Saturday, 30 July 2016

And finally she starts her autograph book off in style!

Anna's big day certainly did not disappoint as today she ran onto the sacred ground at Carrow Road as one of the team mascots. The most amazing birthday present from her friend Pierre was such a fantastic experience for her (and me as the accompanying and allegedly responsible adult). She met the players and got autographs galore, had a tour of the ground, sat in the dugout, got a brand new kit and then ran onto the pitch with one of her favourite players. She loved it and smiled and smiled. Even better we even dragged along the whole family, cousins and all, to watch her big moment (with Amy and Lucy quietly and perhaps reluctantly even enjoying the football too). She was polite, quite quick witted with the players and then it all fell apart when she told one city player that he was not as good as her favourite John Ruddy. He pretend sulked, gave her a high five and then ran off. Best moment - in the city changing room she stood by Wes Hoolahan's kit and drinks bottle and simply sighed in a loved up, hero worshiping haze and mist. She is one very lucky girl who received the most wonderful of gifts from a good friend and I feel very privileged to have shared it with her. Cheers Wiggle - you gave me a day to never forget too xx

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Blimey, it's busy already!

School's out for summer and the holidays are upon us! It has been nearly a week since the girls broke up and I am not sure our feet have touched the ground. Every day has been filled to the max and Amy and I are already shattered! Amy had to spend the first day of the holidays in school finishing off her workload, not to mention a trip to the school in the middle of the night and setting off the alarms (that is another story entirely!). I am still working and rushing like mad to get things done ready for some time off next week. Anna has been at football camp all week, Lucy is preparing for guide camp next week. In between we have had days out at Pensthorpe, friends over for tea, Uncle Matt and family are back from Abu Dhabi, Auntie Kate's birthday celebrations and we even squeezed in  another day fossil hunting on which Anna managed to bag 112 belemnites! It is so hectic when you are this popular socially! I am wondering how we can keep up this pace for six weeks, only time will tell. The girls are chilling with a daily lie in - they deserve this break after all their hard work last term - watching films, having long walks in the sunshine with the dog, they have taken up the library 'read a book a week' challenge and kicked this off this evening - so a busy rest! Looking forward to time off with my clan next week and my birthday. The one sad thing is that Lucy is away and I wish she could be with me on my birthday. This is how it is going to be as time goes by, so I better to used to it and man up...

Saturday, 16 July 2016


The venue was set, dozens of teams prepared for a historic battle and the final football tournament of the year came sharply into focus this morning. Anna braced herself, armed  with her trusty shin pads, she flexed her defensive muscles for the fight. And what a fight it was too! Now this may not sound right, but the team played seven and lost seven today, but they shone, fought and simply get better and better with several narrow defeats. I was so proud of them all as they worked so hard in the warm and humid July weather and had fun - which is what it is all about. Anna was not the only one doing battle as I had to come to her aid, as a protective mother got quite upset that Anna had scythed down her boy (I would like to place on record no foul was given and it was deemed as a legitimate tackle). The referee declared Anna his 'player of the tournament' with her fearless and die hard defence, her positioning was spot on and she was a good reader of the game.  I purred inside. Lucy was getting really animated, screaming for Anna to get stuck in and keep going. I know football is not her thing, but she really got into the spirit. I loved it when she told her sister she made her proud. Afterwards I rewarded the girls with an slushy or ice cream in sunny Sheringham - hence Anna's blue tongue!  We shopped till we dropped, searching for all things 'Pug' for Lucy in every tacky gift shop possible, eventually deciding on a rather fetching Pug mug! Great day with my girls. They just keep coming and coming...

Sunday, 10 July 2016

An unexpected surprise...

Unexpectedly Amy and I found ourselves child free this afternoon and with a few hours of time together as the girls had a play date with friends. Initially, I have to say we looked at each other and thought - what do we do now? This kind of time together is so rare, particularly as the girls go to bed later and later, leaving not much time for us as a couple. Time alone during the day without a club, activity or general family life is even more rare. Our chosen destination of lunch at Holkham Hall and a dog walk around the lake was perfect. Time together chatting, planning, holding hands, taking stock and strolling in the sunshine was simply lovely. We work so hard to and focus all our time into the girls, I did love this surprise couple of hours with my wife. We didn't even spend the whole time talking about the girls as we usually do! Talking of the little ladies in our lives - I have been beaming with pride all this week following two excellent school reports for this term, using words such as hard work, application, enthusiasm and great attitude. Are the teachers sure they are talking about the right children?!? Well done girls. Mummy and I are very proud of you and all your hard work. If we could only transfer your immaculate behaviour over to when you are at home, this would be great too...xx

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Strike one!

Normally when teachers or any profession does such a thing as call a one day strike that means my children do not go to school, we loose money and earnings and we need to find a way to ensure they are looked after for the day, this would be the point that I would go into a rant about professionalism, whinging and they don't know they are born; but not today. I decided to embrace the events of the day, go with the flow and take the girls to Pleasurewood Hills for a day of rollercoaster fun. Who would have known that teachers striking could lead to so much fun! Without this, Anna would never have got to blow up a pirate on the toilet with pretend TNT (too complicated to explain!), Lucy would not have taken her thrill ride stock up another level and I would not have spent one the most memorable days I have had with the girls in ages. Poor Amy, enveloped in good values and not striking missed out, not that theme parks are her thing anyway. We ate rubbish and rode rides all day - absolute heaven. This has also risen me temporarily to 'parental god' status. The best part of the day was that the girls were so impeccably behaved, polite to all the staff at the park and only argued for a matter of seconds. More parental bliss. We should skive off more often girls! Until the next time...

Friday, 1 July 2016

The world is not ready for Anna and the need for speed...

Happy birthday to my darling baby girl. Eight years ago today I nervously held you in my arms, if I am honest I was almost immediately struggling with the concept of having two children and how I was wrong. Anna and Lucy are the gift that just keeps giving. I have not seen much of Wiggle on her birthday today as school and work got in the way, but this evening we have celebrated in the only way the Hammonds know and gone out and eaten loads with Granny, Grandpa and Libby at the Thai. Anna has revelled and delighted in her birthday, grinning from ear to ear and declaring 'its the best birthday ever'. A free flow of presents including a go-cart (peddle powered I hasten to add, as the world is not ready for Anna in anything powered by a real engine capable of much speed, its hard enough to keep up with her now!) has come her way. The cash from family and friends has just kept coming, as she has wracked up £75 to spend on anything football or Stars Wars related, which seems to be her given choices at the moment. I always love sharing birthday memories with the girls and their special days and today was no different. Day two tomorrow as we have a house full of very noisy and excitable children for her party - now already affectionately known as the 'Wiggle Olympics'. Not quite as excited by the prospect of this, but I have just got to go with the flow. Once again, Happy Birthday Anna - you light up my life and that of all you come across (when you are not arguing). Special mention for Lucy, who today has dealt with and handled the sibling birthday challenge with grace and decorum. Love Dad xx