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Over half way through October now, and I think officially we can talk about Christmas without people rolling their eyes, tutting, and telling you it’s “too early”. Not that I especially wanted to talk about Christmas, it’s just that time of year, the mornings are cool and crisp, and the evenings are getting dark significantly early now, and with the clocks going back at the end if the month, that will only get worse! I do love autumn though, as I know many people do, the leaves changing colours, wrapping up in scarves, and kicking leaves on the pavement. I’m already excited about the Christmas celebrations ahead and looking back on what a lovely year we’ve had, especially with this blog where we can actually see what we did with all our time and look at the years worth of photos to remind us. I’m still keen to get a photo book made of Olivia’s first year, from birth up to her first birthday, she changed a lot, and still continues to change, hell I may even make this book and annual tradition, It’ll certainly be a fun thing to pull out on her 18th birthday! Thankfully we have a whole lot of time ahead of us before we have to worry about that, we could even have a brother or sister for her to have to include as well, who knows?! We already had news that one of the couples from our antenatal group is expecting their second child, which we’re all really excited about. I’ve managed to organise a dads night out as the moms from our antenatal group meet up all the time, and so it’s only fair us dads get the odd evening here and there to catch up over a couple of beers!

The one good thing about Friday, apart from it being the start of the weekend, is that I get to leave work a little earlier, and get home earlier to see Olivia. It was a pleasant afternoon out, so I decided we’d go for a little walk over the park, just to get out of the house and get a bit of fresh air together. Olivia loves watching things around her, the birds flying, the dogs barking and running around, the trees blowing in the wind, she is so inquisitive! I think its really good for her to get out and see all these things and learn about her environment, and its great that everything interests her. There is so much more to learn than being sat indoors in front of a tv, or even just playing with the same toys again. As soon as she is walking, I’d love to get out more and let her explore properly, walks in the country, and around local woods. There really is no better playground for a child than being out in nature, and I think autumn is a fantastic time to be out as well.

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So, Friday evening finally, a nice night in with the wife, as the little lady who on a rare occasion, skipped her afternoon nap is finally sleeps upstairs, and our only dilemma now is what to watch tonight? Clare suggested put a film on, but I’d actually seen what I wanted to watch on tv, and its a rare thing for me to even watch tv at all, so I was quite keen to stick this on. Channel 4 had put on an entire evening of fund raising shows called “Stand Up To Cancer” with a huge list of celebrities and an amazing array of testimonials from people still fighting the good fight, those who had fought and won, and those who had fought and are sadly no longer with us. It has really been an emotional evening… with over four hours of crying and laughing, but I’ll be honest, mostly crying. Its on until about 2am, although I won’t be staying up that late to watch it, its already around 11:30pm and they have so far raised a mind-blowing £10.5M which is just incredible!! Watching some of the testimonials brings back memories of when my step dad passed away 18 years ago, which coincidentally it happens to be the anniversary of tomorrow. 18 years, I don’t know where that time has gone. I’d never known anyone die from cancer before, and didn’t really fully understand the gravity of the situation at the time, or how I was supposed to cope with it. Sure I was 20 years old and thought I was mature, but with so little life experience at that age, how can you be? In more recent years, I have lost a good friend at work and my aunt, both to this terrible disease, and I know of friends who have lost their husbands and wives to it. I have raised money for cancer research several times in the past on runs and wish I could do the same again on Sunday, but Cystic Fibrosis is just as important to me and my friends at the moment, with their little boy having it, and so I want to try and make a difference for them too!

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