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Month: September 2009

Survival

Survival

It’s Sunday evening, which must mean we’ve managed to survive another weekend – yay for us 🙂

Saturday was the usual mix of swimming, shopping and a little housework. Oh, with a certain 9-year-old’s birthday party thrown in for good measure. I’m not particularly secretive about the fact that I dislike these events, but this one wasn’t really that bad. The kids all behaved themselves, and I actually managed to learn a few of their names and have something approaching conversations with them. Well, OK, it was food time and they told me what sandwich they wanted, but that’s progress for me.

Today was time for more shopping (for Mrs H anyway, I stayed home and marshalled our little darlings), a walk, and then (a delectable) Sunday Roast with the in-laws.

Oh yes – these walks. We’re surprising ourselves with this. Since our trip to the Lake District, we’ve been taking ourselves off for weekly walks. We’ve invested in 3 Landranger OS maps (178, 179 and 189, fact fans), and spend 5 minutes on Saturday evening deciding on a suitable spot, and then 2 or 3 hours on Sunday walking. Surprisingly, we’re enjoying it. More surprisingly, with the weather not looking too promising this morning, we still headed out, and we still had fun. Who’d a thunk it?

If you want to keep tabs on where we’ve been and what we’ve seen, there’s a new link over there on the right with the oh-so-imaginative title of ‘Walks‘. It takes you to a section of this site where I’m trying to record where we go along with any notes and comments and so on. The Google maps with overlays of our routes are nothing clever on my part – they come from Everytrail.com, a site that lets you upload GPS tracks from a variety of sources (I use my lovely phone).

Now… I’m being told I’m only typing here to avoid jumping on the Wii Fit thingie to be told how fat I am.  It’s true, but I can delay no longer…

Leysdown Loop

Leysdown Loop

A walk along the Sheppey coast from Leysdown to (nearly) Harty, and back along inland bridleways. Very tough going with the pushchair between the 2 and 3 mile mark as the footpath almost gave way to long grass and bushes. At about 4.5 miles, there’s a stone marking the vicinity of Britain’s first powered flight (by a Briton) in 1909.

1 very tight gate for the pushchair, and 3 locked gates requiring lifts. Horses on the bridleway must be good jumpers…

Leysdown Loop at EveryTrail

Map created by EveryTrail: Share GPS Tracks

Harty Ferry towards Conyer (and back)

Harty Ferry towards Conyer (and back)

Again, the GPS app on my phone crashed about half way out, so this is just the route back. Full walk was therefore 5.4 miles in approximately 2.5 hours – approx 2.1mph – slow!

Passable with a pushchair, but only with a few lifts over fences where the pedestrian gates are too small. Quite hard going with the pushchair in places as the track can get quite narrow so you’re pushing through long grass and over rubble etc.

Harty Ferry towards Conyer (and back) at EveryTrail

Map created by EveryTrail: GPS Trip Sharing with Google Maps

Fowlmead Country Park to Deal (and back)

Fowlmead Country Park to Deal (and back)

A pleasant walk through the Fowlmead Country Park (built on the slag heaps of a disused coal mine), into Deal, and back, with a stop in the café at the end of the pier for a piece of cake and a cup of tea.

6.2 miles in 2 hours 39 minutes – 2.3mph (time includes the cake and tea stop…)

Fowlmead Country Park to Deal (and back) at EveryTrail

Map created by EveryTrail: Share GPS Tracks

Herne Bay to Reculver (and back)

Herne Bay to Reculver (and back)

We actually started on Herne Bay seafront, and walked to Reculver and back, but the GPS app on my phone helpfully crashed half way to Reculver. Total walk was therefore approx 7 miles, in 3.5 hours. We need to speed up 🙂

The clifftops between Bishopstone and Reculver have a footpath and a cyclepath. It seems that cyclists get cross at walkers walking on the cyclepath (even though it’s signposted as a footpath).

Herne Bay to Reculver (and back) at EveryTrail

Map created by EveryTrail: GPS Community

Baby News II

Baby News II

Things James has now:

  • Hair.  Enough to go curly when it gets long, and to look worryingly ‘Hawaiian Sunset’ in the right light.  Or should that be the wrong light?
  • Teeth.  3 at the last count, with more coming.  He’s had 2 for what seems like an age, but the telltale signs of proper teething started about a week ago and he’s now sporting a nice big upper incisor to go with his 2 lowers.  The scarcity of teeth hasn’t really stood in his way though, as he half-munches & half-gums more or less anything we give him, including apple, raw carrot, chips, banana.
  • Shoes.  He’s not walking yet, but he’s nearly there.  To help him on his way to full mobility, we’ve got him a pair of slipper-ish shoes to wear whilst he’s taking his tentative assisted footsteps.  With a steadying hand or two, he can walk, and there are moments when there’s no physical reason for the handholding.  Around and about the house, there are the odd moments, say when he’s standing, holding onto the sofa, when he forgets he can’t stand on his own, and lets go of the sofa; there follows a couple of seconds of standing before the brain kicks in saying “Oi, you can’t stand yet”, and down he goes.  It feels like one day he’s just going to ‘decide’ to walk, and he’ll be off.
  • A temper.  He’s turned into a proper little person, with good moods and bad moods, and times when he’s happy to sit playing with a cardboard box, and other times when he needs constant interaction.  When he’s in a bad mood, and he doesn’t get his own way, we get the full on “laying on back kicking the floor” screaming ab-dabs.  Our usual reaction is to smirk a little, wait for him to ‘get over it’, and then carry on.  It rarely lasts for long.  We keep telling him he’s a little early for those terrible twos we keep hearing about.  He doesn’t seem to care.
  • Words.  Just a few, but the available vocabulary seems to grow each week.  He has recognisable versions of ‘Hello’, ‘Bye bye’, ‘Mama’, ‘Dadda’, ‘Harry’ and ‘Brother’, as well as a  very expressive ‘Oooh’, which can mean a number of things, including “That’s new”, “I want that”, “I’m excited by that” and so on.  We also get nodding and shaking of the head, although not always in the right places.
  • Waves.  This is a real charmer, and he knows it.  If he’s being cheeky and wandering off somewhere where he probably shouldn’t be, he’ll try to buy some time by giving a little regal wave on the way out.  Strangers in the street get the same treatment (sometimes accompanied by his ‘hello’).

In general, he is a happy, inquisitive little soul.  He’s growing in personality all the time, and acquiring new skills at a blistering rate.  I’m well aware that just about every parent in the land would say something similar of their own offspring, but I make no apologies for that.  Our boy is special, because he’s ours, and we love him to bits.

Obviously…

Obviously…

Derren Brown’s “How To Win The Lottery” thing was obviously* a camera trick.  The lack of perspective change during the fake ‘camera shake’ was the big giveaway to me.  I didn’t actually spot the ball moving.

And now I sound like one of those conspiracy theory nutters.  Oh well.  I do believe the Moon landings happened though, ok?

A few people seem to agree with this theory – here’s one of them.

* Almost, kinda, mostly obvious.  I think.