold it up. It’s too heavy for the wall! Will post a picture of the new kitchen ‘look’ once we’ve completed that job!

Stationary car-tastrophe & off to Ireland…

You may have noticed a few photos in Daily Snaps of parking permits and a car scratch. Due to the muggy weather, our residential parking permit came unstuck from the windshield and fell face-up in the glove box. Freddie, ever mindful of external noises (helicopter, motorbike (‘naughty’ if it’s going too fast), rubbish truck, bird are all pointed out to us with great interest), was quick to alert Mary to the truck out the window  lifting our car up onto it’s trailer.

No amount of pleading would suffice, however, and the car got towed. We had to shell out £260.00 notes to get it back. We’re contesting the fine, and noticed they also damaged the car. Another £150.00. Fingers crossed we’ll get it back – we’ll keep you posted.

On Sunday we visited Aunty Ann in Coulsden where she and Bob fed us a delicious Lasagne and Freddie tried to take their place to bits. He was a bit cranky as we’d distrupted his sleep patterns but it was great to see them all the same. Mary took a great photo:

Tomorrow we’re all off to Ireland to visit the family for a week. See you soon!

Farmer Freddie: gettin’ down with the animals

We’ve happened on a few farms recently, what with all the sheep in Snowdonia, there was also the Dean’s City Farm at Morden Park, the Vauxhall CIty Farm at the Lambeth Country Show. So here’s a slideshow of Freddie’s animal exploits…

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Short Update: Freddie’s Taller

Once again we’ve fallen behind in the blogoshere while Freddie continues to outrun us on the growing up front. Take, for instance, his language. There we were, perfectly happy with our juvenile foul-mouths, and then ‘bingo’ – Freddie’s wandering around quietly telling other kids ‘Fffff-uck-k-k. Fffff-uck-k-k.’ There’s absolutely no mistaking it.  It’s like he had nits in the nursery the horror exhibited on the faces of the adults as the swearing-kid-virus wantonly spread in an unseemly fashion for about a week. Ulp.

He’s stopped that little quirk, and it’s onto another. Mr Cute smiley pants, laughing and gurgling and throwing in a ‘Adun… ha..ha..Daddiieee…’ or ‘Mammieee…meup..Mam…meup…’  Meup means he wants holding. He’s the man.

This Saturday just gone we drove our estate – which we’ve recently bought – to the Audi service centre in Wimbledon (we picked a bad weekend for that as the tennis was on) to get the missing wheelnut locking key and instead of the planned womble through the common we headed to Morden Hall Park, a lovely long meandering woodland come rose garden with a city farm in the middle. Freddie met a foal and mare, who nibbled his foot to shrieks of delight and fright.

 

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Sunday? We headed to Petts Wood – 20 mins on th train from Brixton – and took a long four hour walk through the 400 acre forest. We’ve been there a few times now, it’s always deserted. and we walk for hours without meeting a soul. We headed north instead of west this time into St Paul’s Chat where we stumbled upon the ruins of a moated manor and some horses, which nibbled his foot to shrieks of delight and fright. Here’s a map of the trip we took:

 

Next post, expect some photos of the ‘he’ll break a few hearts when he grows up’ man you’re all looking forward to seeing.

NB: We’ve had some issues with the blog recently, somehow someone injected 900 links into the footer which meant each time the blog loaded 1MB of bandwidth was used. We’ve moved him to a different host, implemented the WordPress auto-update plug-in and removed those pesky links and used up 250MB of his bandwidth in the process. Finger’s crossed, all will be well in future…

Getting used to the summer weather in London

Freddie was most surprised by the weather in this, his first summer. In the middle of July I was cut off from delivering training to US colleagues by a storm over London and when I got home the pavement was covered in hail, with receding clouds looking very ominous as they’d dumped their heavy load on the streets. Mary had just made it inside before the heavens broke, and here’s some footage she took in the fifteen minute pelting:

Wow!

