Tag Archives: Deacon

2015 Review

It’s remarkable how quickly the years go by and 2015 is no exception.  Only seems like yesterday that we moved into our new house and I was starting my new job.  But what about those New Year Resolutions that I set, how well or poorly have I done?

1.  Get away with the family on at least one holiday and three short breaks.  This was number one because it was the most important to me and we managed to achieve this target.

a.  North Wales.  We managed to get away for a Long weekend in January in Deganwy, Conwy, North Wales.

b.  St Leonards.  A long weekend in May on the South Coast.

c.  Aldeburgh, Suffolk.  A lovely midweek break in December before the Christmas week was due to begin

d.  Vouliagmeni, Greece.  The family holiday in July was to a baking hot Athens.

2.  Complete ten races at any distance.  I didn’t too badly at this as I managed to get six races completed.  I did interpret this resolution a little differently as I realised getting away to run races was not easy.  I did discover virtual races from my online running twitter community.  You sign up to a race, run the distance when you can, submit your evidence and then receive your medal in the post.  As well as being able to run in your own time, the other added bonus is that between 10-20% of the entry fee goes to charity.

My running highlights included the real race of ‘Hell Down South’ a 10 miles cross country race, the POW Virtual Half Marathon in September and the Poppy Challenge in November.  I was also happy at breaking my 5k PB, although I can’t seem to be able to break the sub 20 minutes.  The down side of the year was having a serious knee incident that required x-rays, MRIs and numerous appointments with my orthopaedic consultant.  After nearly 12 weeks I was finally given the all clear to start training again, with no real answers of what was wrong with my knee in the first place!

If I look at my overall stats for 2015 they look like:

a.  Running:  510km

b.  Cycling:  1311km

If I had thought about it in January I might have set a target of completing 2015km in 2015, in the end I was only actually 194km short!

3.  Read ten books.  I failed quite miserably on this target.  I managed to read five books in total, mostly on holiday.  This is quite embarrassing really.  Just shows we do not devote enough time reading anymore.

a.  Born to Run – Christopher McDougall

b.  Under The Eagle – Simon Scarrow

c.  The Eagle’s Conquest – Simon Scarrow

d.  When The Eagle Hunts – Simon Scarrow

e.  The Eagle and The Wolves – Simon Scarrow

4.  Study and pass my Education Course.  Thankfully I did complete this and I now have a Post Graduate Diploma in Strategic Management and Leadership.  This did come with the unexpected bonus of giving me the post nominals PGDip.  If I can find the time and the finances I may complete my remaining 2 years of study and get my MBA. As with everything it is finding the time and prioritising what is most important.

5.  Publish a post on my Blog on average once a week.  This was somewhat ambitious and I knew that at the time I wrote it, which is why I listed it as the last of my resolutions.  Unfortunately finding the time to write and publish a worthwhile blog is not easy, maybe little  should be the subject of a few more blogs!  Whether writing blogs makes it onto my 2016 list I am not sure, if it does then I will have to be a bit more realistic and make it a more achievable target.

So looking back not too bad, I managed to live up to two resolutions, made a good attempt at another two and failed on the fifth!  Need to ensure for 2016 that I am a little more realistic on what I put down, but then they wouldn’t be resolutions if they were simple to do!

Not Quite Ferris Bueller’s Day Off 30 years on

Ok it wasn’t quite bunking off school like Ferris did in 1986 but then we are 29 years later on, and how things have changed.  Rather than bunking off school it was an impromptu day off work.  The day started at 5am when little Deacon decided he was going to wake up, mainly due his chesty cough and snotty nose.  Listening to Bing and Hey Duggee in the early hours will stay with me for years to come, the sound of the Hey Duggee banjo theme tune will send shivers down my spine far more than than the banjo from Deliverance would ever do.

After breakfast, which consisted of weetabix being spattered around the table.  Deacon probably ended with more on his face than actually in his mouth.  The surprising thing about weetabix is that you could lay bricks with it, because when that stuff dries you need a chisel to prise it off your face.

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Cookham High Street

The rain had stopped and we headed to the village of Cookham.  Thankfully it wasn’t too muddy, unlike the weekend when we attempted to push the pram to the Magna Carta Memorial in Runnymede.  That resulted in me spending 45mins outside in the drizzle with a bucket and brush trying to clean the chunks of mud and straw that had embedded itself into the wheels. I am sure this combination of mud and straw is called Cob.

