Monday, 30 December 2013


I am very aware that my blogging remains sporadic, but in my defence this time round, I did try my hardest to post this BEFORE Christmas - as most of you will know, the British weather has not been at its best recently and therefore cut me off! My next post will explain the trials and tribulations had by family Bicknell this festive season!
NO! Is Noah's word of preference these days - it is either accompanied by a nod or a shake of the head, but most of my questions directed at Noah are met with a resounding NO! Like everything I suppose, this is just another phase, something to do with asserting himself - he really didn't need to find another way of doing this however, the boy is no shrinking violet, as another Mum said to me recently at one of our morning activities, "he own this room doesn't he?!" Ahh yes, Noah knows how to work a room! Ivan (Mr Bicknell) (under duress) took him to a local village disco at the beginning of the month and our son wasted no time apparently in showing his unsuspecting peers how to throw a decent set of moves, and move he does, like grease blinking lightning!! I am cream crackered at the end of every day - I can honestly say that going back to work this month, albeit for just two days a week, has proved to be quite calming and restful, and doing folios isn't normally a walk in the park - often it can be quite stressful - I make my point!!! But would we have him any other way? Not on your life - we love him just the way he is, even with the recent trip to A&E, the shrill greetings every morning, the hiding of the remote control and the theft of our phones!!

We have had a busy time since my last post - with toddler events and Christmas parties, back at work stuff, Christmas shopping, wrapping and stressing, a trip to Glasto and a private view, a gut wrenching trip to A&E, the start of nursery, more makers markets and making than you can shake a stick at (if I see another lampshade.....), drinks parties, carol concerts, Christmas menu making, a birthday dinner, the most over the top advent calendar you have ever seen and lots of lunches out!! Just as well I return to work in January proper - I can't afford this stay at home Mum lifestyle any more!! I have loved every single minute of it though and simply cannot believe my luck at having such a gorgeous, gorgeous boy and look forward to all the joys that we have to come!

So this is what we have been up to in pics....

Shopping at Gun Wharf - one of my favourite shops for accessories and reliable staples is White Stuff - historically I have rather shunned this store, but I have changed my mind! Just look at those cosy scarves!!

My Little sister had a birthday - I think this year it was all the more special having a family party at our favourite Chinese restaurant as there were two important additions - our little bundle of trouble and her lovely new boyfriend Jack. As usual we ate far too much and had a dodgy family photo taken, but it was nice all being out together and all coupled up!

This took an extraordinarily short amount of time to consume!!

The fish are still cool too!!

What wasn't cool was an unscheduled trip to Guildford's A&E department.... One minute Noah is sitting right back in my parent's squashy sofa, drinking juice and watching Katie Morag on Cbeebies and the next he is face down on the (cream) carpet in a pool of his own blood - it was that old cliche - I literally bent behind the other sofa in the room to replace some rogue toys and in that time nosy bonk had shuffled froward to see what I was doing, seemingly lost his balance and split his eyebrow open on the coffee table - talk about having kittens, I have never moved so fast in my life - we were at A&E within 20 minutes - they were awesome - never complain about the NHS, we are very lucky to have it. 3 hours later and he was home in bed successfully superglued back together, phew.

He didn't seem to be traumatised by the experience and in fact did a good job of milking the fact that he had a big dressing on his head!!

He got a new chair too last month - perfect for safer Cbeebies watching!!

The Advent calendar became a reality - it nearly killed me getting it up in time, but I did and both his and Ivan's (Mr Bicknell's) reaction in the morning (well, only a few hours following it's completion actually) was worth it!

We had our first frosts - these I prefer to the foul weather which is currently upon us.....

I did some great Christmas markets and  had a brill season - my favourite was "Art in the Alley" a small gathering of makers who took over someone's actual home - a home I might add, to completely die for! I would NEVER get away with the decorating this lady has going on! It was a lovely day and Jackie did us proud with constant coffee and awesome homemade soup - the sales were good too (thank goodness)!

Outside "on the street" there were other festive things going on including the local Rock Choir blasting out some top tunes! The lady looking quizzically in my direct is my friend Nicky - she has no idea I took this pic - nice hat!! 

I made some blackbirds - they even sparkle - didn't sell either of them, but there's always next year!!!

Another good show was the Guildford Craftacular - the church was as cold as, but the other sellers were lovely, including one who turned out to be the aunt of a particularly favourite ex-student of mine! Small world! Sorry about the dodgy photos - it must have been the cold making my hands wobble!!

My Mum, aunt and I had our annual Christmas jaunt to Guildford and I FINALLY got to visit the new Anthropologie store - it didn't disappoint!!

Noah partied his way to the end of term, and as usual he just had to be in the middle of things!

His first encounter with Father Christmas was a quiet affair I am pleased to report - I am also pleased to report that it went unnoticed that this particular father was in fact a very young mother!!

I made lampshades until they came out of my ears!!

I returned to college...... It was good to be back in the thick of things and to get to know my new charges a bit - I do love making the folios and by doing just 2 days a week for a few weeks Noah got to get a gentle intro into his new crèche - he seemed to take it all in his stride - much better than me - who would have thought that I would be a bit sad to leave my stay at home Mummy life?! If I came into some money I have to admit that I would seriously consider being at home - Noah is so much fun and so lovely to be around - it has been so nice not having any work stresses to take me away from him.......

College is still the same however and it was a bit like falling off a log - really nice to see some great work both in and out of the sketchbooks and of course, a bit of Christmas spirit!! 

Note to self - never leave your camera phone unattended - hmmm, maybe I was a bit rusty! Nice selfie girls!!

We made art in Glastonbury....
Ivan's (Mr Bicknell's) Dad as you may know is a very talented artist - a couple of weeks ago the three of us headed down to Somerset in convoy to take part in "starling day" a day dedicated to the love Renchi has for this particular species of our fine feathered friend! We had an awesome weekend filled with family, friends, good food, awesome art, a bit of making, a bit of Christmas and a very overly excited little boy! Following a lovely evening on the Friday, Ivan (Mr Bicknell) headed off for a climb (- this is necessary for the appearance of the relaxed and satisfied individual who is fun to be around as opposed to the stress-head alter ego who would have otherwise been in situ!), Renchi headed off to the gallery space, so Ness, Noah and I were left to feed the ducks, wander around the Abbey and the shops, drink coffee and eat brownies - result if you ask me!!

Sunday was all about the birds......

Only my sister in law Annie could be conned into holding up a piece of paper indefinitely! 

Fab in the moment art - I wanted them all!!!

Nice hat Leo!

it's O.K. Renchi - you survived!!

Thanks to the lovely George at work who laser cut my stencils for me - they went down a treat!

The Red Brick Building in Glasto - a really great space if you fancy having yourself an exhibition! Very good restaurant too!!

We had our art department Christmas meal- not the full complement of art staff but it was a nice meal and hats off to Liz for turning up despite flying to Naples that very night!

Noah joined us too and spent the whole meal being successfully entertained by our newest member Karl! 

Not a great photo but the grate in the lane got all Christmassy too!!

So now comes the final build-up for the big day.........

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