Birthday Girl

It was G's second birthday today. Here she is opening her presents in the living room this morning, still in her pyjamas. She got quite a few, as I'm sure you can imagine.

Last night in the same room there was a rather different scene. After she'd struggled to go off to sleep, a very rare event indeed, we finally got her out of bed and put her on the sofa with us to quietly watch a bit of TV. No sooner had the face of Richard Madeley appeared during an episode of Who Do You Think You Are?, then I heard a gulp, and then a splat. G had just thrown up in epic style all over my lap. Whether this had anything to do with Richard Madeley or not I don't know, but I choose to believe that it did.

To put this in a bit of perspective, G is never ill. She has an iron constitution. Beyond a bit of colic at about six weeks, and the odd cold, she hasn't been sick at all. No chickenpox, no mumps, no whooping cough. Some babies always seem to be ill, but G isn't one of them.

Perhaps unsurprisingly then, she didn't seem to have much idea of what had just happened, and was very upset. But she finally got off to sleep and showed no ill effects this morning, although the stack of presents and, possibly just as importantly, shiny paper to rip up, may have had something to do with that.

Just like last year, we took her to Chester Zoo for the day. Unlike last year, when it was decidedly chilly, today was roasting hot. G flagged a bit through a combination of the heat and tiredness from her broken night's sleep. But I did manage to snap a picture of a rare moment when G was actually walking under her own power, and not either being carried or asking to be carried.

She could even see over a few of the low fences this year to get a better look at the animals. Favourites included the chimpanzees and the elephants, although despite my best efforts I failed to generate much interest from her in my favourite animal in the zoo, the okapi. But then I suppose a creature that's part-giraffe, part-horse and part-zebra seems perfectly normal when you're only two.

Holiday Snaps

While I was taking some fairly mediocre pictures with my camera phone, Mrs J spent part of our recent holiday using her rather more fancy photo-taking machine to capture some quality images of G. Here are some of the best of them.

It's quite a transition from the angelic shot above to the one immediately below, in which G looks as though she's ready to cut anyone who goes near her. Must be the hoodie that does it.


As part of our holiday to Knoydart, we had to take regular boat journeys. Well, when I say we had to, that's not strictly true, but given that the only other way to get to where we were going was a 15-mile hike over rough country, we opted for the boat.

After a couple of days sat mostly indoors watching the remains of Hurricane Katia lash down outside, we finally got out and braved the ferry last Tuesday. Even though the water was still a bit choppy, G seemed to enjoy standing up and looking out of the cabin window. She did go a bit quiet when we started to pitch up and down a bit more violently as we approached port, but thankfully her breakfast stayed in her tummy.

All rather more fun was our journey on Thursday, on which we took a total of four boat rides, from Knoydart to Mallaig to Skye and back again. This picture was taken on the last of those, as we sped (relatively speaking) back to Knoydart over a very calm Loch Nevis, and Mrs J held G up for the benefit of a photo. She seemed to enjoy it. My little girl has clearly developed her sea legs early in life.


We're back from holiday. We spent ten days away in Scotland, a week of it in a cottage with some friends on the Knoydart Peninsula, a largely uninhabited corner of Britain which also happened to be in the path of Hurricane Katia as it blew its way through last weekend. It wasn't really a hurricane by the time it reached us, but as you can see, the wind was certainly strong enough to make walking problematic for G.

More pictures and stories and all that to follow.

Climbing Frame

I often take G down to the playground in Uppermill of a morning, because the fresh air and activity helps tire her out for her afternoon nap. When not enduring roundabout-based mishaps, she always enjoys having a good go around the various bits of equipment. At first the swings were her favourite, then she graduated onto the slides, and now she's big enough to gingerly work her way along some of the more precarious parts of the big climbing frame, as shown in the picture.

The effort and concentration required for a less-than-two-year-old to keep her balance on something probably built with much older kids in mind is evident from G's face. I suppose I should have been doing something responsible, like keeping my hands ready to catch her in case she lost her balance, rather than taking the photo. That stance looked pretty rock solid though.