Christmas Eve

We decided to take a family trip into Luxembourg City to visit the Christmas market this afternoon. We don’t get to do much together very often and, since the sun was shining, it seemed like a good idea.

Freya had a go on the merry-go-round, but got a bit upset after a minute or so, so Daddy jumped on to the rescue.

We had a banana coated in white chocolate, some sweeties and some gingerbread. It wasn’t until I took the pictures with Santa that I noticed the big E on the camera’s display. E, no doubt being for Error. None of the pictures had written to the card, so I reseated the card and that seemed to fix it. But by then we were on our way home. So all we got were a few pictures with Santa and a couple of pictures of Hamish. Better luck next year I suppose.

Nativity scene


T’was the weekend before Christmas, and high time indeed to get the nativity scene set up. The stables are there all year round, jam packed with wooden animals that Freya really enjoys playing with. The nativity characters are a new addition. We cleared away many of the non-suitable nativity animals (I myself was chided when attempting to include a hippo) and organised a treasure hunt around the living room. Freya took great delight in finding the nativity characters hidden under and behind various bits of living room furnishings.

Where shall I put these?

We had a lot of fun setting it up and Freya really enjoyed herself. She doesn’t really get what it’s all about yet, but she can certainly sense that something is happening and is getting excited. She said a couple of weeks ago that she “wanted to go to Santa”.

She also enjoys pointing out all the Santas that are hanging from the wall’s of people’s houses on the way to and from the forest creche. When I was young we counted Christmas trees, but now there are Santas hanging off the walls all over the place.

Putting Jesus in the manger


We’ve struggled really hard to keep a mince pie fully in tact so that we can put it out on Christmas Eve for Santa. I was planning to get some more from Little Britain tomorrow, but the word on the street is that they’re close to being sold out. Hopefully they’ll have a nice Christmas stocking too, as Freya doesn’t have one. Shocking, huh?

First solids!

Our little Hamish just turned six months, which means it’s time to try him out with some solid foods. He tried some baby rice yesterday and seemed to enjoy it just fine. In fact, he didn’t want to let the spoon go!

Nom nom!



Six months old

Our cheeky little chappie just turned 6 months old. I was at Little Brother’s jam for the first time when Freya turned six months old. This time around I’m knee deep in translation and have just taken delivery of my SCGC Vintage Artist, which is sitting beside me all boxed up waiting to acclimatise. That’s the hardest bit – waiting for the box to acclimatise. It could prevent the finish from checking though, so it’s worth being patient for a little longer.

So, without further ado (much about nothing), he he is…

I’m half a year old!

QotD: My Holiday Wish List

What’s on your holiday wish list?

Does holiday mean Christmas? I’m finding more and more differences between UK and US English as I spend more time on Vox.

What I’d really love is a 1080p HDTV, but it’s not going to happen as we really don’t think that it’s worth buying any more expensive hardware until we know where we are going to be in a couple of years’ time.

Besides that, I’m pretty much set really. Just some happy memories of a Christmas spent with my young family – my almost-3-year-old is really looking forward to it. She met Santa for the first time yesterday, and a few days ago, said that she “wanted to go to Christmas” – cute.

Oh, and a successful conclusion of my translation would be nice, too. Then maybe I can enjoy the new year a bit more!

If you really did want to push me though, I’d gratefully accept a mandolin built by German luthier Heiner Dreizehnter in Tasmanian blackwood throughout. (to match my Heiner D guitar).


It’s weird, but I expected to be feeling happy. My wife and two children went back to England this morning to visit the grandparents and to let me work solidly for the week and give me a fighting chance of meeting my deadline. I dropped them off at the station this morning and felt the tears begin to well up as I waved goodbye to my 2-year old as she stood by the train doors. She looked so sad.

I came home to an empty house and had actually been quite looking forward to the sense of freedom to do what I want. But, I’m now coming to realise that what I want is to be with my family, so I’m actually free to do anything else besides what I really want. And that’s what’s so weird.

Having children changes one’s life in ways that one can never really comprehend until one has children. Everyone says it’s a life-changing event, and pretty much no one would argue with that, but until it really happens, you just never really know. At least I didn’t.

