bairn blog: a tale of three henleys

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Posts from December 2006

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10:18am Wednesday, 27th December 2006

gethin’s christmas day adventure

09:58pm Monday, 25th December 2006

pher-ew. it has truly been a magical day, and quite a long one too with wee gethin awakening at the crack of dawn (6 in the am). peta whisked off to whip up a bucks-fizz breakfast complete with smoked salmon muffins and the three henleys were out of the house feeding the chickens before nine. the excitement proved too much for the boy who, adorned in his lovely santa suit (from uncle fartface), did the traditional christmas nap before a single sprout had seen the light of day. after a two hour slumber we set upon the pile of presents, a multitude of toys, clothes and books for the boy and a frickin’ lazer beam for cole (the big boy), the whole experience washed down with some crudities dunked in baked camembert (yummy). once the mountain of presents had been ascended we set off for a pre-lunch stroll, heading down to the loch in lintlithgow for a some fresh air and bird watching for peta with her new binos. we stopped off on the motorway bridge to wave at passers by, all but one grumpy chap in a land rover waving back or flashing their lights. bah humbug mister land rover driver.

once back cole set upon the mammoth task of his first christmas dinner, a three-hour cookathon featuring a cast of thousands (of utensils). fortunately had got some of it out of the way the day before as this was going to be a feast to surpass all others. roast duck with prunes for the meat eater (peta) and leek and gruyere souffle for the veggie (cole), served with bread sauce, wine-braised red cabbage, roasted potatos, parsnips and carrots, sprouts and chestnuts. well, after three hours toil it was a success. the souffle rose and the duck wasn’t too fatty so all were replete with only half of the food eaten. duck and sprout omelette on boxing day then.

after dinner we caught up with some friends and relatives through the magical workings of the interweb and some web-cam action before bathing and putting gethin to bed where he promptly partook in the mightest vomit known to humanity.

well, it has been a splendid day and a wonderful first christmas together for the henleys three. thanks to everyone for their super-generosity in the present department – gethin’s new room is definitely going to need some new shelving to accommodate his many gifts (something which should be quite straightforward with dad’s new laser toy thingy). right – off ot put a couple of extra notches in my belt. g’night and a very, merry christmas to you all!

04:50pm Sunday, 24th December 2006

i’m dreaming of a grey christmas, may all our christmas’ be grey. in the absence of snow the Henley’s have been enjoying the atmosphere of a cold, winter’s fog that seems to have descended on west lothian – let’s hope santa has fog lights on his sleigh because it’s a right pea souper!

well, twas the day before christmas and the three henley’s have been busy beavering away for the big day ahead, our first christmas as a family. cole is cooking, both meat and veggie dishes – the ham has been boiled and glazed and the duck is defrosting (once cole had figured out which end was which and what orifice to pull the giblets out of). prime you tummy peta for a gourmet feast of epic proportions (and a grumpy cole in the kitchen)!

cole has been off work since friday so we have been getting the place primed, stashing the last of the stuff from the ex-spare room into the attic, taking a lot of rubbish to the tip, getting the shopping in, wrapping presents. the list goes on…

alas poor gethin. he has, once more/still, not been feeling too well and following a 24 hour vomiting bug on wednesday has still been quite out of sorts, not eating particularly well and sleeping a wee bit more than usual (as i type he and peta are enjoying a well-earned afernoon nap). still, santa is coming tomorrow so he should be suitably rested in order to open all his presents tomorrow (well, we hope so – all but a couple of the presents under the tree are for him)

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10:18am Wednesday, 20th December 2006

ah Somnus, mighty Roman god of sleep. thank you for your gift of a very sleepy bairn who contently dozed from half eight last night to eight this morning – and probably would have slept longer had we not had to stir him to away to the childminder. now that his ear has popped and he has his own room he seems to be turning into quite the soporific tyke (as i type am touching the largest most wooden of planks and crossing fingers in a manner only previously thought achievable by the great yoga finger maidens of Gyangzê).

now somnus, can you put a good word in for us with whomsoever is the deity of smelly nappies?

