I often say it, but life can be quite uneventful and a routine can sometimes kick in. School, work, clubs, mealtimes, walk the dog and go again. This is our family cycle at the moment. Then you take step back and think about things that have happened in recent weeks and actually some stuff has happened that deserves a bit of a round of applause. Achievements, that truly demonstrates the Hammonds going above and beyond the confines of our routine. Mrs Hammond started the last year of her masters, both girls had cracking parents evenings (still we get feedback about them being slightly distracted and over enthusiast though!), Anna represented her school at the Norfolk schools swimming gala, Lucy got moved up to the 'elite' group at her swimming on Wednesday and I am mastering regular visits to London and back in a day! Maybe these achievements are not eye popping or jaw dropping in the grand scheme of things, but set in amongst everything that we have to get through in any given day as a family, to me are pretty special. Well done my girls and great to see the fruits of your hard work coming of fruition. We may not ever invent anything ground breaking or cure an illness, but we get through much. In describing us, you would probably not use the words 'trendy, cool or a model family' for example, but I would definitely go as far as saying we are an 'active' 'hard working' and 'busy' family. Amy and I, both have busy and demanding jobs that help others and that makes me really proud too. I would be quite happy for my girls to go under the radar a bit, achieve much in an understated way in what ever they choose to do in their working lives. No need to strive for fame girls (unless you fancy scoring the winning goal at Wembley Anna!), it is a world and life without morals or backbone. I would much rather see you contribute to society and quietly go about your business in both a remarkable and unremarkable way. P.S - not many pictures of Anna recently as she has become extremely camera shy unless it is a slightly vain selfie on her mothers IPad. Don't worry Wiggle I will catch you unaware soon! You do not escape me....
Sunday, 15 January 2017
We love Mrs Hammond. Period. We love her for her strengths, her kindness, her generosity, her weaknesses, and despite her flaws and fragility. She's an amazing mum, a slightly high maintenance wife and a fabulous teacher. I love her for different reasons to the children, but these cannot be published or elaborated on a family website! Occasionally, Amy suffers from a lack of confidence, I might think she is being silly but for her it is real and gives her a heavy heart. Even if we talk, I can often struggle to dissuade her in thinking anything other than she has failed or not achieved something. I have pondered for a couple of days what I could say to change this. So here goes; Amy you are fantastic, you are greatly loved, you are my best friend, you are an intelligent and articulate couch potato, a messy slob and the love of my life. You need to look no further than our beautiful children to see your infinite success, no legacy can compare. I hope my words cheer you up, never think you have failed, never think anything other than positive things about yourself. Keep smiling your beautiful (and slightly annoyingly photogenic) smile xx
Monday, 9 January 2017
After many years in the footballing wilderness Lucy finally agreed to accompany Anna and myself to a competitive football match at Carrow Road and experience the magic of the FA cup. I can confidently say that she loved every minute of it and at times got quite vocal and competitive! I am pleased to welcome her into the official and exclusive club of 'Hammond canary' fans. Based on her chanting, levels of enthusiasm and excitement, high fiving a complete stranger when the equalising goal went in minutes from the end and her passion throughout the afternoon, she is in the club and welcomed with open arms. Lucy was full of questions about the players the game and football in general. I was really quite flattered, as although I am far from an expert, she seemed to view me as one, which I quietly revelled in. You never know my regular trips to the footy may even become a family affair?!? Anna, was her usual bullish self at the game. As we sat in the Jarrold stand, which is not known for its noise levels, she made it her mission to raise the roof and get the atmosphere going. Allied to another young lady sitting behind her, they could account for fifty percent of the chants in the ground! Another proud father moment. What I really enjoyed was that I shared it with both the girls and would love to repeat the experience again...
Sunday, 1 January 2017
There was a wonderful children's book that Amy used to read to the girls when they were very small called 'I love you to the moon and back'. The short version of the story is a child asking his parent how much they love him, the final answer finishes with the emotionally descriptive and famous tag line that is now used by many parents when asked this question or simply stating their love for their offspring. As we see a new and unchartered year in, not knowing what to expect, how much my girls will change and grow and what adventures and challenges await them. I thought I would borrow this line, as in a quiet moment the other evening and thinking about the joy of another year experiencing, living, facing difficult times and trials together, being loved and with my family, I could not find the words in my head to describe how to welcome another year simply being part of this family. In those darker moments at night when I can't sleep, I find myself breathless, anxious and sometimes sad, that one day, this journey will end and I won't see another year in with my girls. So, my New Year's resolution this year, is to build on the already amazing life I have, make a real attempt to focus on what matters and get less distracted by all the fuss and rubbish of modern life around me and appreciate that I am truly loved. That is quite a experience and Lucy in answer to your pictorial question - 'I love you, your sister and your mother a whole lot more than that. In fact I love you to the moon and back..' Happy New Year. It will be a privilege to share this year with you all xx