Archive for December, 2007

Come on you greens!

December 26, 2007

Come on you greens!
Originally uploaded by pinkaboo_uk.

Bill’s Christmas present – a trip to Home Park on Boxing Day to watch the pilgrims defeat QPR while young master Samuel was safely being watched by his Nanna and Grandad.

This was the first experience going to a footy match for both of us and we had front row seats for this entertaining game which ended with Plymouth taking the win 2-1 in the last moments of extra time. This seating wasn’t as great as it sounds because a little elevation would have been good, and it also meant we were on the elderly and wheelchair bound row rather than in the thick of the crowd of supporters, a little peculiar and devoid of spirit there when you could hear the chants rising up from the throng behind us.

Sam enjoys himself at the playground.

December 23, 2007

Originally uploaded by pinkaboo_uk.

Bill’s birthday was spent in Dorchester at my Aunt and Uncle’s home. After lunch we took a walk around a new development that has been built near their home. Poundsbury is Prince Charles’ model village and it certainly does feel as though you are walking around an elaborate model, a film set devoid of occupants.

We were intent on taking Sam to the playground in the village but sadly he fell fast asleep before we got there. We didn’t let that spoil his fun though!


December 19, 2007

It took me all day to decide, but at five to seven as we were eating our tea I finally got brave and summoned up the courage to go out hashing on my own. The run was out at Horndon by Peter Tavy and, mind set, I dashed around the house stealing dad’s headlamp and sticking reflective tape to my all black running gear before frantically leaping into the car and forgetting to say goodbye to Samuel and Bill. Well, I didn’t really forget, I just didn’t have time to go back into the front room and make Sam cry. Sorry!

After a bit of confusion and having to call pater for advice I navigated myself to the start and thankfully couldn’t have missed the sprawl of hasher cars up on the moors, and badly dressed hashers adorned in tinsel leaping around in the cold supping mulled wine and dining on mince pies. I signed in, paid my pound, and as directed, dropped my car keys into the bucket, wincing as they disappeared into the tangle of metal as it then occurred to me that they weren’t actually mine and I had no clue what Mum’s fob looked like! Oops. I then joined in the chilly foot stomping and shivering, and just as I got handed a nice cup of warm alcoholic beverage the hash was called to attention and everyone went charging off.

Slightly concerned that I didn’t want to be lost out there on the moors by myself I hastily followed. I needn’t have worried though as after trail led us nicely out into the darkness it transpired that the rest of the flour must’ve been used to make those mince pies and with narry a splattering to be found we were all lost.

The rest of the run was spent haring to and fro scouring for any trace of trail and trying to decide whose torchlight would be less folly to follow as everyone began to string out across the moors. The only person I recognised from my previous TVH3 forays was Glani so I caught up with him and reintroduced myself. He wanted to know where Dad was and why he was at home playing at being old.

After much shiggy, tiptoeing through an icy stream and meandering around a bog we eventually came across what appeared to be a bridge with a troll blocking passage. This foul beast turned out to be Exocet to guide us back on trail and onwards home.

Recovering my keys from the bucket wasn’t as challenging as I had feared as I waited in the cold until most others were clutching theirs and then fished some out and pressed buttons until Mum’s Toyota flashed merrily back at me. Phew.

One pint at The Elephant’s Nest later and the hash turned festive and bawdy Christmas carols were sung.

At this point I shall revert to the On Sec’s scribbled report of proceedings:

“Once again many of us thought we had lost the plot. Goodness knows what Tasty Pie thought of it all. She last hashed with TVH3 twenty years ago in the days when Bloodnock was still roaming the range. She was a mere child at the time, running with her dad, Kool Kev. She subsequently moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where she earned the soubriquet, Tasty Pie, in recognition of the fact that it was Thanksgiving which was being celebrated with Mother Springett’s Pumpkin Pie. She’s back with us for six weeks.”

Yes, not entirely accurate. And, yes, that is Martha Screw It getting a mention in the TVH3 hash mag!

Monday – Pew Tor

December 19, 2007

Daddy carrying Sam in the hod.

A slow start to the day had Grandad’s plans to take us to the beach in disarray. He came home from work to find that I had just woken up and as soon as we had managed to feed everyone lunch it was Sam’s turn to fall asleep on us.

We eventually mustered the troops and were ready to leave the house by four and only had a sliver of daylight left in which to do anything. Ideas of a walk on the beach thus got shelved in favour of a trip to Pew Tor.

Molly spies fresh poop.

We parked at the bottom of the tor, and with Sam stowed in the hod on Bill’s back, walked to the top and back, searching for letterboxes along the way.

The great tree hunt.

December 19, 2007

After the sleepless flight the day before, followed by the long car ride down to Devon I don’t know how I managed to stay awake long enough to feed and bathe Sam in the evening before putting him to bed in his fantastic nursery. Mum and Dad have totally baby proofed the small box room which used to be my domain and filled it with lots of fun toys and books, as well as a low bed on which to dream circus filled dreams. I curled up under the bright clown covers with Sam to give him a snuggle and settle him down, the next thing I knew Bill was peering in to look for me as I’d fallen dead asleep. After that I just crawled into my own bed and passed out for the night.

