Category Archives: UK

Details from our time in the UK

More pics

матрациI have added a few more photos from today, the highlights of which included Isabel and Molly meeting their new baby sister for the first time. There were presents all round, which went down well with Isabel and Molly, but they were rather disappointed that Amelia seemed to want to sleep for most of the time they were there! Still, we’re hoping that they may be home tomorrow, which will give them plenty of time to get to know each other.

I have added the photos to the same gallery as yesterday so just click that link to see the photos. The new ones are from img 963 on the second page of pics. Enjoy.

Amelia Lucy Winchurst has arrived…

We will no doubt be adding to this over the forthcoming days and weeks, but for now I have added a gallery with some pictures to celebrate the arrival of Amelia Lucy Winchurst this morning (22nd October 2009) at approximately 9.21am. She weighed 8lb 12oz and so far (around 13 1/2 hours later as I type!) she is doing fine.

I haven’t added any captions to the photos yet, so you’ll have to make up your own for now! Click the photo below to go to the gallery.


Where’s that year gone???

I just thought I should add a post, given that it’s been over a year since the last one. Anyway, given a rare day of sunshine a couple of weekends ago we decided to go for a family picnic, so the link below takes you to a gallery of a couple of photos from the day. (Needless to say the photos were taken before the moans of “I’m tired”, “Carry me!” and “I don’t want to walk any more” …. and that was just from Kate. 😉 )


Sunshine, Sweat and Washing Lines……..

We have been sweating our what-names off of late – the British Summer seems to have arrived with a vengeance and is making up for all the times when it failed to make an appearance………Most people are thrilled to have all this hot weather – sadly, I am not one of them!!! It is a well known fact that the heat and I do not agree with each other so I have been doing my best to hide from it at all costs – which is a shame as it means I am not really getting to enjoy my lovely new washing line!!!!! Putting the washing out generally involves dashing into the garden, a la Linford Christie, pegging it out in record time and then retreating with almost as much speed as I went out there to admire it from the safety (and coolness) of the house! It is a sad fact that my most exciting thing of late is the arrival of my washing line but there you go…….

The Girls, on the other hand, are loving being out in the Garden and it is a struggle to persuade Isabel that she has to put her clothes on before she can go out there – we are also having to explain to her that she ought not to dash out there without her knickers on…….somedays the neighbours get rather more than they bargained for!!!! It is lovely to watch (again from the safe cool zone that is the house) the pair of them run round with the dog – and just at the minute, the dog succumbs to the heat far sooner than they do!!!!

Molly is busy getting bigger by the minute – her language is amazing now and we were impressed to learn yesterday that she knows (and can say) her own name………….we were momentarily disturbed that when we asked her what her name was she grinned and said “Dog!” but we sorted that out pretty quickly!!!! She can also count to 10 with a bit of coaxing – she generally misses out 2 but who needs the number 2 anyway???? I fear that we will have a job to get in her into the pushchair in the not too distant future – she is very quick to say “walk” when you unclip her car seat but has an objection to holding your hand…..she wants to run free and torment the innocent trolley pushers in B&Q and Sainsburys!!!

Isabel is on holiday from pre-school now but will be doing 5 sessions a week when she goes back in September – and she’s not the only one who is looking forward to this!!!!! It’s hard to believe that it’s only 12 months until she heads to school – where has the time gone????? For now, we are getting ready to send her on a little holiday to Aunty Catherine’s house mid week – when it was 1st mentioned she informed me that “she didn’t really want to go” but soon came round to the idea when it was suggested that she might need a suitcase of very own to take with her!!!!!

We have had Granny Pies staying with us as well which he Girls have loved – someone who is always happy to read stories and play buses/aeroplanes with the garden chairs is always welcome in our house!!! Amusingly, Isabel marched through one afternoon and declared “Err, Pies, I’ve had a wee and I think I’ll do a poo next time!” – neither Mummy or Pies quite new what the correct reaction to that was!!!!

Not a lot is on the horizon just at the minute – there are no Wedding Dresses in the pipeline just at the minute and Daddy is busy at work as usual…….busy gearing up for what is rapidly becoming his “World Tour of Work” and that will see him away for 80% of September in Kiev, Istanbul, Brussels and Mello (which is in France in case you wondered, which I know I did……..)!!!!!

Flying, Walking, Talking and anything else you can think of!

