bairn blog: a tale of three henleys

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Posts from April 2007

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11:32pm Sunday, 22nd April 2007

never got round to completing the account of our week away so here goes

the henleys had a fantastic break – after a lovely time in somerset with moomin and gramps (and a score – literally – of other relatives) we set off north to leamington spa for some quality time with uma and oompa. as soon as we arrived we had to head off to the town centre for a photo shoot that leiske had booked for the family – 9 of us spanning four generations. it was quite good fun and not as cheesy as we thought it was going to be but it was tiring work with two babies who were about ready for their naps – plus at £75 for a 7×5” print not sure if we’ll be able to afford any snaps from the experience (especially when godparent ryan is a snapper by trade and takes much better photos to boot)!

wednesday was a day for pootling and in the evening we caught up with cole’s old friends lee and dave for a few bevvys, G under the safeguard of grandparents. on thursday the three of us set off south to meet with peta’s old school (not old-skool) friend kate for a lovely day at the fantastic waddesdon manor, a nineteenth century residence of the rothschild family done up like a 16th century french chateau. we had a lovely day and like the rest of our holiday was gloriously summery. we had a picnic complete with some lovely home baking from kate before touring the house and lounging in the gardens. then all to shortly we were heading back up north to beat the track and get back in time to go to the cinema with leiske and will (the oomps baby-sitting again). we saw sunshine, the new danny boyle film, which was absolutely brilliant – although it might have been pants and we were just struck by the novelty of the big screen after so long!

on friday cole had to do a spot of baby-sitting of his own though this time it was the parents company before meeting up with leiske and samuel for lunch. we had to go to the bank so looked after samuel before a trip to the wacky woods – a fab soft play facility in the middle of an industrial estate in leamington. it took some finding but once there the boys, peta, leiske and myself all had a great time. sadly this brought an end to our holiday and on saturday we set off on the long drive back to scotland – stopping off to see great-oompa ken in warrington who sadly hasn’t been too well of late. and then the long drive back to scotland. all three henleys had a fantastic week away – it was great to spend some quality time as a family as well as with our own families. plus gethin has definitely started crawling having managed some quality maneuvers at gretna services (he was clearly waiting to be back on scottish soil before showing off his skills).

since back we have been slowly facing a big tidy up of the house after a week of neglect. cole was back at work on monday but peta had a public holiday at work so gethin was away to the child-minder giving peta a day left to own devices for probably the first time since gethin was born. on thursday cole had a job interview, so had to dust off his funeral suit, trim his face fungus, buff his shoes and borrow the neighbours iron to decreasify his (only) smart shirt. thankfully it all worked as by the end of the day cole was offered the job, basically a more secure version of what he has been doing for the past year at a higher pay-scale. hussah! sadly peta’s day did not go so well and she had a nasty run in with the snooty librarians at linlithgow library after belatedly returning some books gethin has borrowed. the encounter was prompted by the fact that one of the books in particular, louie’s little zoo, had been such a firm favourite of g-zilla that he had managed to get almost every page covered in food and all-round bairn matter. it was like an a-z of his diet in the past six months (like i said, it was quite a bit overdue). we had to pay for a replacement which i suppose was fair enough but in earshot of peta commented that she was ‘disgusting’ for letting the book get in that state. when she explained that she was a bookstart project worker and that if you wanted babies and young children to become interested in books then you have to accept that they will get damaged, the response was “we don’t have that problem in this area” – hadn’t realised lithgay was such a snobsville! think someone in west lothian library services will be receiving a strongly worded letter!

on friday peta and gethin popped into edinburgh for cinematainment, meeting cole, katja and denise for some lunch at the engine shed, our new favourite eatery being a vegetarian and vegan cafe run by people with learning disabilities.

on saturday the henley’s went to south queensferry on a mission to hunt down some chairs as fed-up of going next door when have guests over. we struck gold at the lovely second-hand furniture shop opposite the inchcolm ferry terminal. within twenty minutes we had earmarked a lovely, high-backed wooden carver chair and two matching dining chairs, plus another small wooden chair all for a bargainous £45. he even delivered them for free. if anyone in the vicinity is after some affordable furniture from a lovely chap called bobby pop along to get yourself a bargain!

sadly, after buying the chairs the weekend took a turn for the worse as peta was taken sick mid-shop at asda and proceeded to spend the next few hours puking up. gethin had been sick towards the end of the week (puking over dad’s interview/funeral trousers in the process) and seemed to have passed the bug on to mum. fortunately it seems to have been a twenty-four hour thing as she is much better now. on sunday cole and gethin popped out to see neil, linzi and their son adam – neil was in cole’s dads2b class before gethin was born. it was lovely to meet up after so long and the boys were on fine form playing with a multitude of toys featuring flashing lights and noises. then home to rearrange the living room to accommodate our lovely new chairs.

