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Posts from July 2006

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11:03pm Sunday, 30th July 2006

this could be be the last entry for a wee while. peta’s gran sadly passed away on saturday night so she and gethin are flying down south first thing in the morning – gethin’s first experience of aerial transport (apart from the swing variety) – with cole joining them later in the week.

as i type peta is trying to sort the essentials from the fundamental as she tries to whittle down the bairn-neccesities (see what i did there) from what would normally fill a boot-and-then-some (allbeit that of a fiat panda) to the luggage allowance of an easyjet passenger plus child. fortunately, moomin has scavenged some of the many things needed and has a canny mind to improvise the remainder (on our last visit a vegetable steamer proved a more than adequate bottle steriliser).

the weekend has, as usual, been fleeting. saturday involved a shopping trip to livingston where cole proceeded to abuse his switch card on one-and-a-half suits (one black suit and half a white one – they didn’t have the trousers). we returned to our humble abode for some more bairn swing action, this time in suitably ridiculous attire (photographic evidence imminent).

we put gethin to bed and then peta heard about her gran’s passing. i will leave to her if she want’s to say anything about it.

on sunday cole took charge (as best he could) of the geth-star so that peta could have a quiet morning to catch up on some much needed sleep and to gather her thoughts after yesterday’s sad news. cole and gethin popped out for some suitable ingredients to make peta a bacon butty – just like granny did – and then spent the morning chatting, bouncing, feeding and slobbering (although gethin did marginally more of the latter than cole). when peta arose we went out for a shandy whilst scotland still had some sunshine before back for a slap up feast of roasted vegetables with cole’s new speciality, miniature toad-in-the-holes.

it’s an early start for los henlos with p & g’s flight at 8.45 so had better call it a night and finish the washing up (had to take a break as the kitchen and my trousers are already sodden from my previous efforts). g’night all

10:17pm Friday, 28th July 2006

a’reet all. apologies for downtime earlier today (if you noticed). the people who host my account thought i’d been spamming or something or other so suspended the account.

fortunately i hadn’t and after some stern words the blog has been reinstated in all its glory.

11:23pm Thursday, 27th July 2006

things have been quite manic at henley towers. after jo’s departure on sunday we had a chilled (as in relaxed – the climate has been anything but) evening trying to munch our way through the contents of the freezer in time for our new arrival on thursday.

cole has had quite a busy week at work doing welsh web work, stumbling his way through rendering welsh vowels online (all seven of them, a-e-i-o-u-y-w!) and also finalising a blog for one of a series of workshops being carried out to celebrate the architecture of sir basil spence.

peta’s week has been much more eventful. gethin had his second batch of jabs on monday (ouch) and was quite the grump at the start of the week which we have attributed to him missing jo, the pair of them having got on so well over the weekend. however, by wednesday he was back to his usual self and smiling at the simplest of things. he has also been perfecting his laughter which can be seen if you click on the link in the previous blog entry. sooooooooooo cute!

otherwise, we have had a quiet and swiftly passing week. henley manor and its environs has been suffering from a veritable heatwave. commuting in this weather has been about as much fun as sharing a furnace with a toaster (“move over delonghi two-slice, there’s plenty of room for two!”) and the office in which cole works, usually the coolest of the building, has been like the tropics. am seriously half expecting a couple of tree frogs to pop their heads out from beneath my organised chaos neat and tidy desk any day now.

if it got any hotter i may just melt altogether, leaving nothing but a small pile of slightly damp clothes of an acquired aroma. but just when hope was fading faster than the average items of clothing worn per capita of late, the cavalry arrived because today was the day that our lovely, shiny (as shiny as white can be) fridge freezer was delivered. hussah!

cram all your relishes and assorted dairy products on one shelf so that there is room for a beer or two? no more – we now have the luxury of three (count ‘em) shelves upon which to spread our refrigerated wares (as well as two salad crispers whatever they may be). dust off the crampons and pick axe, we’re off to find some frozen peas! no need – our freezer door opens unhindered by a glacial mass that would single-handedly offset isostatic rebound. find the torch, light the candles, i’m off to get me a yoghurt. nay – we now have a light that goes on when the door opens and off when the door shuts (our previous fridge, alas, did not. saying that it may very well have shone when the door was shut but not when it was open, but only the cheeses, vegi sausages and a particularly old jar of olives will know).

so, the henley’s secret weapon against all things hot and clammy has arrived. ice cubes to the fore, set salad crispers to stun, it might well be a long summer but we have the technology to defend ourselves and, more importantly, room for a 24-pack of stubbies!