After sitting in the carpark for 30mins because someone in the back seat decided he wanted to have a late morning snooze, we were on our 1.5km walk along the Thames and through the village.  The village was rather quaint but everything was closed, unusual for a Wednesday.

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Old Swan Uppers

Lunch was beckoning and we didn’t fancy anything in the village itself so we head to the Old Swan Uppers for a hearty pub lunch.  This is when the little disaster happened.  The spilt yoghurt on Deacon’s trousers on closer inspection, turned out not to be yoghurt.  The pungent smell slowly filling the nostrils also gave away what had happened.  An explosion in your underpants doesn’t quite describe it.  Thankfully we had eaten by this point, so it was time to quickly pay and depart the premises before upsetting the stomachs of our fellow diners.  We had to line his carseat so that the liquidly sludge didn’t leak out onto his seat.  The visit to Cookham was cut short as we made a dash for home.

To this day I am still at a loss how it managed to get so far up his back!  Surely gravity would push it in the opposite direction.  Only one thing could help in this situation and that was to place Deacon in the bath whilst we attempted to get his clothes off.  Then it was a quick spray with the shower.

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The long walk through Swinley Forest

After that delightful episode we headed out again, this time to Swinley Forest to see what the trail walk was like.  We all really enjoy the 2km walk and didn’t see another person the entire time.  The first part of the walk seemed to be continuously uphill, not that I minded as it wasn’t too muddy and what goes up must come back down again.  However the downhill part proved to be steep and very muddy.  I am not sure my chelsea boots were the best thing to wear!

After all that we were all worn out.  Little Deacon was over tired and it took some time to get him to sleep.  As for us two, we made it until 9.30pm before giving up and going to bed.  Lets face it, he will probably be awake again at 5am!

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Swinley Forest

Babies Separation Anxiety: celebrate or commiserate?

If I was to say the words ‘Separation Anxiety‘ I would probably here the collective shudder of new parents everywhere. The only reason older parents are dismissive is that they have actively suppressed all memories of it.

Our little one is about to be 10 months old and his brain has  reached that stage of development whereby he now understands the concept of being separated. There were no warning signs, no gradual build up not even a courtesy email or tweet. One day out of the blue it just suddenly happened and it was made all the more worse because he had a really bad winter cold at this point as well.

Crying-baby-cartoonOnce the concept of being alone has been realised, babies naturally don’t like this, panic, get scared and want to be held all the time. When we say all the time, we mean all the time, even to the point that he will not go to sleep unless you are holding him. When you do put him down, the mercury switch in his brain triggers, he wakes up realises he is alone again and cries hysterically until you pick him up again.

After 3 hours of this in the middle of the night, the poor little fellow is so exhausted he can hardly keep his head up. But, as soon as you put him down the cycle begins again.

Googling about causes as we take it in turns to comfort and rock him back to sleep doesn’t offer us, the parents, much salvation.  All I read is this is a phase of emotional development and it will ease at some point between 12-24 months!!! We feel the bags under our eyes sag that little bit further.

The only thing you can do is pick them up and reassure the little one that everything is going to be ok. Letting them ‘cry it out’ is just not an option for us. It is too distressing for them and also for us, as we cant bear to hear him cry that hysterically.

The bond to their mum is the strongest, which can upset mum because they never seem to get a break, but, it also upsets dad because he tries to help but can’t because the little one only wants to be consoled by mum! This is tough, but dads need to persevere and eventually he will be so tired that he will lay on your chest and fall asleep.  He will of course wake up every 30mins or so to double check dad hasn’t left him on his own.

The good news and to be positive about it, this is just a natural stage of development and the little guy is becoming self aware! Cogito Ergo Sum you could say. And that is a moment we should celebrate and be proud of, albeit at 3am when your patience is running a little thin and you may be on the receiving end of a one way diatribe from your better half if you tried to explain that point.

In the end you may both feel fed up with the seemingly endless walks around the bedroom throughout the night trying to cradle him back to sleep, but you should be proud.  Our little boy is growing up.