10:46am Monday, 18th December 2006

no rest for the wicked – except for cole who despite being allowed going out to two office parties in the space of a week, was allowed a quite super lie-in on saturday morning.

once stirred from his slumber, the weekend was spent mostly catching up with the dregs of stuff and matter left over from last weekend’s big room swap. not quite there but hope to be less swamped in old clothes and boxes by christmas day!

aside from tidying and sorting we belatedly made up our christmas cards and went for a lovely walk up the road, popping in to the farm to see a newborn calf and roberto’s new colt.

am glad to report that gethin has been sleeping much better over the last couple of days than he had been of late. peta took the wee fella to the doctors on friday who diagnosed him with another ear infection and a perforated ear drum. since then we have been dosing him up with anti-biotics and he seems to be the better for it, sleeping through until 6 or 7 most mornings and a much chirpier demeanour during the day. hussah!

01:20pm Thursday, 14th December 2006

completely forgot to report that master gethin has started clapping. next on the agenda – henry winkler style thumbs up!

01:18pm Thursday, 14th December 2006

well, 250-odd days into the life of gethin there is some good news and bad news to report.

to get the bad news over with, am saddened to announce that cole has killed his third coffee machine in 8 months. must be all those bairn-induced early mornings. may not seem so bad to you all but have you seen/heard a decaffeinated cole first thing in the morning? not a pleasant experience!

on the good news cole and peta had their first night out together since gethin was born thanks to the baby-sitting prowess of the lovely denise. so, cole and peta headed into the big smoke for a spot of cinema going, catching casino royale on the biggest of big screens. and what a film. perhaps it is just because we hadn’t been to the cinema in so long but daniel craig was excellent and the film a breath of fresh air for the bond franchise. you know the name, you know the number!

10:15am Monday, 11th December 2006

the weekend’s achievements:

empty spare room of our cole’s junk

paint spare room celtic moor 1

erect shelving in bedroom and adorn with our cole’s junk from spare room

move cot and gethin stuff into spare room

hang curtains in spare room

move gethin into his shiny new bedroom

check every single light in christmas lights to see why not working

erect and decorate christmas tree (complete with working lights)

make christmas cards

not bad going for 48 hours!

09:13pm Wednesday, 6th December 2006

the joy of bicyclettes

at two or three weeks into this new-fangled form of commuting i am by no means a seasoned cyclist but some pet hates have already emerged:

bus lane hogging buses that cling to the gutter and threaten your average six-foot-six cyclist with decapitation

cars that get in the right hand lane before a box junction but go straight ahead and threaten your average six-foot-six cyclist with decapitation

pedestrians who think they have a sixth sense to all road-borne threats. believe me, the only pedestrian with eyes in the back of their heads are those that walk headlong into the path of your average six-foot-six cyclist peddling as fast as his little wheels will allow

cobbles – if the hard plastic saddle on my folding bicycle doesn’t reduce the chances for gethin mark ii, the cobbled streets of edinburgh certainly will

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06:09pm Wednesday, 6th December 2006

trips to manchester two weekends in a row for dr henley – this time a whirlwind visit to celebrate friend ruth’s 30th birthday party.

after a five hour train ride and getting lost in a taxi (it was the drivers first week) found the party destination in an old mill owned by a friend of ruths. helping tidy the place in advance of the soiree was a nice reminder of cleaning up the barn for our wedding reception two years ago, perched on chairs with brushes a couple of hours before everyone arriving!

after moving some doors, laying out some plastic glasses, erecting a dentist chair and hanging up a punchbag (what kind of party was this i hear you cry?) we all headed back to ruth’s for a spot of tea and a brief catch up with ruth’s sterling wee son arthur who I hadn’t seen in over a year.