It’s a right miserable day today, which does nothing to lift my spirits.

They are on a pretty long journey involving a train ride, a bus ride, a flight and then another flight (with baggage collection and check in between the two flights because it’s Ryanair). The second flight is about to leave and she hasn’t called. That just makes me feel more depressed. She forgot her mobile phone in the dash out the door this morning and I guess getting to a payphone with two kids and luggage is too difficult. I’ve already been to the post office to mail the phone and charger to her so that at least she’ll have it for the way back.

So this is only day 1 and I’m feeling dejected already. Maybe it will get easier as I get my head stuck back into my work again, and I’ve got some things lined up for the evenings to keep me from moping at home.

I’m a family man now, and I wouldn’t be anything else. I miss my family and hope that they’re having an okay trip. They were all tired and our 2-year old has a stinker of a cold. When she’s tired, she gets crabit and stops cooperating. And so, back to my work then with the the phone by my side. I guess I won’t hear from them now until they reach grandma’s. Sigh.

Back from the doctor’s

It turns out that Hamish has got a bronchial infection. He has a baby inhaler (looks like a weapon from Star Wars!), suppositories and syrup, and 8 sessions of physio for clapping, or something like that. It loosens the phlegm apparently by clapping and massaging the chest. He had a session tonight and has another one tomorrow morning.

But what about me? Well, I took my guitar to a guy in France to have the pickup looked at – it’s not working right. He had to keep the guitar, which is fine, but what wasn’t fine is that it took me two hours to drive the 30-minute journey home. In fact, I didn’t even come home in the end as I decided that the traffic was so bad that I might as well just go and wait at the forest creche to pick up Freya. And it’s just as well I did, for if I had have come home, I would have got caught in the traffic taking my secret backroad to Esch – I guess it wasn’t so secret after all. It’s the worst traffic I’ve ever seen, all because they’d shut off a bit of the motorway. For what, I don’t know – most likely nothing at all, judging from past lane closures I’ve encountered. It really is the most frustrating country to drive in that I’ve ever had the misfortune to, well, to drive in. It would make a good topic for a public blog post! Maybe I’ll do just that.

Oh, and I was listening to one of the Song of Ice and Fire books in the car. Awesome!


Hamish has had rather a bad chesty cough for over a week now so we reckon it’s time that we took him to the doctor. He seems perfectly happy, but you hear scare stories about coughs turning into pneumonia and the like, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. Of course it means a long wait for Lorraine in the waiting room – it’s bad enough when you have an appointment, never mind when you don’t! And since I have to work, she’ll have to take Freya with her as well. Thankfully there are plenty of toys in the waiting room, but also plenty of infectious diseases too!

Lorraine took some pictures yesterday to use for our Christmas photo cards and we’ve been deliberating over which picture to use. I can’t attach one right now as I have some hard disk diagnostic checks running on the downstairs computer right now and, of course, I hadn’t copied the pictures up to the centre of operations. I’ll post them up later on today and maybe you can help me choose.

Translation wise, I have a mere 500 words to go of chapter 7 to go, and that leaves only chapter 8 and the conclusion, some 9500 words. The end is visible.

Oh, and I got the MacBook yesterday. It’s going to take some getting used to – being partial to keyboard shortcuts, it’s rather frustrating not to have them any more. I’m sure there are some shortcuts to learn, they’re just different.

Back to work then…

Picture for announcement card

This is the picture of Hamish we used to make the birth announcement cards. Born June, announced November. Some folks will be thinking that the announcement was for our third!

Hamish & Freya

I haven’t put any new pictures of our baby son Hamish on my website for a long time, mainly due to the hassle of doing the html, selecting and resizing the pictures. Perhaps having a blog will be a way of ensuring that I put family pictures up more often, something about which I’m sure our families back in the UK will be most pleased about!

So, here’s a nice picture of Hamish, taken on 9 November 2006.

And while we’re at it, here’s one of Freya tucking into her lunch on 1 November 2006:

Pictures are taken with a Nikon D70s (which I bought just a couple of months before the D80 came out — grrrr!)

I’m going to invite some friends and family to my Vox account now to see how the whole thing works. Please post a comment if you get a message about this. Fingers crossed!