Freddie heads to the country

This weekend just gone Matt suggested we go mountain biking.  That generally means Craig takes us down to Coldharbour, we cycle up and down Leith Hill, up to Holmbury Fort and down to Peaslake, up Pitch Hill then back east to Coldharbour.  Freddie, however, wasn’t having this without being involved, so I asked Craig if he and Mary could come.  Ever obliging, we crammed in the car, expecting to pick Matt up from the Dorking railway station.  A bomb alert at Waterloo scuttled his plans, however, so we headed straight to Coldharbour.  The sun was out, and Freddie had his sunnies on.  Here’s a picture of him with his Mum outside the Plough in Coldharbour:

Craig and I whizzed around the trail, here’s some footage of us both bombing around Pitch Hill:

Meanwhile, Mary and Freddie climbed up to the top of the hill, it’s 600m, the highest point in the south of England, so she and Freddie did well to complete the slog.  Here they both are at the top:

We had such a great day, Mary wanted to go back this weekend.  So I’ve booked the double room at the Peaslake Inn, and we’re jumping on the train on Saturday. Bring on the summer!

Freddie at the Baker’s

On Sunday we took Freddie around to see Dan and his wife Tangiwai who is looking great in her third trimester.  The weather was lovely for a walk through Brockwell Park, and Freddie was all smiles.  It’s great having a chinwag with parents to be, I gave a nappy demo, we had some yummy nibbles and beer.  Click on the slideshow for some great snaps:

Freddie at the Bakers

Fun with Friends: Freddie in London

Since September 2006 we’ve been haging with a bunch of local Mums, Dads and babies here in the Dulwich/Streatham/Brixton area. We’ve been very lucky that we all get along well although the babies are yet to be on speaking terms and at ages ranging fro four to five months they still don’t seem to take much notice of one another. Us mums and babies get together once a week, while the dads couldn’t arrange a piss up in a brewery, though they did manage to get together for a curry a few weeks ago. We get up to all sorts of things, walks in the park, trips to art galleries and cafe’s, and visiting one another’s homes. It’s great to be able to meet up with other mothers going through the same stages with their babies – it’s an excellent support network. Sadly, I’ll be returning to work tomorrow for at least a few weeks but luckily I’ll be able to keep a watchful eye on Freddie as I’ll be working from home. It’ll be the first time he’ll be looked after by someone other than Adam or I and it’s not a step taken lightly. Anyhow, here are the photos I know you’ve all been waiting for of all the NCT babies on the casting couch at Tanya’s.  Click on the image to view the slideshow….

Freddie’s mates in London 2007

Someone asked about photo sharing.  Adam’s figured all that out, he uses Google’s Picasa.  It’s a feature-rich desktop photo-editing suite that gives you 1GB of space online (upgradeable) so you can share your photos with your mates.  Download Picasa.

Freddie’s a big boy now…

Freddie turned three months recently, and Mary and I are very proud of our wee son.   He’s really healthy, bursting out of his clothes with glee as the Incredible Hulk does with anger.  Pop! Snap! Off to eBay for another jacket. We managed to get a giggle out of him on Friday.  Making squeaky noises as we pulled his arms apart then into the chest caused his face to light up, then a few repetitive gurgles emanated from his wee trachea.  It’s a laugh, init?  Hopefully we’ll be able to capture another on video in the not too distant future.  He’s also started varying his vocalisations considerably, and the coos, squeals, sqwaks, goos, gurgles and other non-descript mono and multi-syllable emanations are dead cute when he’s staring straight at you thinking you understand every word. Since he was born he’d been going to bed with us around 11pm, but we’re trying to get him to bed around 8.30pm now.  He still wakes up for a feed pretty regularly throughout the night, which is a pain for Mary who never feels well rested.  Then I get him up around 8am and read him stories, supervise him on the swing, sing songs to him and attempt to entertain him for an hour before making Mary’s cuppa and nipping off to work.  I also take each Wednesday off work – either annual leave or flex-time – to hang out and be the family man.  According to recent research from the EOC, it will pay off in big dividends insofar as his development is concerned: 

"There is no evidence from this research that a mother returning to work when a child is young influences the extent of development problems for children. Instead, these problems are associated with dads taking no time off around a child’s birth, and then not using flexible working when a child is young.  So if we are to create the best outcomes for children we need to make it possible for both mothers and fathers to spend the time they would like with their young families."