Bye bye buggy

Me: It started with an e-mail from the local twins club…

My subconscious: The twins club? Don’t you have a long standing beef with the local twins clubs for being – let me get this right – elitist, cliquey, competitive, snobby and a whole host of expletives that aren’t suitable for family reading?

Me: Yup. They haven’t taken me off their mailing list even though I haven’t been anywhere near the playgroup for about three and a half years. I generally read their pleas for cash and cakes with my finger hovering over the delete button.

My subconscious: So you’d better explain the relevance of a twins club e-mail to the title of this blog entry then because I’m properly confused. Plus, this now reads like some hackneyed attempt at clever writing by an 11 year old.


Anyway…there was an e-mail from the twins club. A midwife with a clinic at the local Sure-Start Children’s Centre had contacted the twins club because she was looking after a lady that was pregnant with twins, already had a nine year old son and was struggling to buy things for the babies, particularly a double buggy.

Our Nipper 360 has sat, unused and unloved, in the cupboard under the stairs since August 2010. I think I only used it then because I wanted to take the girls to the shop at the end of the day, Dh had taken the car to work and they were in A MOOD. It was such an occasion that I actually took a photo of it. We had always planned to sell the buggy when the girls eventually outgrew it. Realistically we could have done this a year ago but I wasn’t quite ready to let go of the buggy just yet.

I’m a bit of a softy at heart and the e-mail did something to me. I spoke to Dh and asked him if he minded giving the Nipper away rather than selling it. He very sweetly agreed that he liked the idea of someone that really needed a buggy getting the benefit of it. I felt a little bit emotional and he gave me hug. I fired off a reply to the secretary of the Children’s Centre stating that we had a buggy and could they make use of it?

I got a very swift reply. The secretary thanked me for my offer and said she’d forward my details to the Midwife. The weeks went by and I didn’t hear anything. I figured that, as the appeal had gone to a fairly affluent set of women, someone had offered a properly amazing buggy like a Bugaboo Donkey or a Jane Powertwin and the Nipper wasn’t quite up to standard.

About six weeks later I got an e-mail from the Midwife. She had been overwhelmed by my offer and definitely wanted to take me up on it. I called her and we arranged to deliver the Nipper to the Children’s Centre.

Dh dug the buggy out of the cupboard, set it up and pumped up the tyres. I found the cosytoes in a wardrobe and between us we set the Nipper up for newborn babies. It felt very odd to wheel a fully-assembled yet devoid of babies buggy along. I was reminded why we chose the Nipper in the first place – it was so light and easy to push, turned on a sixpence, surprisingly narrow for a side-by-side buggy and had lots of places to shore bits and pieces (shopping and toys, mostly) and, in the red and black trim, pretty damn stylish. It had clearly been well-used. The hood was grubbier than I remembered, one of the straps on the cosytoes was broken (but easily fixable) and the raincover was a replacement for the first that fell apart far too quickly.

If the Nipper had a pedometer how many miles it would have covered since December 2007? I can’t even begin to imagine. When I was on maternity leave I took the girls out every day, either to the local shops or to the park. I later found out that I was probably doing at least four miles a day pushing two rapidly growing babies (plus paraphernalia) along some fairly hilly roads at times. No wonder I lost the baby weight relatively quickly! Even when I went back to work the buggy was in fairly constant use, particularly when the girls changed nurseries and it was easier to bundle them in the Nipper than try and walk two drunk-looking toddlers up the road.

We bumped into the Midwife on the way in and she was clearly delighted with the buggy. Dh gave her a quick demo of its features and an all-important lesson in how to fold it down and back up again. The woman gave birth to healthy boy/girl twins last week and they are already home. She doesn’t have a car so needs a really reliable, sturdy buggy, which the Nipper is. I hope she and the babies can get as much use out of it as we did.

The girls’ first trip in the buggy 21st December 2007

Their last buggy trip, 21st August 2010.


Labour of love

Forgive me Blogospehere for I have sinned. I have been a bad, erratic blogger of late. Here’s one of the reasons why:

I actually started this cross-stitch project on Christmas Eve 2008 and originally I planned to give it to the girls – framed – for their 2nd Birthday. Initially, I was able to do lots of work on it but in Summer 2009 I found I had less and less time to do any work on it. In Autumn 2009 we moved house and I didn’t touch it for months.

The threads and board sat on the bookshelf in the living room, taunting me as I sat with my laptop and blogged, or watched television, or played with R and G. I only worked on it when a. The girls were asleep and b. When I wasn’t doing ‘proper’ (paid) worky-work. This compressed the available time into an hour or two a day, which rapidly became an hour or two a week.

The incomplete mice became a bit of a joke in the HoT. I would occasionally pull the board out, sigh and remember how intricate the mice were (do you have any idea how many shades of pink and grey there *actually* are in cross-stitch land?) and hastily shove it out of sight. In it’s unfinished state it taunted me.

Back in the Summer I looked at the (by this time) half-finished project and realised that, with a bit of application on my part, I could get it finished in time for the girls’ 3rd Birthday, in December. 1st December became my deadline and I’m very proud to say that at 11.30pm on 24th November I completed the final stitch.

I already have the frame, bought in a fit of optimism in Spring 2009(!) so I just need to attach the project to some cardboard and wrap it up, ready to present to R and G (who will, I’m sure, be spectacularly unimpressed) on 12th December.

Here are some close up shots, to give you an insight into how tricky it was to complete:

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