after some lovely thai curry we headed to the mill where it turned out that the birthday party was an all night affair. sadly, it also turned out that cole really doesn’t have the stamina he used to for all night partying. a great evening was indeed had but by the end of it felt like an old man needing his bed and a hearing aid.

got home in the wee, wee hours and enjoyed a lie-in on the sofa before a fleeting trip to the beloved theatre of dreams.

before i knew it i was back on a train northbound and as sure as the earth revolves around the sun the train service was shockingly late – plus there was no onboard shop to sate my hunger and thirst. to cap it off teh experience, after a wee sleep on the train some random strangers had kindly left me a sachet of dr stuart’s liver detox tea. i guess i really don’t have the stamina for all night partying!

got back to linlithgow late on sunday but glad to be home. was only away less than 36 hours but missed p + g loads. monday then was a nice chance to catch up with the wee fella by taking him to the docs for his third set of jabs (or jags as they call them up here in Scotland). suffice to say the wee fella was none too pleased with a needle being jabbed (jagged?) into each thigh, but he soon got over it. am also happy to report that the geth-star pretty much slept through all of tuesday evening. hussah and may the gods make us truly grateful!

03:01pm Friday, 1st December 2006

hello everyone! yes, I am still alive. poor cole has been doing all the blog reporting of late, well it is quite hard for me to get anywhere near the thing, what with baby watching/playing in the day, and then cole hogging it in the evening.

anyway, I’m fine – I think most of you will know that I’ve been ill this week, I can’t quite believe it’s friday already. The beginning of the week is a bit of a blur, having spent the vast majority of it in bed, prostrate with an evil bug. I knew i was getting ill at the weekend, and last week I’d had a sore throat for a while. On sunday i talked to cole about how stressed I’d been. I tend to get sick when I’m getting wound up, and recently I felt that I couldn’t wind down in anyway. My shoulders, arms, neck and hands always seemed to be knotted and tense, it just seemed that every minute of the day was occupied, either by thoughts of going to work – getting certain things done by certain times- or thoughts of gethin – his perpetual cold/teething grumbles/organising his food and bag for the entire day/not sleeping properly. Plus he was hardly eating anything at all which really stresses me out, and his weezy chest was upsetting cole. I guess I just got more and more wound up and my body wanted to stop. jeez, babies are such hard work – I’ve noticed many many more lines and wrinkles, especially frown marks where I constantly worry!!! I don’t how ruthie next door manages 2 of them! and our mums who had me and martin, and cole and leiske within 15 months of each other. our mums are legends! couldn’t live without you both!

well, at least I’m feeling better – sorry kate for fobbing you off when you called on wednesday – we’ll speak at the weekend instead. And Gethin is now starting to eat properly again, although the little terror refuses everything I make him and will only open his mouth for bloody bought food. Not what I planned – I even shuddered at the thought of buying rusks, let alone jars of food. But what can I do? does anyone have any advice? elspeth? brenda? pat? anyone!!!!???

this morning gethin and i went down the road to the farm where Mike had an auction to sell off loads of his farm equipment. it was bonkers – hundreds (literally) of old stylee farmers plonking around in overalls and wellies and flat caps. In true angry scottish “get off my land” farmer speak, I heard an old dude tell another one: “F***ing english farmers come up from f***ing england”!!!!! so many people, but there were cool things in the auction – tractors, combines, ploughs etc. it was pretty crazy actually.

cole is off to manchester (again) this weekend, but next weekend I think we might start the ‘big move’. I can’t quite believe gethin is still in our room, but I hope he’ll be in the next room by christmas. can’t wait, his room is going to be brilliant!

i think munchkin is awake……hope everyone is happy and well – and looking forward to the christymas holidays! don’t go spending too much money now! Oh that’s another thing – does anyone have any good ideas for christmas to make it a special day???

bye everyone!

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Images from December 2006

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