Hmmm, that whole feeling bad about it being 2 months since we last posted an update thing clearly didn’t give me any kind of boot up the rear to make a more concerted effort – we are now another 5 months or so down the line & people must think we have spontaneously combusted!!?

We are still here mind, all present and correct – so I will attempt to fill you in on what has been happening over the last few months but you’ll have to forgive me if I leave things out/repeat myself!!!!

Most of February was relatively uneventful and was mainly about getting ready to go to NZ – we managed to fit in a trip to Grandpa Peepoo’s house and then Grandma & Hompy came to stay and to inspect the new abode which we had pretty much managed to unpack by that point!!! Isabel carried on going to pre-school which gave Mummy and Molly some quality time together and also gave Mummy a chance to squeeze in some much needed sewing time (for a Wedding Dress and Isabel’s Bridesmaid’s dress).

At the end of the month we packed our bags and headed for Heathrow with Mummy wondering how on earth we were going to manage 30 hours on a plane with 2 under 3’s!!!???? We needn’t have worried though – all credit to them, the Girls were brilliant and behaved impeccably. We had the odd moment where their tolerance levels bottomed out (but didn’t everyones???) and it didn’t help that Air New Zealand managed not to order dinners for them!!!! So we made it, just about in one piece (though they did also try to lose our pushchair in LA and then make us miss our connection to Wellington by bringing our bags out last!) and arrived rather blearily at Jode & Bretts house for the 1st part of our stay! We had a wonderful time doing not very much at all other than chilling out and catching up with friends, drinking copious amounts of wine (nice one Brett!) and setting the world to rights! The end of our trip saw us move accommodation and also brought about the reason for the trip in the 1st place – Uncle Paul and Aunty Rachel’s wedding!!!!! Isabel looked fab though did as suspected and freaked out at all the people in church so walked down the aisle in floods of tears with her hand clamped firmly over her mouth! A marvellous time was had with lots of memories to bring home with us!

The NZ trip wiped out a large chunk of March as well and what was left of it was pretty mundane day to day stuff mixed with a generous helping of jet-lag…lovely!!!!

Early April had Mummy delivering the Wedding Dress she was making just before we went to NZ and saw Daddy gallivanting off to Paris on a work trip! Mummy then began work on another dress (keeping her well and truly out of mischief!) and we all began gearing up for Isabels 3rd and Hompys 75th Birthdays at the very beginning of May! We had a small gathering of under 3’s at our house to celebrate the Birthday before we headed off for a long weekend in Devon, her actual Birthday and a lovely family celebration – we attempted to introduce a new tradition that involved showing us your Birthday knickers in order to take a picture of them but strangely Isabel was a lot keener on this idea than Hompy was!!!???
The following weekend, Mummy and Daddy managed to escape for the weekend CHILD FREE (thanks to Aunty Crassin!) which was brilliant and the 1st time we had done since either of the Girls were born! We had a lovely time in Bath and managed to catch up with Mr AND Mrs Dibens which is a very rare thing thanks mainly to Julie’s training schedule so it was all the more special!

We have also been keeping a close eye on Miss Isabel who has become rather deaf over the last few months – we have now had an appointment with the nice Dr at ENT and the conclusion has been that she has a very bad blockage of wax in her ears but beyond that her hearing seems to be Ok thankfully. Continuing with drops coupled with an appointment in early August is the current treatment which may become a procedure under anaesthetic to remove the wax but we shall wait and see on that one!

Molly has also been busy of late, walking and talking – the walking was taking a lot longer than the talking but we are pleased to report that she has been a fully fledged walker for about the last month…the turning point for her seemed to be the arrival of the newest member of the Winchurst household, an 8 week old Blue Roan Cocker Spaniel called Tana (as in Umaga, former All Blacks captain and NOT Mrs Ramsey!!!) – watching him run riot around the garden seemed to fill her with envy and so she just decided to get on with it, much to everyone’s delight!!! The talking thing has been happening since the beginning of the year but now she is basically completely comprehensible which makes our life a lot easier – she’ll ask for the things she wants such as “more milk please!” although we particularly liked “Hooray! Sausage!”!!!

The next few weeks are taken up with visitors and then a trip to Devon for Sarah and Simons Wedding and a chance to introduce Tana to the rest of the Winchursts which we are looking forward to. It’ll also be the 1st time he is allowed out for a walk so we’ll keep you posted on how that goes – though don’t expect an update before October or you’ll be very disappointed!

How embarrassing……..