10:13pm Thursday, 27th July 2006

if anyone’s having a bad day go and have a look at this, it will brighten your spirits and lift your heart (did for us)!

sorry, it’s a bit of a whopper (7.6MB) and needs windows media player for all you mac lovers.

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06:06pm Sunday, 23rd July 2006

what a splendid weekend the henleys have had. on friday afternoon godparent josephine flew up to visit the geth-star. cole took the day off work and spent the morning getting the spare room straight and sorting out the confusion that is child tax credits. any prospective parents be ye fore-warned. there is no greater befuddlement than the reams of paperwork that you must digest and submit to the bods at her majesty’s revenues and benefits. you’d think that tax office and revenues could talk to each other to see how much you were earning and therefore your credit entitlement but nay, that would be far too simple. plus, with Gethin born two days before a new financial year much confusion ensued about which year-end earnings needed to be reported. think we got there in the end though and we were told that we only had to notify them if our combined earnings fell below £20k or above £75k. fret yee not her majesty’s inspectorate of all things shiny and valuable, if our combined income went above £75k i think i’d tell the whole flippin’ world!

jo’s flight from london arrived early (not easyjet then) and cole, peta and gethin tried to navigate the labyrinth of edinburgh airport by car. annoyingly, we had left our ball of string and breadcrumbs at home so not knowing where to find jo we settled on going to the pick up zone, a logically named place to find and collect recently arrived godparents you would think. a bit of a con though at £1 for ten minutes parking! after a brief, though unsuccesful, reccy by peta and mega-geth, we eventually found jo and – suitably meeted and greeted (geth sporting his lovely new hat from honorary nain Pat) – we set off back to linlithgow to deposit peta and gethin at their weekly baby massage class.

whilst p & g got down to some quality body rubbin’, cole and jo set off for ice cream, a sit down and catch up in the peel of linlithgow palace. time flew and before long we had to head home for some baby feeding action. we had intended to go up the hill for some cold beverages at the bonsyde but after gethin’s feed, and a particularly chronic bottom eruption, we only had time for a swift pint (twenty minutes) before having to head back. cole cooked up some fajitas, geth went to bed and we set down to watch back to the future 2. jumping gigawatts!

saturday-based antics revolved around a shopping trip to glasgow. the morning flew by and we didn’t get out of the house until shortly after eleven. we popped into tesco to stock up on baby food and headed west on the train into the wilds of glasgow.

we only had time for one shop before having to find somewhere to feed gethin and ourselves. that old stalwart, witherspoons, was rammed with footy fans so we ventured into pastures new at a lovely little spanish restaurant called cafe andaluz. what a find! the staff were amazingly friendly and helpful with the needs of three hungry adults and a very hungry bairn. the food was fantastic (tapas and paella), the atmosphere vibrant, the pace leisurely, and it was brilliant value to boot! truly the best restaurant experience me and peta have ever had!

after our lengthy lunch, we popped into a few more shops before heading for yet another geth-feed. it is amazing how much any extra-villa activities revolve around the timings of baby feeds and any associated emissions. peta bought a lovely new fridge freezer in john lewis, our one at home having packed up long ago creating its own winter wonderland and our frozen foods inaccessibly concealed within one giant freezer-sized/shaped ice cube. thanks to moomin and gramps for some financial help with this! pooped from a days shopping we headed back home for a light supper, still gorged from lunch, and set down to watch garden state before bed.

sunday we awoke at a leisurely pace and gethin had a bath before a pleasant massage from godmother seely. we pootled about before having to head to the airport to drop jo off for her return flight to london :( it has been truly lovely to have jo over for the weekend, she is a natural god-parent and we all wish she could have stayed longer!

elsehwere, wee friedrich bagged his tenth fly last night and is rapidly running out of leaves/traps to accommodate his prey (four more leaves are on the way though). think we are going to need a bigger plant!

10:20pm Friday, 21st July 2006

had a lovely day, tidied house a wee bit, picked jo up from airport, went to baby massage, came home, went to pub for quickest pint ever, came home changed baby, fed baby, ate some dinner, played with baby —————and baby laughed!!!!!!!!!! yes, he proper proper laughed! I’ve never seen or heard anything more adorable in my entire life! all i did was make a silly noise and jiggle him and he thought it was hilarious! i was so excited that i cried! oh my word, my entire day/week/year was made. can’t wait til the morning to try it again…….my baby laughed, get me a megaphone!

