2009 - Highlights

They say that odd-numbered Star Trek films are rubbish. We seem to be having children in odd-numbered years, although there are no plans to have any in 2011. This does not mean we think that our children are rubbish. But there was a new one this year. Also featured: a snow puppy, a Viking-themed birthday cake, and Joshua carrying a chicken.

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Another winter, another heavy fall. Cue much frollicking in the garden, some tasteful (if a little dark; I should have aimed the camera at something else) shots of an immaculately white garden - oh, and a snow dog. It didn't win Matt's 'best snow sculpture' award but I do think it's a worthy entrant.

Snow, February 2009

Butlins is afflicted with a somewhat chavish (chavesque?) reputation, but this was a fun week. We visited the Minehead complex, and spent the week meeting Pingu and Bob the Builder, lapping up the rides at the children's funfair, enjoying numerous visits to the soft play area and consuming vast quantities of hospital canteen food. And A Good Time Was Had By All.

Butlins, March 2009

Daniel, our third son, was born in mid-April. He is the only one of our children who couldn't wait to get started. His brothers adored him, and so did we. Elsewhere: lambs, pirate cakes, treasure boxes and outfits, Scooby Doo beds, Muppet t-shirts, Lego sculptures, an assertive Rosina and a lot of mud. Oh, and a bicycle.

Joshua, Thomas and Daniel - 2009

A tour-de-force through the first few months of randomness: our sixties-themed Murder Mystery right at the beginning of January; a wintry excursion to the Cotswold Wildlife Park to mark Emily's birthday; a romantic Valentine's weekend in Barmouth, Wales, WITHOUT THE CHILDREN; and fun at the Abingdon Air Show in May. We conclude with a stop off at Hatton Farm Village, which saw Joshua playing with various animals who were quite pleased to see him, and another who wasn't sure at all.

Misc 2009, Part 1
Drayton Manor is a couple of hours north of here. The main reason we had for going (apart from to take advantage of a Tesco Clubcard deal, of course) was to visit Thomas Land, which is exactly what it says on the tin: a dozen or so themed rides centred around the world of everyone's favorite little tank engine. There's a Troublesome Trucks rollercoaster, a Terence the Tractor raceway, and a branch line that connects Thomas Land with the rest of the park - where you can find white-knuckle rides, carousels, a 4D cinema and a couple of tigers...
Drayton Manor Park, 12th June 2009
Four parties represented here. In May we had a double celebartion for Thomas, first at our house and then at the home of my parents, which over half the Knight clan managed to attend. At the beginning of June we held a large gathering here as a sort of Thomas' birthday / Joshua's not quite birthday / Daniel was born relatively recently party. At the end of June we visited Didcot Railway Centre, which is how Joshua wanted to celebrate turning four. And in August it was Daniel's dedication. Busy summer.
Parties 2009
More snaps from our annual pilgrimage to the Welsh coast. Highlights this year included persistent rain, high winds and at least one flattened tent. None of that got photographed, of course. You will have to be content with beach shots instead. (Some of them are quite good.)
Pembrokeshire, July 2009

August: another Greenbelt, with headlining performances from Athlete, Cornershop and Duke Special. Contributors' Hospitality was as busy as ever but the rain stayed away. In October we headed up to Shropshire and made the most of some beautiful autumn weather by heading round a few National Trust venues, and in December we caught up with Miriam and Dave in Stockport, visiting the Quarry Bank Mill, and taking the Folk Train to Hathersage, and the burial site of Little John. Goodness, that's an excessive use of Title Case.

Misc 2009, Part 2

In early December we enjoyed a couple of excursions - the first to London on an eventful day that would see us dropping in at the local A&E the next morning. Christmas itself was a jolly, unhurried affair with walks, cakes and enormous stockings in day-glo luminous colour schemes. At the end of the month we trekked up to Shropshire for the year's closing murder mystery party, this one about the assassination of a wealthy chocolatier. Emily wore her pink pyjamas. To dinner.

Christmas 2009
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