Adam Bird


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Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Babies, Games, Birthday's and A Persian Flavoured Wedding

Generally speaking Stephanie and I don’t have wonderfully exciting lives. We go to work, come home, have dinner and veg out on the sofa, watch a film together or maybe I’ll retire to the other room and spend an unhealthy amount of time on the Interwebs, writing another incessant rambling piece which passes as my blog whilst Stephanie watches a gruesome documentary about murder and it’s ensuing investigation. It has then, for the past week been something of a nice change to the usual routine with some days out, new experiences and the pleasurable involvement of somebody elses very special day.

Last weekend, Friday, it all kicked off with the archibald ingall stretton... away day. The first Friday of July is declared an official work bank holiday, in that the whole agency disappear somewhere together and come back the following day feeling rather worse for wear. More specifically, a rather beautiful house in the rolling hills of the Oxfordshire Cotsworlds, near the market town of Bicester. Middle Aston House played host this year, whilst the archibald ingall stretton... staff indulged upon drinking and whiling away the afternoon with football, cricket, touch rugby and the more sedate but aggressively combative croquet. Despite a stray baton during softball, which hit the poor head of User Experience firmly on the head, causing a delay in play and a rather large lump on her forehead which meant she had to rest up and spend the rest of the afternoon with an ice-pack for company. Away day’s are rarely uneventful occasions, which proved to be the case with one of the digital designers having to have the alcohol, sorry blood that was seeping out of his foot after accidentally treading on a broken bottle, patched up in a late night visited to Accident and Emergency whilst the rest of the agency continued to drink the bar dry and dance along to a late night selection of disco music.

Whilst I was away in the heart of the Oxfordshire countryside, Gillingham Football Club decided to announce a whole host of new signings which was further supplemented on the following Monday with a seventh, Charlie Lee, bringing an unsteady and unfamiliar breath of confidence over us long suffering supporters. Clearly easily excited, Reaso and I got in contact and decided that there was only one thing for it. We’d have to travel after work to Ashford and see the Gills in action during their very first pre-season friendly. There is something very unique about the lower-league football supporter, they tend to be a loyal breed, most of it is misplaced, but when you find yourself in the middle of a field on a Wednesday night with 1,000 other possibly deluded supporters, you cannot help but feel part of something very special. As it was, for the sake of prosperity, Gillingham fielded two teams of equal ability, one in each half and won comfortably 3-0 over an Ashford United side that were playing their first ever competitive match (previous incumbents Ashford Town went bust at the end of last season), in a stadium that consisted of one single stand, a rather large area around the pitch that was marked out with a fence that supporters could mill around quite happily, either on the touchline or under either cowshed that was situation behind either goal. Sound idyllic? Indeed it was.

The following day, something else entirely different and of infinite more significance. An appointment at the hospital where we were due our second scan, the one that’s due in or around the twentieth week, the magical scan where they can more or less be 100% certain about the sex of your baby.

Stephanie and I have been in much deliberation, “to know, or not to know”, that really has been the question. Stephanie, for practical and pragmatic purposes wants to know whilst I, quite simply don’t. I remember the exact moment that Oliver was born, that magical split second in time that the nurse had lifted him up and away from us to the resuscitation area where they had to work on him for a short, terrifying few moments. Within that moment of transit, all I could see was his little body and the revealing of his appendage that let us know finally what out first child was to be. With that in mind and my own insistence that each child gets treated exactly the same I ‘d rather not know. I want that special revelation all over again, which brings with it that first unique bond with your just born baby which I believe would be desensitised if I was to find out now.

So there we have it, still a surprise for the next few months at least. But the good news, is that for the real reason of the scan, confirmation everything measures well, and there are no underlying medical issues that we are aware of and so we can head towards the final trimester with the hope and excitement of the previous two.

With everything safe and well, Stephanie and I were able to look forward to a busy weekend whilst showing off scan pictures and the answering of “do you know what you are having?” questions. The only thing that could spoil my happiness did spoil my happiness when ten minutes before we were due to leave the house on Saturday morning for a wedding. After my suit had been carefully ironed after it’s long hibernation, I put it on in readiness to leave the house. However, in the subsequent space of however long it’s been since I wore it last, I have grown - considerably it would appear. With no suit to wear, I had to rustle up a shirt and trouser combination from the bottom of my wardrobe, which made me feel entirely uncomfortable for the rest of the day.

If my discomfort was distracting it didn’t spoil what was to be a lovely day and a great wedding, which for the family was a actually a huge pleasure to have been invited. After working in Iran, Dad kept in contact with a colleague he worked with at the time, a lady by the name of Noush who now lives in the UK and has met and fallen in love with an English guy named Rob. It was actually quite touching to hear her speak during the speeches about how the Bird family have welcomed her and been a help to her since she arrived in the country, which I attribute entirely to my Dad. Despite the differences in cultures it felt like a true Great British wedding with a vicar, a beautiful bride looking elegant in white with a jolly good knees up afterwards - even if the food was a lot nicer with meats and salads of Persian origin that did nothing to help me increasing waist line.

If Dad occasionally gives us reason to feel proud of him, for reasons we least expect, it was perfect opportunity the following day to show our gratitude as he’d reached the milestone birthday of fifty. Around my parents house we all converged to enjoy a lazy afternoon in the garden enjoying a hog-roast that had been cooking slowly for most of the day, a DJ arrived and parked up in the corner playing a mixture of music that provided a perfect soundtrack to the beers and wines that were drunk and conversations that kept the afternoon flying on by. Glyn and Shona, long time friends of the family arrived with a Pinata that provided my personal highlight of the afternoon. All the children lining up patiently to beat the poor thing with a stick aiming to crack it open for the sweets inside. All the kids took a leisurely thwack except for Indigo who had been saving all her rage, all her angst and all of her effort to take it out upon the poor, unsuspecting Pinata, which she swung at with all her might... and missed, oh how we laughed!

If the past week has been a social exception to the rule, there are always the things that normally happen around the house to keep us on a normal footing, such as this past week, we’ve been trying to keep Oliver dry of a night and out of pyjama nappies. We knew that this path would be full of little accidents so as an incentive we suggested to Oliver that if he made it five nights in a row with a dry nappy we would buy him a Ben 10 watch, something he’d wanted since he lost the last Ben 10 watch he’d had. Four nights all ticked off and congratulations all round, Oliver was desperately looking forward to his new watch, which explains why on the fifth day we were woken up to an inconsolable little boy who’d had an accident in the night. He broke our heart with the tears and attempted explanation that he couldn’t quite get out, which is why we are not firm disciplinarians and a hunt for a new watch goes on as we speak!


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