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10:02pm Wednesday, 19th July 2006

i have returned from a blog entry drought. as cole promised (albeit a little later than we said) i’m writing an entry for your delectation. Well i do believe young master gethin is teething: beaucoup de slobbering, beaucoup de chewing of everything and anything, little rosy cheeks, and the occasional bout of moaning! not to mention the waking up at bizarre times of the night….i’ll be seeing the health visitor on friday for baby massage so i’ll check with her.

we’ve had a lovely week so far – on monday we met up the lovely Linzi and 5 week old adam to go to muiravonside country park. it was a lovely day and linzi caught the sun, although i still resemble a milk bottle. in the afternoon we went to an antenatal class to talk to mums-to-be about our experiences. I hope i didn’t freak them out with my horror stories – but as they pointed out, i’m smiling now despite everything that happened! on tuesday linzi picked us up and took us to an nct parent afternoon, with lots of other mums and little ones. it was really enjoyable and met some new people including tracy with her tiny baby ailsa. we had a lot to talk about and discovered that this world really is a very small place indeed! today geth and i went for a very protracted walk around the loch, with a quick visit to the docs to pick up my prescription. it were lovely – the best bit of the day came when a little boy, around 3 years of age, sidled up to us and said

“i’ve come to see the baby.” “what? this baby?” said i and pulled the hood on the buggy back. the little boy craned his neck to look inside, sniffed and ummed. “what do you think?” i said.

“no” he replied.

“you don’t like him?”

“no” he said and ran away!!!!! how funny! i hope gethin turns out to be just as bizarre as that little boy. I later walked passed him with his mummy (who knowingly grinned at me!) and i heard him say

“I’ve seen the baby in there!” very proudly.

after our long walk (and still the colour of snow) we came home shortly before cole. i must say I’m now only one point behind cole on the crap parent front. I managed to bash gethin’s head on the door yesterday, and cut his thumb this evening whilst trying to cut his nails. god it was horrific – i cut a fair old bit into his thumb, luckily he was easily distracted by rubber faced daddy! poor lamb – i felt terrible and still do. the thought of any harm coming to him is unbearable, totally gut wrenching.

gethin also laughed today – extremely cute! we were going through animal noises this morning and he finds pig snorts hilarious! it’s his new trick, and a great way to distract him if the old lower lip starts to wobble! needless to say all old macdonald seems to have on his farm these days are piggy wiggies!

well tomorrow gethin and i are off to stirling to the market to root out some fresh fruit and veg, as i’ve been told they have a fab market every thursday morning. ruthie and baby wren were going to come, but ruthie needs to prepare her veg for saturday’s big veg sale day. oh well just the two of us then.

gonna go to bed – need an early night. bye for now folks xxx

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07:52am Tuesday, 18th July 2006

anyone who knows cole will know that he doesn’t do mornings. so why am i up before seven this morning scribing a blog entry? well, this is what it must be like for most parents of wee bairns. gethin (taking after his father) is mostly the sleepy sort and would normally be asleep around now. in fact, he is asleep now. but he has been up for much of the night with poor peta having to deal with mid-night feeds and various ker-faffling.

the swaddling seems to be working to a point although gethin seemingly has a recurring dream that he is a frog and kicks the swaddle off so that his legs are free to jump and bound across the lily ponds of his imagination. ribbet.

he was up for two feeds last night, the latter administered by dad at six. gethin went back to sleep after some bottle action but cole was less fortunate. oh well, should get to work in good time this morning.

elsewhere, freidrich bagged his second, third and fourth victims in the night. a dipteracidal maniac in the making me thinks!

10:04pm Monday, 17th July 2006

PS photos coming soon, honest!

09:58pm Monday, 17th July 2006

phew what a scorcher! can categorically state that gethin has not been sporting his arctic romper suit these past few days on account of scotland being quite warm.

los henlos had a lovely day of saturday with gramps elmore paying a visit. ample food was eaten (cole made his first prawn cocktail) and wine drunk but before long it was sadly time for gramps to head back to helensburgh and leave the henleys to partake of fine upstanding saturday evening activities like sofa-lounging and crosswording. before we knew it the weekend was half full/empty and all three henleys tucked into bed for the night.

