Party transport early warning system

Car pulls up outside our house.
What’s going on outside my front door, you ask? Well, let me show you. Ah! Right on time: here’s the party transport.

Reuben and Joshua were invited to a party taking place in Leven this morning. Our friend Helen offered to drive them there in her small bus; what her seven children teasingly refer to as ‘the loser cruiser’.

Remarkably I managed to get both boys dressed (with jumpers and shoes) in 25 minutes (could that be a record?), the birthday present was wrapped and the card was written. All we had to do now was wait.

I found myself thinking: if only there was a way that allowed me to see what was going on outside while still sitting comfortably at my study desk.

Wait a minute! I’ve got a webcam that might just… wait… it does! It stretches from my desk over to the window.

Perfect: an instant party transport early warning system.

Cycling and sleeping

Sign beside road saying: deer for 2 miles
The B940 somewhere north-east of Anstruther

After a week off from cycling (to get over a tummy bug and to attend the IWMW 2012 conference in Edinburgh) I went back out on my bike again this morning just before 06:00.

I’ve done something to my right shoulder. Probably a combination of sleeping badly on it, and being jumped on by Reuben; I’ve started calling Reuben ‘Cato‘ because he attacks me at the most inconvenient moments!

It was good to get out again. Here’s to a slowly developing discipline of early morning cycles and to getting fit again.

Afternoon

When Jane and the boys returned from church at lunchtime (I’d been to All Saints, St Andrews for the 08:00, then retired to bed) Joshua was still asleep in the car, Reuben was asleep in the living room, and Isaac asleep in his pram in the front garden.

Joshua woke first so I brought him through into the study… where he promptly fell asleep again using his cuddly dog (Copper from Disney’s The Fox and the Hound) as a pillow.

He looked so lovely and peaceful.

Joshua asleep on a chair, his head resting on a cuddly dog
Everyone needs a Copper for a pillow.

A day of highs and lows

Isaac
Isaac

Today has been quite remarkable, emotional, upsetting, beautiful and mysterious.

Isaac

Jane and I walked into the living room this morning to witness Isaac taking, what we now suspect may have been a petit mal, an absence seizure. Isaac was lying on the floor, staring into space, quite floppy, quite unresponsive but still breathing. We cuddled him until he came round after about 20-30 seconds.

He’s been fine for the rest of the day, kindly and carefully looked after by his grandparents.

At the time we’d simply assumed that was zoned out and heading off to sleep because he’d been up really early and it was around the time he would be going off to sleep anyway. Not to mention that his two older brothers were notorious for falling asleep on the living room carpet.

It was only in conversation with my Mum (retired nursing sister and midwife) on the phone this evening that she wondered whether it might be a petit mal. We’ll keep an eye on him and get him checked out at the GP on Monday morning.

Edinburgh

I then drove Jane down to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh to allow her to visit her maternal Grandma, who is really very unwell. It turned out to be a most upsetting visit. Lots of prayers and lovely, caring thoughts for Jane, her family, and wee grandma please.

Meanwhile Reuben, Joshua and I had a lovely visit to Homebase at Straiton to buy an indoor broom, which Reuben chose (it was the red one). We were there for AGES while R+J asked “What’s that?… What’s that?… We’ve got one of those, haven’t we!… Can we go upstairs now… I need the toilet!”

Thank goodness for Sainsbury’s next door. After team wees we bought a few essentials (sausage rolls, pasta, strawberries, raspberries and two LEGO Ninjago warriors for two lovely boys who were just an absolute delight to be with all day. I love them all so much.

And now the boys are in bed, although Reuben has been sick (just as Joshua was last night), and I was feeling ready to sit and weep when I wandered through to the living room to watch Andy Murray beat Marcos Baghdatis at Wimbledon. Wimble-well-done Andy! A good ending to an unusual day.

I pray that tomorrow is less dramatic but equally full of cuddles.

Lazing on a Sunday afternoon

Room 106 at The Bonham, Edinburgh
Room 106 at The Bonham, Edinburgh

On Sunday afternoon Jane and I drove to The Bonham hotel in Edinburgh and enjoyed a blissfully quiet afternoon, evening and morning in the company of one another. It was our first night away together without any children since, I think, May 2010.

The Bonham is a gorgeous hotel on Drumsheugh Gardens, a stone’s throw from St Mary’s Cathedral on Palmerston Place and overlooking the Dean Bridge. It fuses traditional with modern quite effortlessly.

We got a fabulous deal through itison.com: dinner, bed and breakfast, with unlimited movies for a bargain £140 (for one night). To give you an idea of how much we might have been saving, a Scottish cooked breakfast costs £14.00.

After booking in we climbed the stairs to the first floor, unlocked the door to room 106 and were welcomed with a bottle of champagne (or whatever the Italian equivalent is) and the TV was on showing… F1 Grand Prix. Now that’s my kind of hotel room. None of this patronising “Welcome to room 106 Mr and Mrs Saunders” nonsense message on the screen.

Dinner was utterly fabulous in the critically acclaimed Restaurant at The Bonham. I would happily eat there every night!

All in all, a wonderfully relaxing 24 hours in the company of my favourite wife, reading, watching telly and enjoying the silence.

We drove back to Anstruther yesterday afternoon just in time to pick up Reuben and Joshua from nursery, having first bought the boys a present (Star Wars lightsabers for Reuben and Joshua, and an Ikea chair for Isaac) and treated ourselves to a new kingsize mattress. (Hopefully that will help my back mend.)

Passion pens

Jane needed Reuben and Joshua to be distracted for 15 minutes on the run up to dinner this evening; they were tired and fractious and needed something to focus on.

So I invited them to sit on my desk and help me work out which pens in my desk drawer worked and which didn’t. And it all went very well. Reuben had a pile of pens and a pad of scrap paper to scribble on, and Joshua had the same.

I was helping Reuben sort out a few pens when I picked up a biro-wannabe, not a proper Bic, but a cheap imitation.

“Oh!” I exclaimed, “I hate these pens with a passion!”

Reuben tested it, it worked and so he added it to the pile of tested-and-working pens.

“I’ve got one of these,” said Joshua looking back at his pile of pens. “I’ve got a passion pen… and another… and here’s another passion pen. I’ve got lots of passion pens.”

I didn’t have the heart to throw them out after that.