Sunday, July 08, 2012

June 2012 @ FTC.

It became quite clear early on in the month that I was going to struggle to blog and would therefore rely on a monthly roundup to summarise all our adventures.  This came about largely because we've been pretty busy, but also because its been Euro 2012 and so every evening when I would think about blogging has been filled with a football extravaganza instead!

The month kicked off with a four day weekend to celebrate the Queens Jubilee.  Tasha's parents and Ammie visited and to set the tone for the month it rained.  There was a pageant along the Thames with all manner of handraulic and motorised boats making their way along the predetermined route.  I'm sure there was a lovely atmosphere in London but I'm pretty happy that we were sat indoors eating roast chicken watching it on the telly box!  Needless to say, Fred brought his camera although every shot seems to be of one child or the other so I'm kinda lacking atmospheric/family shots ... that said, they would only be of us sat around the TV or table so hardly edge of your seat stuff!

We had plans for the following day (which was Monday 4th) but they were quickly shelved when we realised how grumpy Alfie was!  And so we made the decision to visit Shepreth Wildlife Park, a day out a little more focused on providing kiddie entertainment.  To a degree it worked, and we had a lovely day out with the highlight definitely being the bats who were far more active than the last time we visited.  Esme might disagree, I think her highlight was lunch!

The following weekend Bill and I managed to get a days fishing squeezed in.  It was Bills birthday and we had hoped for a long chug out deep to try and bag us a Tope or two ... but the weather had other plans and we spend the days leading up to the trip watching wind speeds and just preying we'd be able to get out fishing!

Come the morning (an early start as usual) and the sea in Brightlingsea harbour was eerily still.

With the weather looking OK we decided to get a chug on.  Not to go quite as far as we'd hope as we knew the winds were going to pick up, but we wanted to get deep enough to give us a chance of Rays and Smoothies.

It was hard graft when we got out there though, and even with a really proactive approach all we bagged was a single Whiting!  With the winds picking up we decided to head back to get some shelter up the estuary and head to the much fancied 'bass spot'.  Anchor down, we got some baits out and hoped our luck would change!

And how it changed!  All I can say it that is simply 'went off'!  We must have had 11 fish in just a few hours, the icing on the cake being us both finding ourselves with rods bent doubled!

Thinking back, I think that's the first time it's happened since we were about 17 and were fishing the small carp lake in Boreham!

A week later (Sunday 17th) was Esme's Baptism.  And with it being pretty much 5 years since Tash and I got married we took the opportunity to renew our vows and have a bit of a knees up!

We'd booked the village hall in Ickleford, baked a whole load of cakes, organised some ladies to deck the place out, and so we put on a lovely afternoon tea to the backdrop of 50's tunes as recorded by ourselves of Radio Ichiban.  It was absolutely lovely, and now my daughter won't be eaten alive by the devil.  Unlike me.

Esme really did take centre stage, with her and little Anna having a right little conversation whilst all the other young-uns crowded round.

A massive thanks go out to Bill, Michi and Cat who are her Godparents.  I know you will all be wonderful for her!

On the last Wednesday of the month Tash went back to work.  After a few months of being unemployed she bagged a job working for Thomsons in Luton.  Its a perfect location, just 12.5 miles from FTC and uses back roads that no-one else touches.  When we knew she was getting the job I rode the journey on my bike, and then again a few days later in rush hour to see how it was.  With her being keen on a bike for a while and now having secured a job within cycling distance we went out and bought a bike to celebrate.  She's now the proud owner of a Trek Skye SL disc.  Its an awesome bike, I just hope it has the gears to get her up the hills!

Funnily enough on the day Tash went back to work I already had plans.  And that was for Bill to pop up so we could finish the car port!  Mel very very very kindly stepped in and offered to look after the kids whilst Bill and I got cracking.  A foolproof plan until we awake on the Wednesday morning to find Alfie with a really heavy cold and simply far from being himself.  Mel was prepared to give it a go though and so I dosed him up and dropped him off along with Esme.  I didn't think Bill and I would get too long to make progress but Alfie made it through to the afternoon which was long enough for Bill and I to get the remaining framework up, fixed in place, and joined to the back of the barn.

The next morning was my first full day with both Alfie and Esme on my own.  Not something I was particularly worried about.  Alfie was still under the weather and Esme isn't much bother.  It all changed by mid morning though when a routine trip to the supermarket was abruptly halted by Alfie throwing up all over the inside of the Benz!  It was a bit like that scene from Desperado, he threw up "everywhere except in the fucking glass!"  And so it was that I was presented with my first real challenge as a professional Dad of two - how to get both a baby and a toddler covered head to toe in his own vomit out of the car and into the house...

On the whole it is going very smoothly though, although I find moments like this all too rare!

And so onto the last day of the month, Saturday 30th, and it was time for a road trip out to Wiltshire for Nathan and Rhianna's wedding.  We left early, took a pit stop at London Colney to grab me a new suit jacket and trousers, and were still the first ones at the church!

It was another gorgeous day.  Rhianna looked amazing, Welsh didn't scrub up too bad, and even Alfie stayed semi-clean until midday.

The ceremony was at a gorgeous little village church

and afterwards we all made the short trip round the corner for the reception.

It was a gorgeous venue that came complete with children's entertainment/death trap.

We found our table and had a lovely afternoon.  There was even homemade Sloe Gin! - yay!  Tash forgot to bring ours home though - boooo!

And of course, there was a cake to be cut!

As is often the way with these type of events Alfie, now fully fueled and recharged, decided it was his turn to be centre stage.  He took a right shine to a little girl of maybe 6 or 7 years old and decided that a) he must hold her hand and b) he must lead her around at every opportunity.  Poor girl, she was very good and patient with him though.  The DJ kicked off and it was time for the first dance - something Alfie thought was for him.  He belted across the room to grab the hand of this little girl and do his best to drag her onto the dance floor with him!

What else happened?  Well it rained.  Like all the time.  The most rain in June since records began apparently.  I am just hoping it all clears by the time the Gathering ticks around in August!

June was also the month where Esme's character really came bursting out of her.  It is very clear that a) she likes her food, b) she can sure take care of herself and c) she definitely has her mothers temper!

And Alfie has really stepped up to the plate playing big brother.  He has even been know to share toys, do things that he's been asked, and even say the word 'yes'!

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