Sunday, 29 October 2017

I think she might be a bit too big for Boudicca's chariot now!

I do enjoy a 'date day' with my children. It does sadly work out better if it is just one of them. Being able to spend some time with each of the girls on their own is like magic. Last week, it was Lucy and I who set off for Norwich castle museum and lunch. I have to say the exhibits have not changed in years, but we still had fun! I love Lucy's attentive and inquisitive nature in a museum, her thirst for knowledge  and her interest in finding out about the past. She does not miss a trick and at times has a photographic memory, remembering all the exhibits and facts about each era. She had, however, outgrown some of the interactive areas of the museum, specially for children, such as a ride on Boudicca's chariot. She is growing up into a strong woman, one that even the Iceni Queen herself would be proud of! We did both regress and really enjoyed the colouring in of a castle with ghosts and potion making (I made Anna a sarcastic - 'make you wear a dress' potion!). We chatted and talked rubbish all day or gobbledegook as Lucy would say. I loved my day with my girl and look forward to freeing up some time with Anna in the coming weeks too. xx

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Spending time together...

Having caught Mrs Hammond for the tail end of her birthday and showered her with the biggest non surprise birthday present ever in her 'Iwatch', I got to spend a great day late last week with the girls on my own. Tip for all those men out there, who do not know what to buy their wife, listen to the very loud hints! We did what Hammond's do best - a spot of fossil hunting, some chips by the sea and then popped into the arcades to win lots of swag. It was so relaxing and just what I needed having missed them terribly last week. No arguments, just a hint of sarcastic banter and two children with a very competitive nature to outdo me and each other in who found the best fossils. Not great hunting on this occasion, but we did find some great ones that other people had left by the beach café! My father/child bonding time continued over the weekend as Anna and I had a football date watching the East Anglian derby in the bistro (with victory). I had great delight in working out and telling Anna that Ipswich had not beaten city since before Lucy was born. 'They're pants!' she said. Can't agree more, local footballing bragging rights are always a pleasure. One more day of work and then more time with Amy and the girls with a long weekend coming up. All I need to lift me up, is time with my girls doing simple things and I am a happy man..

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Celebrating from a distance....

My baby girl is twelve today. It has been a strange experience in celebrating her birthday with her from such a distance and not actually seeing her. I really do feel like I have let her down. As I write though she is partying and spending time with her friends and I am sure thoroughly enjoying herself. Part of my role as Lucy's dad is one of provider and in the world of being self employed, I go where the work is and often personal life takes second place, especially in the service industry of the care profession where I operate. I have the weekend and Friday off to make it up to her, but that at the moment just seems like placating my guilt. Amy is so in tune with how I feel and organised a FaceTime call this morning at 7am, when I could watch Lucy open her presents. I am eternally grateful, that my wife supports me and understands the difficulty I have in balancing work with home life. It was wonderful to watch and I found the whole experience quite emotional, shedding a tear or two. It was not the same as being there, but it has made my day. Happy birthday Lucy and know that the day you were born changed my life for the better. I am blessed to call you my daughter and you have grown into such a generous and loving person that I am extremely proud to have been involved in raising you. If I am involved it is a modern miracle you are turning out so well! Your birthday presents this year such as the laptop to use for high school, just show how much you are growing up. Have a great rest of the day and I will see you in a couple of days for the biggest hug you have ever had xx

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Three more days to go and I am nowhere to be seen..

Birthday excitement and expectation is rising, all presents are bought for Lucy and Amy. A mini sewing bee and pizza party (great idea Amy) is organised for Tuesday and the most expensive week of the year is about to begin. There is going to be one thing missing despite all the preparations and year long hints from Mrs Hammond, sadly is going to be me. I am away for the whole week working, Lucy is so upset with me every time we talk about it and I can see it in her eyes. I told her last night that 'wherever I am, what ever I am doing I think of her, Wiggle and your mother all the time. You are my world and make me very proud' She told me that this was cheesy, so she can't be that upset! I am gutted and feel I am letting Amy and the girls down with lots of time away at the moment, and missing key dates such as birthdays just compounds this. I have to keep telling myself, it pays the bills, it pays the bills. I usually get really emotional watching the girls open their presents and I am not sure that Skype will be quite the same. I am though, having most of half time off the next week, so lots to look forward to. I will try my best to make up for my continued absence...

Sunday, 8 October 2017

The tale of twelve goals, two wins and a host of deadly farts!

Football makes up a part of the core of Anna's identity. She loves it and lives, breathes and eats football every day. It has been quite a footballing week with Anna scoring twelve, yes twelve goals on Tuesday night at the FDC in a series of mini games with no less than two hatricks! The reference to breaking wind comes in the description of the most harrowing experience I had with her in the car on the way home after. Victory did not smell sweet on this occasion!  Thursday saw her put in a 'lady of the match' performance for the school team. Lastly, Saturday saw the Fakenham Under 10 ghosts gain their second win in a row with a thumping 7-1 victory, with Anna playing vital parts in both defending and making a couple of goals. She was everywhere! I have never see her head the ball so many times. Sometimes though, I think the footballing world gets quite complicated for her, as it is so closely linked to how she feels about herself and how she thinks people see her too. This week, we have had lots of upset, anger and frustration as she has declared her wish to be a goal keeper. She is becoming an excellent and confident outfield player and she does not always see this. I have spent the week trying to boost her confidence and persuade her to stick with the path she has started down. She often grapples with understanding where she fits in the world and I am sure this is no different. Keep going Wiggle, it has been an epic footballing week (apart from your silent but deadly farts!) xx