I was totally ashamed to realise that it had been more than 2 months since the last post – what lazy lumps we are clearly turning into!!?

OK, here is where I will attempt to fill you in on what has been happening Chez Winchurst since we last managed an update…….

Life was relatively quiet for early December (unless you were Daddy who was running himself ragged at work with too much to do and not enough time to do it!!) but then we hit the week before Xmas – we were all due to move (somewhat foolishly) on the 20th December……..Grandma and Hompy arrived in Eastleigh on the Tuesday (18th) to be on hand to be chief Tiddler minders and the Packing people arrived on time on the Wednesday. They were all finished by lunchtime and things seemed to be running very smoothly……and then the phone rang! It came to light that our house wouldn’t be ready for us to move into on the Thursday and the Builders wondered if we could call the removals people and ask them to move us in on the Friday instead???!!!! As you might imagine, I was slightly horrified – I very politely told the lady at the other end of the phone that this wouldn’t be possible as a. my Baby had chicken pox b. my entire house was packed into boxes and c. the removals people were, as far as I knew, fully booked for Friday!!!!! A few frantic phonecalls and an extremely obliging removals firm later, it was arranged that our things would be collected on the Thursday as planned, stored overnight and delivered on the friday whilst Isabel would go back with Grandma and stay overnight and Mummy, Daddy and Molly would stay in a hotel (courtesy of Wimpey homes!) before heading to the new house to supervise the delivery of our belongings!
Because the removals people were somewhat stretched on the Friday, our things didn’t actaully arrive at the new house until almost 2.30pm so by the time the chaps had left we spent 20 minutes packing a suitcase and we locked up and headed off for our Xmas trip!!!!

We had a lovely Xmas and New Year split between Devon and Upton and somehow managed to forget about the small country’s worth of boxes that was waiting for us at home!!!

The day after we arrived home, Daddy went off to work – and Isabel came down with the Chicken Pox!!!! So the New Year saw us doing our best to unpack everything and stop Isabel from scratching too much!!!
Since then, life has been samey – lots of unpacking and attempting to find a light at the end of the tunnel of boxes!!! Isabel has started at her new pre-school and absolutely loves it and Mummy is enjoying having a little bit of down time with just Molly a couple of times a week!

We are preparing to head to New Zealand at the (very) end of next month so that we can be at Paul and Rachel’s wedding and, most importantly, so that Isabel can perform her bridesmaidly duties – Mummy is beginning to have the nightmares that involve Isabel running round the church screaming with her skirt up by her ears, or whipping her nappy off mid service or even just refusing to take part at all…… assured we will let you know if any of those turn out to be premonitions instead of nightmares!!!!

For those that are thinking we have fallen off the face of the Earth…….

Yes, I realise that I have been very slack of late in the Updating of the goings on Chez Winchurst – I’d like to have a really good excuse, but I don’t (other than being totally rubbish!!!) so you’ll have to accept my apologies instead!!!

Life has been quite busy, one way or another, over the last month and a half – quite a lot of it was taken up with following England’s very surprising performance in that minor event that some of you may know as the Rugby World Cup…… you can imagine, we took rather a lot of pleasure in rubbing in the misfortunes of the All Blacks to our friends on the other side of the world {Note from Dan: But not as much pleasure as we got from us beating the Aussies!! ;-)} (though they may not be our friends anymore – I’d probably better check on that one!!!!) as we continued to be amazed that our Boys had made it through another stage! Uncle Ken came to see us the weekend of the semi finals – this was due to be the last time we saw him before he upped sticks and headed to the Land of Oz but whilst celebrating the fact that England had once again made it to the World Cup Final, he and Dan realised that they were in fact each other’s lucky charms and that England had never lost a game that they watched together! Therefore, it was decided that they would continue this run of good luck and would watch the Final together the following week (regardless of the fact that Uncle Ken still had an awful lot of packing to do………..he might even have still needed to start it at that point!??) – sadly, as we all know, it wasn’t to be but it kept us out of trouble for a few weeks!!! (Even if I couldn’t watch it as the tension made me feel sick!!)

After that, us Girlies made a day trip to London in order to catch up with our Canadian relatives whom, we realised, we hadn’t seen for about 9 years and who had therefore never seen Isabel and Molly other than in photographic form!

The following weekend saw us catching up with the lovely Mr Dibens who we had last seen at the Girls christening – his was just a flying visit so we hope that we will be able to see him again soon……and that this time he might bring Mrs Dibens with him!! (though we aren’t sure if we are worthy of being in the presence of a world champion – Hurray for Mrs Dibens!!!)

