Archive for June 2007

Happy Birthday Duncan!


This time last year Duncan you hadn’t arrived yet. Mummy and Daddy were at the hospital, with mummy getting nearer to hard labour than the midwives believed. (They wanted me to go home for dinner – but you weren’t going to let me eat anything more that day!) All day today I’ve been replaying your arrival over in my head. We were so excited and we didn’t even know how lucky we were because we were getting you!


This year has been an amazing experience. It’s been the hardest year of our lives, with sleep deprivation leading me into a months of teary moments. I have never been so ill as I was this winter, as tired as I was for the first nine months, or as physically drained. I’ve never had so little energy in my muscles or so little strength in my legs. But along with all that, I’ve had more cuddles than I could imagine, more quiet moments with you asleep in my arms, and more giggles than I expected. Even if you told me next year would be tougher, I’d still be happily anticipating it – but I think next year’s just going to get better as we can explore and adventure even more!

This month in itself you’ve learned to walk, run, get up from the floor to standing without holding on, repeat noises back at us, and get into any corner we would prefer you not to be. You’ve grown up so fast – and then some days you go back to being my wee baby, snuggling in tight for some milk before a needed nap. Half child, half infant, and all yourself, you have changed our lives for the better: slowed us down, refocused our energies, and made me a stronger person. You rock, and with your daddy (who is my rock) you make my world go round. Happy Birthday Mr Boo!

norway (bergen) 2007

We finally made it to the continent as a family – after two and a half years of living just next door. The fact that it was a business trip to Norway was kicker – I had to go and it was somewhere that we’d both always wanted to visit. And wow – with perfect weather and Duncan still strollerable – how could we not?


Bergen is an amazing city, nestled in between mountains with tiny streets full of slanting wooden houses. We found a great coffee shop on this street and Cory visited it daily in search of energy (this week was also a great role reversal as it’s the first time Cory’s been on sole parenting duty for multiple days).


I love this fountain – it’s the perfect little boy look of horror!


And just across from it, the view over the lake and up the hillside.


As gorgeous and atmospheric as the city is, the heart is the old waterfront, Bryggen where the wooden warehouses dating back to the Hanseatic League form a warren of wood. They burned down in 1702 but were rebuilt on the same foundations in the same form. Every postcard has the same picture of the front of the buildings (see the link), but I prefer the view from inside, where they show far more character and originality.

There’s a cute gallery here too selling decently affordable art (prints) of distinctly local scenes. We decided to follow Don and Pat’s example (they’ve bought art showing a local landscape from every city they’ve visited – and that’s not a small set) and picked up a lovely print in bold blues. Whether it’ll adorn Duncan’s room or the hall is up for discussion…


One of my colleagues got more excited by some (perhaps more authentic?) other art, found on a building near the fast ferry terminal.


And finally me, excited to bits on Friday that I’d actually have a whole day in Bergen on Saturday with my family. Cory and Duncan did a ton of exploring while I was working and some mornings I was very jealous…
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emails you don’t want to get

We’ve been away in Norway for the past week. I had a workshop with some of my colleagues and Cory and Duncan came along (since Duncan’s still breastfed). While we were there, we got some bad news. My PhD supervisor, Grant Ingram, passed away last week unexpectedly. (details here). If it hadn’t been for Grant, I doubt I’d have made it through my PhD as he provided support and leadership when I needed it most. He was a wonderful man, a leader in his field, and a kind and decent person. He was vibrant and interested in people and focused on his family. He taught me so much about how to be a scientist, how to balance a career with life, and how to make a difference. Sometimes things really aren’t fair. I don’t really know his family but I know about them from our weekly coffee meetings. I’ll be writing them a card to say all of this – and that Grant was a hugely positive influence on at least one of his students.
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john o’groats to lands end

We did it. While Duncan and I were tramping around Aberdeen, we could have instead been walking the length of Britain, which looks quite impressive here! But instead we’ve just explored closer to home.

  • kilometers travelled: >1411.2 (876.9 miles)
  • kilograms lost: 19 (42 pounds)
  • chocolate biscuits consumed: over 2000 (seriously)
  • shoe soles worn out: 4 pairs
  • tires punctured: 2
  • favourite place: Duthie Park and the Winter Gardens
  • best stroller parking: outside the pub
  • most common destination: meeting daddy for coffee
  • biggest mess: when the breakfast container leaked on the way to nursery

After all that travelling, sometimes it’s nice to relax in a warm bath!


(And for once I splurged and bought something that didn’t fit in the budget. Cory’s installing my new kitchen cabinet doors right now. Which should be the subject of another entry. The reputation for tightfisted Aberdonians should be replaced by one for cheap Canadians. People spend a lot more money on luxuries here than we’re willing to!)
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brought to you by the letter A

I took the wrapping off a lovely wooden puzzle of Duncan’s name and he promptly ran off with the letter A. We’ve found it once, but it’s gone missing again. Why ‘A’? Now Cory’s going through the garbage to see if Duncan’s decided to “put it away” when our backs were turned.

‘A’ can also stand for anarchy, which is the current state of our house after spending the day painting windowsills. We didn’t realize how much we rely on the playroom(/dining room/guestroom) for our sanity until we moved the toys out and the painting stuff in. I’m not good with too much clutter, I end up slightly panicked and either refusing to clean anything or frantically tidying everything which tends to make Cory and Duncan miserable.

Tomorrow I’d like to move on to ‘B’, as in going to B&Q to buy some new doors that I can’t afford for the kitchen cabinets. Will prudence win out over the lure of a 57% off sale?
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