Today has been the most memorable and lovely day. Set in the Abbey Grounds in Walsingham, one of my most treasured places on the planet, I celebrated my birthday early before we went on holiday for my 'not a fortieth birthday picnic'. Amy worked so hard in organising it and I feel very humbled by the collection of family, very old friends, new friends and special neighbours that came to help me celebrate. I had so many unexpected gifts and I can't thank people enough that you went to this trouble for me. The day was done at a Hammond pace of life which is gentle and mild, as life should be! The most wonderful part of the day was watching all the children play in the sunshine and the river and has given me memories of my 'big' birthday I will treasure for ever. Oh and the food was delicious, sorry Mrs Hammond but I am afraid your sister wins 'food of the day' with the chocolate brownies. Pictured is Kate, my oldest friend by a country mile, but Mrs Hammond you are my dearest friend and always will be. After all, so far we have nearly spent half of my life together and you have already given me so much in our wonderful children. Now you can add a very special birthday picnic to your list of many accolades! I will let you recover for at least a decade before we contemplate another party of any ilk though, I promise. We are all shattered now and need a holiday to recover, only two more sleeps to go.
Saturday, 26 July 2014
Amy has worked so hard in recent years to get fit with endless sessions at the gym, cycling and running and I could not be more proud of her; in fact she completely shows me up for the unfit 'nearly' forty year old I am! On Tuesday, she ran the 'Race for Life' and raised money for cancer research. It was fantastic to be able to be home and take the girls to support her, even though it was freezing cold for July! It was, in fact an emotional evening, with one girl competing who was the same age as Lucy and lost her mum last week. A very brave little girl and truly inspiring. All those messages on the backs of the women running and dedicating their time to a loved one was very sobering. As I approach the big forty, I find my thoughts turning towards Auntie Doris, who we lost so many years ago now to cancer. I wonder what she would make of how I am doing now, my lovely family and whether she would be proud of me and my girls. When she was unwell and in hospital I was just starting to turn my life around having not been in a good place for quite a few years at the end of my teenage years and early twenties. I would love her to have met the girls. I think she would have adored them. Thanks Amy for raising that money, I am very proud of you. x
Sunday, 20 July 2014
And it was, in a manner of speaking! Overcome by the heat and humidity Anna and Lucy instigated a water fight in the garden yesterday that in the end consisted of simply standing in the garden and tipping a bucket of water on their heads. The enjoyment strangely seemed to come in repeating this practice again and again! Although it was extremely hot, sometimes I am not so sure about my kids! It was great to see them hurtling around and giggling. A different point of note - I must record how proud I am of both the girls and the excellent school reports they got for the end of the school year. Lucy has three more days to go and then she will have 100% attendance for the year, a great achievement. Only nine more sleeps to go to our holiday! After much debate as a family, I am afraid that Cornwall will not be graced by the presence of the family Hammond this year, instead we have opted for a much hotter destination and off on a plane (girl's first time) and to Majorca! Very exciting..
Tuesday, 15 July 2014
Who would have known, based on sound knowledge of the family Hammond that we possessed such hidden artistic talents. Anna and Amy went all 'modern yummy mummy' on us and made their own 'Playdough' complete with food colouring and the works. The picture attached displays the innovative and post modernist sculpture that myself and the girls made and simply entitled 'Man in car'. Not even the harshest of critics would dare say it was nothing short of ground breaking art and I am sure it will have our fans screaming and begging for more....
Saturday, 12 July 2014
I cannot express how proud I am of both the girls this week and the progress they have made with their swimming and the hard work they put into their lessons.(mostly without complaint!) This week has been one of real achievement - Anna managed to swim 25 metres unaided which I think is fantastic for a little one who has only just turned six. Whilst Lucy finally discovered a competitive streak in the races she took part in and discovered when it comes to backstroke in particular she is actually very good and accomplished indeed, coming in second even after she bumped her head on the turn in between lengths. A mighty and very loud 'well done' to both my girls x
Monday, 7 July 2014
Now Anna had some great toys for her birthday, but none can surpass her bright orange 'retro' space hopper from her Uncle Matt. This transported me instantly back to the late seventies/early eighties and the same one I had, all be it, mine was a worse shade of orange! I have to confess that I despatched Anna inside this evening, claiming she needed to go and get ready for bed, so that I could sneak a go without an audience. Shame on me I know, but great fun!!
Tuesday, 1 July 2014
Anna was up unusually early for her this morning and I can't think why she was so excited! After birthday pancakes, opening of presents and cards she skipped off to school with the worlds biggest 'I am six badge' covering virtually the whole of her chest! It was a joy to watch as she proudly told everybody she met that it was her birthday and what all her presents were. 'My daddy and mummy bought me a pretend fish tank light - it's great as I don't have to feed them and the fish don't die!' Quite right Anna. She had much swag - Hobbit figures, a minion rucksack, a new scooter, pop up footy goals for the garden, clothes and much more. Followed up by skidding on her new water slide in the garden, fish and chip supper and chocolate rice crispy cake. A visit from her friend Rosie, who is equally as bonkers as Wiggle and Granny and Grandpa rounded off a great day. I missed the last part of the day as sadly Libby is poorly and in hospital (get well soon) and I gather emotions ran a bit high as the birthday girl tired a bit. I was very moved as I told Anna that I was going to the hospital with Libby and one tear trickled down her cheek as she asked me 'to promise to look after her Libby'. This is why you are loved Wiggle. Happy birthday darling x