I think the world needs more ducklings

by Nick  

There. That's better.


Spills, not thrills

by Nick  

Had a motorbike accident today. Someone pulled out in front of me, and I had to swerve to avoid her car. Unfortunately, it having been raining, the road was a bit greasy and the back end slipped out. I ended up sliding along the road on my side for about 15 feet under the bike, thinking "ouch, this hurts a bit". Plenty of people stopped (I think it must've looked quite impressive), and one chap was quite quick to run over and lift the bike off my ankle where it was pinned. Pretty much straight away I knew I wasn't too seriously damaged as my ankle worked, and my leg still bore weight.

My trousers and boots did their job, and sacrificed themselves to preserve me. Bike is a bit dented where it slid along the ground - tank, indicator, fairing and gearbox cover are all bashed. I put ice on my calf where it was sorest, and after a couple of hours went to Warwick A&E to get checked over. After a couple more hours wait, I've just been given the all clear for bones, and told I'll probably just hurt a lot tomorrow, and for the next few days. Not as poorly as Alex who broke his leg in a bike accident the other week.

Feeling sore now, so I'm going to bed. I promise I haven't been trying to copy Alex, or practise my Mario Kart Wii moves in the real world...

Months passed...

by Nick  

Oh, what can I say. Illness, being busy at work, busy at home, domestic incidents and travel have all conspired to keep me away from photography and blogging.

After I last wrote, I was hit with sciatica again. It had me laid up completely for 10 days on diclofenac and cocodamol. I did essentially nothing apart from lie on the floor or on the bed, relieving the monotony by occasionally turning over. Didn't even turn on a PC, which probably tells you how bad it was.

It started to ease over the May bank holiday weekend, so I did a little bit of light gardening. Which brings me to domestic incident plus ultra. I won't go into vast amounts of detail (I've re-lived it enough), but the bare facts were: I had a hedgetrimmer; Ros had Jess at the other end of the garden. Then the hedgetrimmer jammed and Jess was crying. After calling 999 and four hours in A&E, we had Jess back home minus the end of her thumb. I still don't know how she got there, but she did. It was horrible beyond words. This story does end well though, since her thumb grew back within two weeks. Stem cells are bloody brilliant things.

Fast forward to June, and I had a ColdFusion conference in Edinburgh. I managed to book train tickets on the morning of release, so the fare was £8 return from Leamington. This was so ridiculously cheap, I figured, that I bought tickets for Ros and Jess to come too, and have themselves a wee Scottish holiday. While I was in the conference, they amused themselves by visiting museums, a city farm, parks and browsing the shops.

Asbo in Princes Street Gardens Me and my tractor

Wheeeee! The Krypton Factor

Together, we visited James, Cathy and their four kids, which was a good, albeit brief, chance to catch up. We also all went to Leith on the Saturday morning before the return trip.

Daisy chain Festival season

Behind you Don't look now, there's a Royal Yacht behind you

Lovely cranes

We survived the 7 hour journey each way, thanks to fuzzy felt, jigsaws, and a portable DVD player which I got free with Nectar points from Argos. Hurrah for Happy Feet.

Since then, we've been on holiday to Germany - we drove across via Eurotunnel and stayed in Cochem on the Mosel and St Goarshausen on the Rhine. I will post separately on that.

Jess is a cheery bunny at the moment. She keeps surprising us with newly intricate sentences ("Mummy, lions in the jungle are a bit scary"), but isn't afraid to revert to grunts and two word instructions. Good practice for teenagehood.

Finally, I bought Ros a Wii today. She's yearned for one for ages - the magic wand-like remote and fun gaming both appealed - so I decided to give her a treat. More Nectar points and good deals at the moment meant it didn't cost too much. Besides, we need some fun after Jess has gone to bed :>>

Birthday pictures

by Nick  

We've had an altogether happy weekend here. Jessica had her "Happy Day" on Friday, and my mum and Jessie's sponsors came to visit on Saturday. Jess was very pleased with her pink tricycle from the Motts:

Cheese The open highway

Both nights since, we've put it away in the garage while she was getting dressed in her PJs for bed, and she's come downstairs and said "Bike gone" and burst into tears. We've shown her it's in the garage being friends with Daddy's bike, and she's been quite happy with that.

On Friday, we went to Stratford Butterfly Farm for her "Special Day", and had a super time there. It's all a bit wow for a two-year old. It's fairly wow for a 35-year old too. There really are a lot of very big lepidopterae there, and they're not afraid of people!

Ooh 'eck, what's that? Happy day

Between showers, we crossed the Avon into Stratford proper, and had lunch at Caffe Uno, where Jess asked for a candle in her ice cream:


She's definitely got the hang of this birthday thing. On Saturday, we popped into town to buy some new shoes for Jess. We got back to see that my mum had just arrived. Jess had dropped off to sleep in the car, so luckily we could get the cake indoors while she wasn't looking:


She had some more quality trike time, and got some more lovely presents, including some bunny ears from Angie and Dave:

Big girl's trike Bunny

Angie also bought her a natty broom/dustpan set which she's been using with great frequency and little tangible effect. She also had some jigsaws from the neighbours and Mary, a retro wooden cooker set from us, some lovely dresses (and, notably, Montezumas chocolate) from Rob and Hannah, some Night Garden bits from my mum and a gardening set from the 'other mums'. It's kept her quite busy shuffling from present to present all weekend. I'm sure there's more presents I've missed, so forgive me - please blame tiredness and the cold that I've got. Ros has it too, perhaps a bit worse at the moment, so we're both feeling a bit zonked.

In other news our downstairs loo isn't working because of a broken flush valve which seems difficult to replace from a DIY shed. I spent several hours tidying our garage. Can it get better than this? Well, a bit, yes. We signed up for Tesco DVD rental the other week, and got our first film: Casino Royale. It exceeded our expectations. Yay for Daniel Craig. Due next up is The Bourne Ultimatum, which should be a perfect juxtapostion. It'll be interesting to see how the arch Bond usurper hits back.

As mentioned, we've come down with colds, so now I'm going to take a bath and got to bed before I drop. Meanwhile I've got some cracking photos from the snowfall last week. I'll see if I can finally post them up when I'm next awake and available.

However, before I go I must mention Jess's latest word. We all heard it distinctly. I'm not sure how it's spelt but I'm guessing at Pubalator. I'm guessing it's supposed to be Pooh-bear-later...

Jess is two tomorrow

by Nick  

...and I still haven't written a proper blog entry in ages. Slapped wrists.

Anyway, it's open house on Saturday at our place for anyone who wants to see what a two year old can do with cake and a tricycle. Feel free to pop by.

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