At the beginning of November, Dan I went out without the Girls for the 1st time since Molly was born – a trip to see the Stereophonics in concert was the order of the day (with the lovely Matt and Shelley) {Note from Dan: that should be “Matt and the lovely Shelley” shouldn’t it?! ;-)} and made me realise that I must be getting very old………although I really enjoyed it, I spent an awful lot of time thinking that it was very loud and wondering if they could turn it down a bit!!! Clearly, it is the beginning of the downward spiral…….

Last weekend we headed to Devon to stay at Hotel Winchurst and celebrated Dan’s Birthday, all be it the day after his actual birthday!!! (though we did have cake and presents that evening and then a pub meal the next day!) We had a lovely time doing not a lot – which was also good in view of the fact that both Girls developed a stomach bug that saw us changing nappies for England!!! It was slightly scary, however, to think that the next time we are there it will be Christmas – where does the time go??!

In case you didn’t know, we have also bought a new house (well, are in the process of buying!) and are due to be moving the week before Christmas – we are very much looking forward to getting all the things we are missing at the minute………I am far too excited about having a garden in which to put a washing line for my own good and don’t even get me started on having room for the tumble dryer!!!!

A Happy Band of Travellers…….

Life has been such that we haven’t been at home much over the last month. We had our weeks’ holiday in Devon which was lovely – a static caravan on the outskirts of Dawlish was our home for the week and provided a good base for us to explore the southern part of Devon that none of us was very familiar with! We spent the week visiting places that we thought Isabel would enjoy although, with her truly embracing the challenge of being 2, pretty much anything we did was wrong! This combined with lots of walking made for a nice break – though I did feel that I might need another holiday to recover from this one!

Once we were back Daddy was off on his travels, first to Brussels overnight and then to Stoke (not quite as glamorous!!!) for the best part of the week! Mummy decided that the prospect of being on her own without any adult conversation for the week was one that she didn’t relish so thankfully, Grandpa Peepoo came on the Tuesday morning and gathered us Girls (and our mountain of “stuff” – vital essentials only of course!!!) and whisked us back to Hotel Radcliffe where Daddy came and joined us after work on Friday!

Coming home was a bit strange, given we’d been away for most of the past 2 weeks though we didn’t have to wait too long before we were off again – the next weekend we reinstated our Nomadic status and headed for London so that Daddy could go crawling round the pubs (not literally thank goodness!) with the soon to be Australia bound Uncle Ken and us Girls could have a lovely time at Aunty Catherine’s! Saturday saw us descend on Borough Market (with Aunty Nanna and (eventually) Grandpa Peepoo in tow) in the morning before heading back to Herne Hill to have a delicious BBQ at Dave and Valerie’s house – their flat backs onto an enormous garden so Isabel was in her element and happily ran round into the early evening until we very cruelly dragged her home for a splash! (though she definitely needed it by that point!) Sunday we had a leisurely lunch and long awaited catch-up with Mummy’s friend Rachel before we headed to Waterloo to meet Daddy and get on the train back to normality!

Birthdays, trips away and a Chicken named Delia!

Last weekend, we FINALLY made it to Grandpa Peepoos house – you may remember that our last attempt to do this ended with us sleeping in the car (which really isn’t easy when you have 2 small people in tow!) then abandoning all hope of ever getting and arriving back home roughly 13 hours after we had left!!!

Saturday was Mummy’s birthday and she is still waiting for the Wisdom that apparently comes with age to kick in!!! We had a lovely day – in the morning, Mummy had a Dress consultation with one of her Brides-to-be so present opening was delayed until after lunch! The rest of the day was spent lounging in the garden drinking Pimms and then feasting on the luscious BBQ food that Grandpa Peepoo had whipped up……..the weekend was made especially nice due to the fact that not only was Aunty Jecca there, but Aunty Catherine came up from London for the weekend so fun and frolics was bound to ensue! Sunday saw more lounging in the garden, visits to see Daisy, Doris and Delia (the newest members of the Radcliffe household – they are Chickens in case you were wondering…….) to see if they had produced any eggs and a wander into Upton to have a nose at the Water Festival that was taking place over the weekend! On Monday, mummy had another Dress consultation (this time with a different Bride-to-be) so Isabel and Daddy went off in the car to do a bit of Geocaching whilst Molly had a snooze (it’s a hard life!!!) – sadly, their searches proved fruitless (that’s not strictly true, they did stop to eat a few wild Blackberries on the way!) but Daddy hopes to go back next time and see if we can find what we were looking for! All in all, a most productive and enjoyable weekend!