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12:03am Sunday, 15th April 2007

1044(ish) miles, 28 relatives and 8 days later the henleys three return home safely and in dire need of going on a diet – at least gethin’s new found mobility should help us all shed a few pounds. will away to bed but have uploaded some snaps of our travels and will post an update of our adventures before the weekend is through.

12:57pm Monday, 9th April 2007

waiting on a monsterous elmore family re-onion of mammoth proportions so just time to post a latest from the henley three’s easter jaunt.

on thursday cole was at a web conference in edinburgh whilst peta stayed at home packing stuff ready for a week-long trek to do our respective families. cole got back from edinburgh at 10 after some post-conference boozing networking and after both henley’s hit the sack around eleven, peta had the brainwave to drive down to ilchester through the night – thus avoiding a hot, busy good friday on the road. with hindsight it was genius – gethin was able to sleep through most of the journey and we missed the hourdes of cars. the down side was cole had to wait until he was sober to help with the driving so peta did most of the driving (no change there then) and we eventually arrived at half nine. # i drove all night indeed!

the drive wiped us out and peta needed to catch up on some much-needed/well-earned sleep with cole and the grandparents watching baby.

our time down south has been lovely – cole and peta have enjoyed daily lie-ins as moomin and gramps do some bairn-watching, the weather has been lovely and we have drunk and eaten more than our stomachs could reasonably manage!

01:33pm Wednesday, 4th April 2007

what a fantastic day we all had. gethin awoke early to open the myriad of presents and cards that the postman had brought with him. uma was up for a few days to help with childminding duties so we all had a leisurely start. inspired by fellow linlithgow mum jenny, we bought gethin a wee trike and he loves it. hussah!

peta and cole had to work yesterday morning so we all headed into edinburgh together, dropping cole off at work before p, uma and g set off to muirhouse for the morning. in the afternoon we were joined by denise for a trip to the zoo. the weather was fantastic and we got to see monkeys, apes, penguins, rhinos, big cats, tapirs, pygmy hippos and many more besides. think gethin’s favourite was the big cats although he was pretty much excited by it all.

after three hours denise set off and the three four henleys headed home to prepare for gethin’s birthday feast. ryan and shelley came over, peta made pizzas and cole put some icing on the flat fairy cakes he had baked the night before. all in all a lovely day and night. gethin was on his best behaviour throughout and managed to wolf down half his body weight in pizza, breadsticks, hummous and cake!

thanks everybody who sent presents/cards/well-wishes for your generosity and thoughts on this special day.

11:59am Tuesday, 3rd April 2007

BTW – if you haven’t vomitted on your keyboards by now, please feel free to leave some birthday comments for the wee fella!

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11:43am Tuesday, 3rd April 2007

gad-zucks where has the time flown.

365 days ago I was pacing around a hospital room, Peta was getting dosed up on morphine, gas and air and little g man was some 8 hours away from gracing us with his presence – late for his own birth!

it is completely impossible to think back to a time when g wasn’t in our lives – when we hadn’t yet seen him or got to know his personality or hadn’t been through the things – both good and bad – that we have been through these past twelve months.

i would be lying if i said it has been an easy ride. there have been a few hiccups, particularly with gethin’s health and our own neuroses. but we have overcome them all and, to adopt the parlance of punditry, it is a game of two halves at the end of the day we have a smashing boy that has made both our lives complete.

through g we have met some fantastic people we would not have normally, become closer to our families – despite the considerable geographical distances – gained an appreciation of the value of sleep in ways which we could not have imagined and been exposed to some of the foulest stenches known to humanity!

gethin. twelve months ago we could not have foreseen the person you have become – an intelligent, independent young person with character in spades – plus you are much cuter than we anticipated (though we were convinced you were going to be an ugger).

a very happy birthday boyo from mummy and daddy


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