on sunday we took advantage of the good weather by doing very little at all. in the morning we popped out to get some plants for peta’s empty planter. much umming and ah-ing ensued but indecisive mummy henley eventually decided on a pair of daisy-like planty-things. daddy henley, however, was much more interested in dionaea muscipula. after much testing, a fine specimen was bought and named friedrich (von trapp – boom boom). friedrich was put on the window sill, poised to rid us of the flies that seem intent on taking over our kitchen, and one day in he has already bagged his first kill. hussah!

anyway, back at the ranch gethin – suitably basted and shaded – took his prime spot in the garden whilst mum and dad did some sun lounging of their own. cole may even have gone a shade pinker than his normal trogladytic, greyish blue hue (though highly unlikely). the evening saw a bonnytoun celebration at the neighbours in honour of the return of matt from pastures american. many ales were quaffed, some lovely mince and tatties devoured and poker played until at least 6pm NY time (23:00 BST). dirty stop outs indeed. shame had to go to work in the morning through :(

tomorrow peta shall update you on maternal life at 3 bonnytoun cottages, or else i shall be having strong words with her!

08:10pm Friday, 14th July 2006

monsieur kaka here reporting on a double act of olfactory terrorism. after a busy day at the office cole was not only faced with cleaning out the litter tray of the dread-bottomed cat belle but a monstrously stinky nappy from henley jr. generous donations of sweet-smelling stuff to the usual address please.

elsewhere in the world of henley’s three a fun week has been had, although having settled into a night-time rhythm of sorts gethin has decided to try out some interesting new sleep patterns. having bragged to all about his sleeping through most of the night and going down to bed with the greateast of ease he has decided to do neither of the above through much of this week. saying that, gethin is soon to be deprived of his role as cole’s alarm clock on account of him sleeping through until eight, nine or even ten on some mornings.

earlier this week peta thought she would try out gethin on the baby rice as he was clearly not getting fully satisfied with his milk. all had been going well although after a day of vomitting on wednesday of all days (numero 100) we have decided to stick to the milk a wee while longer, just in case.

aside from smelly poos, a most variable sleeping pattern and eating aplenty, gethin has been quite the happy fella and is becoming more expressive by the day – culminating in a quality raspberry at mum and dad at bedtime last night.

son, your rasps have done us both proud!

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11:00pm Wednesday, 12th July 2006

we were going to do an update for gethin’s wonderous 100th day but several phone calls and a nice slap up meal later it is now quite, quite late and time for bed.

just time then to wish a happy 100th day gethin. thanks uma and oompa for the lovely book – a hard copy of the first 100 days from this here blog which oompa scribed mono-handed on his computer whilst pretending to do some work – and thanks also to the withers for a money pot which should be replete with cash in time for his real birthday!

what a century of days it has been. most have been filled with laughter, some with tears (most, quite literally, over spilt milk) and some accompanied by the most heinous smells known to humanity. it has been a great ride so far and we have not fared too badly considering we didn’t even have a map but i have had an awesome co-pilot and, as the old adage says, it is not the destination which is important but the journey getting there…

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11:20pm Saturday, 8th July 2006

what a truly splendid saturday the three henley’s have had. a slow morning was had with much sleeping, munching and googling (not the online variety). gethin had a bath complete with some tesco’s value oats (for his skin) and, after doing very little but enjoy some quality time together, we finally left the house after 2pm (having not left the bedroom until 1) on our mini-adventure to the magical land of shops.

we arrived a tad peckish and set about our pursuit of food. cole had his heart set on a jacket potato with cottage cheese but – would you believe it – spud-u-like were out of spuds. fortunately, harry ramsden were not out of fish so a wee fish supper was enjoyed instead. gethin sat in a high chair for the first time, accompanied by sock monkey, but seemed more intent on out-staring his rattle than joining in the conversation.

after lunch we set off for some bargains at tk maxx, intent on topping up young geth’s wardrobe on account of him having outgrown many of his clothes already. sadly the range of options was largely restricted to pink girly clothes (he’s a bit young for cross-dressing) and a large assortment of baby sleeping bags. however, cole found a suitably nice bairn top which should look marvellous on him and peta went off to peruse the soft toys. gethin seemed to take an immediate fancy to a large green zebra. before we got a chance to check the price he had drooled all over his new best friend so we just had to buy it (fortunately ‘twas only seven pounds!). when it came to buy said zebra, the cashier had to scan the toy whilst still in gethin’s grasp lest he unleash an almighty strop! walking to the other shops gethin and his zebra were the subject of many adoring glances, although poor sock monkey must have felt a bit left out :(

after some quality window-shopping, wallets and purses kept firmly in pockets, and a trip to asda for the weekly shop we had to away back home for gethin’s supper. peta tried out some baby rice as geth seems to have been tiring of bottle milk recently, proving quite the fussy eater. sadly, he seemed equally disinterested in the baby rice stuff too, preferring to tell us at length about the day he’d had. oh well! a quick swaddle and gethin was soon sleeping contently.