I woke up bright and early before anyone else in the house and so feeling energetic snuck downstairs and kidnapped Molly for a run on the moors. She keenly followed me up onto the lane but then it was a bit of a struggle to get her going as she kept sitting down, looking back towards the house and waiting for her Daddy. Until she could no longer see the gate to the lane she would stop and turn every few steps and I had to coax her onto the Down.

Once her attention turned to walkies I ran a large circle around the Pimple, following the stone walls and touching upon the moorland golf course, while Molly ran amongst the gorse, often accidentally flushing out startled Dartmoor Ponies. The cold was biting on the lungs but not all that bitter on the skin, and it was a beautiful start to the morning and the stay in Devon.

Later that day when the rest of Ashridge was roused it was Operation Crimble Tree. First of all Daddy and I ventured out intent on finding a suitable specimen but sadly after scouring Tavistock we had to return empty handed. The old fall back of Woodlands even failed us this year as the place was deserted and bore no signs of Christmas Spirit. There were Christmas Trees to be had in the town, but for a cost, and we were not prepared to shell out thirty quid plus for one. Insanity!

After lunch we renewed our efforts and took a family trip to the garden centre in Yelverton, only to be disappointed once more. Again, they had trees but the price was outrageous.

Best friends.
Brigadier Samuel and his trusty Molly, buckled up for the Great Hunt

Leaving Bill, Sam and Daddy to take Molly for a needed walk, Mum and I then decided to branch off and try Yelverton proper. We had decided taking two cars to scour Devon on the Great Christmas Tree Hunt was rather silly, but our next stop was a good ‘un and yielded us a little tree. We came across a seller at the side of the road by the Rock Inn. He didn’t have much left but we found a nice little pine that fitted our budget and felt accomplished in our hunting. Of course, as soon as we had stowed our tree in the boot and made to drive off we watched the lad receive a large delivery of fresh trees. Oh spit!

Mumsy and I then made a guess as to where Daddy might have taken his crew and headed to Grenofen for a stroll. We guessed wrong, but decided to go stretch our legs along the river anyway before returning home with our prize.

The flight

December 19, 2007

We made it! Sam, Bill and I flew out of Atlanta on Friday and touched down on English soil on Saturday morning. Happy Birthday Daddy!

As expected the journey over was pretty awful. Sam caused rather a fuss about getting onto the aeroplane and as soon as we sat down the lady in front of us asked a hostess if she could move to a spare seat. Sadly she was stuck where she was, which was unfortunate for all of us as her vacated seat would have been a rather nice refuge for Bill or I.

Sam did quiet down admirably and didn’t get too vocal during the flight. He was instead a wriggling mess for all but the two hours of the journey during which he did eventually pass out. Thankfully I had managed to find a colouring book with stickers and crayons at an airport shop and that kept him occupied for a good chunk of time.

Having a vegetarian meal also made things easier as this meant Bill and I got served at different times. This was crucial as the cabin crew basically treated Sam like he didn’t exist and would deliver a steaming meal to us, wave it above Sam’s head impatiently and expect us to immediately set it down on top of our squirming toddler. I know we didn’t pay for a seat for Sam (though had to stump up a considerable amount to cover taxes), but they also never even offered water for him to drink throughout the flight. We hadn’t packed anything for him either as we weren’t sure what the security regulations would be, so Bill and I had to pour what little water we were given into a bottle to make sure Sam didn’t go thirsty and wouldn’t spill it all over the place in the process.

Probably the worst point was when I had to take Sam to the toilet to change his nappy. When I stood up it was just a wet nappy. When I had his nappy off and was wiping his bottom I was very surprised to discover this status rapidly changing. All I could do was cup my hand to catch this extensive fresh present. In panic I deposited the handful into the toilet bowl (twice!) and holding Sam by an elbow, unlocked the door with my clean mitt to call out to the queued passengers “I’m sorry, I have a little disaster! I need my husband! He’s in 22B!” Bill then appeared and squeezed into the tiny cubicle with Sam and I to come to my rescue. Not quite what you think is going on when there are two adults in the aeroplane conveniences!

in flight

After this uncomfortable and exhausting flight, upon arrival we were cheered somewhat when several of the other passengers commented on how good Samuel had been and commended us on keeping him so quiet throughout the flight.

Immigration and customs went very smoothly and soon we were walking through arrivals and a tall, waiting, waving, Daddy was the first person as I saw as we rounded the corner. Hoorah! Mum then came charging under the barrier and it was hugs all around.

Happy Birthday Daddy!

December 15, 2007

By the time you log on to see this I’ll have given you a big birthday hug too, yay! Love you very much. Can’t wait to see you at Gatwick.




Knock Knock!

December 10, 2007

I’m exhausted. I have so much to do and with Sam on the loose it’s one step forward two steps back all the time. When I do get a second to myself I can’t muster the ability to do any of the projects I really want to be doing and I constantly berate myself that I haven’t even had a chance to keep up with my journal over the last month and now I feel like I’ve missed so much journaling in the past four weeks that I don’t know where to start. I can’t wait to get on that aeroplane next Friday and let Mum and Dad have some Nanna and Grandad time!

Sam’s asleep (edit – crap! I spoke too soon!), my bedtime now, and I promise I’ll try to be better and do a proper post this week. Meanwhile, here’s me teaching Sam how to play with his food. I know Mum and Dad aren’t impressed, and I’ve already had cause to regret this when trying to have a nice meal out with Bill.