Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Baby Review : Isabella Grace

This weekend we went down to Norbury to meet Victoria's cousin Liz's new baby. Liz and Ed had a baby girl on the 1st May and called her Isabella Grace.

Isabella is a cute little thing. I would say she scores 9.5 on the Alice scale of cuteness, with only Alice scoring a perfect 10 of course. :-)

I had forgotten how little newborn babies were. Now that Alice is running around making as much noise as she can it's hard to believe she was ever the same size as Isabella.

She was also very well behaved, sleeping most of the time and occasionally waking up for a stretch or a quick feed. When I held her she was a bit wriggly but I put that down to me being out of practice holding such little babies.

We were all having a nice time until Alice decided to burn her hand (see below) which cut the day short. It was still nice to meet the new addition to the family and I can see Isabella and Alice getting up to all sorts of mischief in the future.

Congratulations Liz and Ed. :-)

Monday, May 29, 2006

Alice's First Accident

Alice had her first proper accident on Saturday. When I say proper accident I mean that a trip to hospital was involved!!

We were on a visit to Norbury to meet Victoria's cousin's new daughter (see next post) and Alice decided that touching the hot plate of a hostess trolly was a good idea.

We knew the trolly was there and Alice of course wanted to spend most of the day in it's vicinity so we were extra cautious, following her everywhere. At about 15:30 however both Victoria and I were distracted for a mere moment and Alice took this opportunity to touch the hotplate. She only really brushed it but it obviously hurt as she was really crying and would not stop. Her hand was red and blisters eventually appeared. :-( It was almost as distressing for Victoria and I as it was for Alice.

We took her to Stafford hospital but there was a 2 hour wait and it was full of dodgy looking people who smelt of alcohol, so we decided to come back to Sheffield and take her to the Childrens Hospital. Once there we were seen within a few minutes.

Alice by this time had got over her ordeal and was happily using the injured hand as we were telling the receptionist how worried we were. No matter how much we tried to convince her Alice refused to act more poorly. :-)

The doctor said the burn was mild and they burst the blisters and wrapped the hand up in a comedy sized bandage. She looks like she is wearing a boxing glove!! We have to keep it dry and take her back on Friday to have it removed and the hand checked.

The next morning Alice woke up and was using the hand as though it were free of it's huge bandage. The lack of fingers really does not seem to bother her.

We felt really guilty about Alice hurting herself but what can you do? No matter how careful you are these things are going to happen and I don't think we have done too bad to have had 18 months without a hospital trip.

I have to say that the staff at the Childrens hospital were great. They were friendly, great with Alice and they explained everything to us. They do a really great job and I will be making a donation this week.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Album Review : Bruce Springsteen - We Shall Overcome:The Seeger Sessions

I don't know if you have noticed or not but I am a bit of a Springsteen fan. I have been for the past 22 years and in that time he has never failed to please no matter what direction his music takes.

I have to admit though that I was slightly worried when I heard that his latest effort was to be a covers album. Even more worrying was that all the songs were to be covers of songs made famous by Pete Seeger. I'm English!! I don't know who Pete Seeger is!!

I need not have worried. This album in fantastic.

It does not matter if you are a Springsteen fan or not. I am sure that anyone who likes music will find something to enjoy here.

Rather than stick with the standard band Bruce has put together a group of session musicians. This means the album has a totally different sound produced not only by the different musicians but also by the wider range of instruments on offer. There is Banjo, Harmonica, Double Bass, Violin, Organ and a fantastic horns section (the Miami Horns I believe), all of which add up to a great sound.

Musically the album sounds like an old American folk rock album. The songs are from the last 200 years or so but were made popular by Seeger in the 40's, 50's and 60's. The album brings alive the music with a sound like a cross between big band and a hootenanny. This is a joyous collection of songs!!

It was recorded in just three days with the orchestra and it sounds quite 'loose' and under produced as a result. You can even hear Springsteen sounding out cord changes in one of the tracks as the rest of the band were still learning the songs.

I am sure you can tell, I really like this album. Whether you like Bruce Springsteen or not you should give this a listen.

The End Of The Jack Bauer Power Hour?

Victoria and I watched the last episodes of season 5 of 24 last night. What a great finale. It's been a couple of weeks since Jack has killed anyone and so last nights double hand to hand combat kill came as a welcome relief.

Unfortunatly the season did not end well for Jack who (not to spoil it for people watching on Sky) had better like spring rolls!!!

I'm thinking of mounting a rescue attempt. Who's with me????

I've bought season 1 on DVD so Victoria and I are going to start watching them all again from the beginning over the summer. Life without Jack is just not worth even contemplating. I reckon we can watch all five seasons before the next one starts. :-)

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Botanical Gardens

Last Saturday (29th April) Victoria and I decided to take Alice for a little walk around the Botanical Gardens in Sheffield.

I can't remember the last time I was in this park but it was a long time ago. Since then they have renovated the glasshouses that used to contain birds, fish and plants and changed them into one big greenhouse full of plants from around the world. It is most excellent. :-)

Actually the last time I went to the Botanical Gardens was to go to the Curators House restaurant about 18 months ago. I seem to recall a very nice meal.

Anyway, I took my camera with me and took some photo's of the park, plants etc. I even managed to create a panorama that I am happy with!!!

Let me know what you think.

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