cole and peta stayed up to watch the football (fret not world cup widow, but one game to go now!) and eat dinner before some blog updatery and bed. let’s hope tomorrow is a comparably lazy day.

btw, for those of you of a technical ilk, Gethin Henley’s Blogorama is now available through the wonderful medium of RSS so you can keep tabs on the latest entries through your aggregator/rss reader of choice.

10:35pm Wednesday, 5th July 2006

have figured out the reason for the limited vocabulary of the wee bairn. having awoken on tuesday to give gethin his 5am feed, by the time i got to work (not able to go back to sleep) i could barely muster a single constenant, awooowyaauiiiieee…don’t know how peta does it!

gethin has decided to have a few choice, ‘wee’ moments the last few days. last night he was in fine fettle when cole got home from work. he had a change and a feed and seemingly quite enjoyed his baby massage from daddy but then at half seven, inconsoleable meltdown. dummy? too hot? too cold? hungry? nappy? it was all a bit like those first few weeks when the learning curve was like climbing a buttery crag with cold fingers and a touch of the cramp. after an hour of crying, every trick in the book, a wee drive round the block and plenty of shushing gethin finally got to sleep. now, i am a firm believer that sleep begets sleep: the more you sleep the more tired you get. it would seem it goes the other way too. gethin had seemingly worked himself into a tizz because he was so tired, not having slept in the afternoon. poor fella. on top of this, mum has been suffering from a stinking cold in the middle of summer and feeling like poo.

well, today all seemed better. gethin was a lot perkier when cole got home from work having enjoyed a sunny drive back listening to the pixies (the band, not the little cornish folk in case you were wondering). all going well, lar-de-dar, a wee power cut but nothing to fret about. everything going well….eight o’clock. gethin is fine. time for bed. swaddle, kisses, hunky-dorey. then, waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa… not as long as last night and not needing to resort to a trip in the car but still quite disorientating. still, he is now sound asleep. oh, the strange workings of the infant being. answers on a postcard please…

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08:23pm Monday, 3rd July 2006

heat wave you say? a reminder that the three henley’s are living on the same latitude as moscow and southern alaska! i think there was a particularly hot day about five weeks ago in which gethin sported a rather fetching hat but otherwise it has not been the hottest of summers!

a fine weekend was had by all three of us. cole went off into edinburgh on saturday for a thankfully-not-so-debauched stag day but drank perhaps more than he sensibly should have. peta and gethin mooched and mulled, and went on a secret errand into linlithgow (don’t ask what for – it’s a secret apparently). after getting back at a sensible hour, all had an early bedtime although gethin decided against sleeping through the night, waking at 1, 3, 5 and 7. oh, the humanity!

in payment for a boozy afternoon in the city, cole looked after gethin for sunday morning whilst peta caught up on some well-earned snooze. he walked bairn into town to buy some of the finest breakfasting meat products known to humanity – but as it is linlithgow, settled on a value pack of random animal bits. cole and geth strolled back home whilst it was still sunny un-rainy and together set about making the biggest, bestest breakfast-in-bed a mother could ask for.

an hour or so – and many dirty dishes – later, we had managed to muster up myocardial-infarction-on-a-plate: two slices of (wholemeal) toast, three sausages, two lorne sausages, two black puddings, two fruit puddings, two fried eggs and half a tin of (heinz) baked beans. unfortunately, peta was not feeling too well (and that was before seeing her breakfast), so only managed to polish off half the feast.

after the mighty breakfast-a-geddon, we all marvelled at the magnificent storm that was brewing outside and gethin’s first thunderstorm – ker-pow!

it transpired that cole was a bit more hungover than he had thought and bairn entertaining proved quite a struggle. still, cole managed to massage, bathe, dress and change gethin, although had completely forgotten to feed the wee might. whoops!

the remainder of the day/weekend was spent in the land of uber-chill, the three of us watched antiques roadshow, had numerous conversations (mostly about interesting things such as wibbling and oowaawerrwoo, and the mysterious land of ‘boo boo boo’), and gethin read some of his many books. doesn’t get much better than that!

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Images from July 2006

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