This week has proved to be pretty quiet – having mastered the fine art of sitting up and eating solid food over the weekend, Molly has spent most of the week developing a very unorthodox yet highly effective crawling technique!!! If she sees something she wants and you put it out of her reach she goes straight after it!!! A good example was her urge to get Isabels sparkly Peppa Pig stickers this morning – after removing them from her (though not very far) several times, Isabel was getting cross………Mummy made the point that she’d have to put them somewhere that Molly couldn’t reach them if she didn’t want her to have them – with that, she thought for a moment and then hurriedly stuffed them up the leg of her jeans that were on the floor…….a cunning plan if ever I saw one!!! We are expecting Molly to be truly mobile any time now – this adds the whole logistical nightmare that is stairgates into our everyday existence…….we were fortunate that when we moved here, Isabel had pretty much mastered the stairs so we didn’t need them but they will soon become a necessity!!!

We are now gearing up to go on our holidays – lots of washing and packing to be done which Isabel is bound to help with………Mummy bought her a new swimming costume on Wednesday which, once we got home, she was encouraged to try on for size – she liked it so much, and was so proud of it that she refused to take it off for the rest of the day…….lucky then that we had been and done the jobs we needed to as people may have looked at her a bit funny!!!! She is, needless to say, very excited about the impending trip and I’m sure she will talk about it and what we got up to for many weeks to come!

Injections, stickers and Wailing Banshees……

We had a lovely time the weekend before last in Devon – it was nice to get away for a few days………a change of scenery is always a welcome thing, and Isabel is always happy when she has a garden to play in and furry creatures to chase!

Last weekend we had a quiet time at home – the weather was a bit hot for Mummy’s liking, so a gentle stroll to Costa Coffee, a drool in the window of Ernest Jones (for Mummy anyway!) and the home to watch the rugby was a much as could be mustered! We had the usual upset from Isabel whilst Daddy (justifiably) shouted at the Referee during the Rugby – lots of “Isabel too scary!” meant that we had to try and explain that Daddy wasn’t cross with her and that the ref. was just rubbish but I’m not sure she was convinced! Sunday was much the same, though we swapped rugby for Cricket and Golf and generally attempted to recharge our batteries in time for Monday!

This week, Molly has been busy exercising her vocal chords and working on her crawling – she spends her days alternating between screeching, blowing raspberries and “Da da da”ing (and sometimes combines the 3!) whilst also getting up on her hands and knees and rocking backwards and forwards…….this afternoon, she got into the all fours pose and proceeded to pull herself forward a couple of inches – this was great until Mummy frightened the what-names out of her by clapping and yelling “Clever Moo-moo!” which caused her to fall flat on her face! She is still an expert at navigating her way round the room on her back and, like her sister, is developing a selection of Yoga poses – whilst Isabels preferred pose was the “Downward Dog” Molly favours the “Crab” which is very impressive……particularly given that Mummy and Daddy couldn’t do it, even if you paid them!

Isabel has got wind of the fact that we are (hopefully, provided it doesn’t rain too much!) going to Grandpa Peepoos house for the Bank Holiday weekend though that is apparently not soon enough – she has got up everyday this week and announced “Daddy home soon! Big snuggles, go Peepoos house in car!” (the fact that Daddy is either still in bed at this point or has just left for work seems to be a little lost on her!)……I’m opting for the tactic of telling her we aren’t going today but we are going “soon” – by the time we do go, I fear she may have got bored of waiting and will no longer want to go!?? She’s also taken to telling Molly “No Molly! Not yours! Leave alone!” or “Molly! Stop screaming!” – I wonder where on earth she might have heard that before??!! The only trauma to have occurred in the world of Isabel just recently is that she had to have an injection at the end of last week – she was quite happy until she realised that SHE was having the jab and not Molly, and this was only when she looked down and saw there was a needle in her leg! Luckily, she was instantly placated by stickers – and was even allowed to keep the whole sheet which is virtually unheard of!! (The nurse must have been feeling generous – either that or they had an excess of “I’ve just been Vaccinated!” stickers………I was a bit concerned that they might have been intended for the local vets, but Isabel didn’t seem to mind!)