As you recall, the sailing club were generally very pleased that Nathaniel had won the Commodore's Trophy, albeit with a little help from Ian. They were also rather keen to meet Thea.
So we broke with our normal obsession with getting to bed at a sensible bedtime, and decided to attend the beginning of the YRISC Annual Dinner en famille.
Nathaniel was very excited. After supper, instead of having five minutes playing and then going to bed, he put on his smart "work shirt" (plus a rather fine t-shirt that says "can't sail (yet)" on it), and we went out to the hotel at which the dinner was being held.
At a special ceremony before everyone sat down to supper, Steve, the Commodore, presented Nathaniel with the Commodore's Trophy plus a matchbox jeep towing a rescue boat on a trailer (the later doesn't have to be returned next year!).
Despite our best efforts to prepare him with endless renditions of the story "Nathaniel wins a prize", Nathaniel had a moment of shyness, and had to accept the trophy with my help.
He regained his composure afterwards and was able to put his firm handshake into practice.
Dorothea arrived on Thursday 17th November at 7pm. She managed to be born at home, and everything was really quite chilled out! We never managed to use the birth pool, despite Ian eventually filling it with a bucket!
Nathaniel is being an ideal older brother and looking after Thea very well. He is very diligent about finding her blankets to keep her warm! He looks like a plague victim because he had his face painted for Children in Need!
Sorry - we never took a proper "before" picture. But you can probably remember what it was like - turquoise walls, delightful orange and brown flowery carpet. And don't forget that the carpet never reached the walls - there was a border of unsanded floorboards around the edge, and that the underlay felt like plastic bags - it crackled as you walked across it and barely added any padding to the floorboards.
This is the best photo I could find:
(Jan 2011 - building the expedit (essential ikea part of all childrens' rooms)
Of course, the room was also furnished with all the boxes that we haven't unpacked since moving. Even when Nim was living in it, the whole of one wall had a line (sometimes two thick), of packing boxes full of useful things such as playstations and games, notebooks with only two or three pages filled, baby clothes that have never been worn. I won't tell you where they all are now, but you wouldn't be surprised.
But thanks to the parents, all these things are gone and we now have cream walls. Two days of fierce painting have eliminated the turquoise, and although we will have to come back to it one day and deal with the textured wall paper which is still in place, it looks amazing! And no young child ever cares to that extent!
We have never told Nathaniel that he should move into the room - we didn't want him to feel that he was being moved to make room for Adama. He has just been told that we are sorting out Auntie Nimmy's room and that he wants to move into it, he can. And he really does want to!
He watched the carpet fitter very carefully (he has been playing laying carpets ever since), and gave him a running commentary on how he was planning to move in. He then spent all afternoon and evening playing in there and running around - "I really enjoying all this space, Mummy!". He was disappointed not to sleep in there, and has been quite clear that we should move his bed this evening. He seems rather taken by the idea!
I've never been terribly convinced about the merits of taking small children to firework displays. Particularly when the small child in question isn't altogether convinced about loud noises (he sometimes asks to put on his headphones that we bought him for seeing bands at festivals when the drill or hoover is being used!), or about large crowds of people (we are raising a hermit!).
So we decided not to bother with the various spectacles on offer and just have a look and see what we could see in the sky from here.
Fortunately, on Friday we were treated to a really good display just east of the house, just at bedtime. So after teeth brushing and pyjamaing, we sat on our bed and looked out of our giant bedroom window (so that was why they put in such ridiculous windows in the 60s - for watching fireworks!), and watched a great display in the warm, with double glazing insulating us from the loudest bangs.
N was pretty convinced by this, and talked all day on Saturday about fireworks, and as he had a good nap in the afternoon, we decided to go out at bedtime and see what could be seen.
The views from the Moor were amazing. Standing in the middle we got 360 degrees of fireworks, and due to the low cloud and damp conditions, all the smell of being in close proximity to a bonfire! As every display/pile in someone's garden died out, another would begin, and we mostly were spoilt for choice in where to look.
Nathaniel enjoyed himself and was pleased to report that he liked the ones that banged the best, and that I liked the fizzing ones; "There's another fizzy one Mummy - you are a big fan of them"; "Bang - did you jump?!".
We didn't manage to leave until past 8 o'clock, and the boy would have stayed for longer if we had let him.