Adventures With Jaxon: Piccadilly Line Part 2!

Our Adventurous Jaxon takes on the Piccadilly Line - Part Two

At the beginning of November, Chris set off for his latest trip to visit Home of Hope in Malawi. With Jaxon in school, he and I stayed at home and held down the fort. There were a few confusing moments for Jaxon. At first, because Chris had gone to work before going to the airport, I think Jaxon thought that Chris was coming home before going to the airport.

Just under two weeks ago, Chris returned from his adventure. Following the morning service at church, Jaxon and I caught the train down to London then rode the Piccadilly line out to Heathrow to meet Chris. With Jaxon now being two years older than when we last took the train out to Heathrow, he was able to talk to me and tell me more about what was going on and what he was thinking.

Dad had recommended that we got the service to London that stops at Farringdon as it’s easier to get from the mainline to the underground. However, when we asked the lady in the station and she showed me the map, we were going to have to make extra changes so it wasn’t actually that much easier. We caught the direct service from Bedford to St Pancras with just two stops at Luton and Luton Parkway.

We were able to get table seats on the train which was really handy. This also meant we could finish our lunch before getting into London.

On our way out of Bedford station, he was chatting away to me about all sorts. Some bits I didn’t keep up with and other bits he was so excited about he almost didn’t stop for breath.

Jaxon watching the world go by on the train

We arrived at St Pancras and then headed through the station to get to the underground. The station is already looking very Christmassy. The Christmas tree is 43-foot tall and is decorated with 600 replica bottles of Tiffany’s Signature Eau de Parfum perfume, 600 paper Iris flowers and 600 white and silver Tiffany Blue baubles. There’s also a 17-foot tall robot made of Tiffany Blue Boxes (but I don’t think I saw the robot from where we were). You can read more about it here.

Once we made it down to the Underground it was pretty much plain sailing all the way to the airport. Chris’s flight was running ahead of schedule for most of the flight so I was a little nervous that we’d get all the way to Heathrow and he’d have been sat there waiting for us for ages. Turned out that they were so far ahead of schedule that they spent 20 minutes in a holding pattern going round in circles just north of Greenwich. 

I’d had great plans, Jaxon and I were going to create a “Welcome Home” sign for Daddy but I ran out of time (and the headspace to do patiently with Jaxon). So while we found a corner of the floor to sit on and wait for Chris, I scribbled this out on my iPad – not necessarily my best creation but Jaxon loved it all the same and wanted to show it off to Daddy as soon as he came through the Arrivals door. Welcome Home Daddy

Chris came through the Arrivals door and walked along in front of this sign in the picture below, round to the end of the barrier. Well in the time it took me to make sure we had everything, Jaxon was already running to meet Chris. Fortunately, he was in my sight line for most of it then was in Chris’s line of sight because Jaxon can move so fast when he wants to! Arrivals Gate at Heathrow Airport Terminal 4

After catching up with the boys we headed down back to the underground and headed beack to St Pancras to get some food before heading home. Following dinner we found this art installation (not Christmas display like I thought it was!). It’s created by Jacques Rival (more info). There’s a swing in the middle and of course, Jaxon had to have a go! Well he’d been such a good boy on the train and then waiting for Chris that it was only fair we took a few minutes out to stop and play. He was even really polite to the others (mostly adults) who wanted a go too.

Jaxon really likes the Lego Harry Potter game so although we weren’t 100% sure he’d know where we were going we went to the Platform 9 and 3/4s display inside King’s Cross. Unfortunately it was so busy we decided to turn back towards St Pancras instead. We hadn’t told him where we were going so when we did have to go the other way it did mean he wasn’t disappointed. Hopefully another time we can take him and we’ll have time to stand in the queue instead. We headed back to St Pancras and got to the East Midlands platforms. We had about 20 minutes to kill while we waited for the train but then were able to board the train.
We got on the 1910 Nottingham service to get home. It seemed like the world and his wife had the same idea because it was so busy!

There were absolutely no seats available and at one point we had to stand in the “foyer” bit at the end of the carriage right outside the toilet (that needed a good scrub down!). As I finished tweeting East Midlands trains thankfully, the announcement came over the tannoy that they were declassifying the next carriage so the three of us made our way along the carriage. We found a table with 3 spares seats and thankfully a lady who was already there let us share with her. I think she liked the entertainment given by Jaxon. Mum met us at the station to bring us home which was really lovely. By the time we got home, it was time to get Jaxon to bed as it was past his bedtime and he had school the next day. Even Chris needed a nap after all his travelling so I kind of had the rest of the evening to myself once we were home.

 

 

Monthly Review: October

I stumbled across Belle’s review posts over on her blog by accident and decided to attempt to revive my own Monthly Review posts. This is October’s monthly review. You can see others here. At the end of each month, I write a monthly review all about what I’ve been up to each month. 


Monthly Review: October

Highlights from October

  • October started with the Harvest Supper at the chapel. With Chris being at youth group and Our Sidekick having plans, Jaxon had to come with me. He was a very good boy and behaved himself as I helped Mum with serving the meal. When I got him home he went straight to bed as he was absolutely shattered by then!
  • At the beginning of November, we will have been in our house a decade, so we’ve been looking at our outgoings as far as the mortgage and figuring out if we are on the best deal and bits like that. There was lots of adulting on my part, as I was going to meetings at the bank to chat to the lady there.
  • With Jaxon starting school, there have been lots of extra sessions to learn about what’s he’s learning. I went to a session at school all about the school will be teaching Jaxon phonics and then how to read. (His first book should be arriving home any day and I’m super excited!)
  • Even though there were a couple of days which felt a bit crazy, I managed to grab coffee with a friend and we got to chat about all sorts of bits without getting distracted by our respective children (yay for school or husband’s who take child-duty)
  • Mum and I went to Vue to see the live stream of Cliff Richard’s concert. We had a lovely time but there were a couple of hiccups which did interrupt the evening a little bit but overall it was lovely. We worked out that I was probably the youngest in the room lol.
  • Jaxon had his first Parent’s Evening and oh my goodness I am so proud! He’s settling into school so well and he’s learning so much each day!
  • After a bit of a confusing conversation with the Receptionist at my GP surgery. I had an appointment at the Asthma Clinic and the nurse decided I was still Asthmatic enough to qualify for my flu vaccine.

Top Posts Viewed in October

Goals Set for October – and the Progress

  • Clear some more projects.
    • So, I manage to clear a couple and get them delivered to the recipients. I then started on another project for a charity event at the end of November. Just hope that I have time to finish it.
  • Work on a business plan for work and ideas around a new direction.
    • This is still not really happening. When it comes to work bits I get caught up in the day to day tasks and don’t get the plan sorted out but I have managed to have a “mentoring” call with another business lady who is helping me so hopefully with her guidance I’ll get it sorted out.
  • Exercise! There are 20 school days in October (although 25 weekdays) so I’m going to attempt to make sure that all of those 20 days I reach my step count.
    • I’m not sure this worked out as I kept forgetting to charge my FitBit but I am definitely taking this goal into November to try and make it happen. (I have the car for two weeks though so it’s possible it will all go to pot completely!)
  • A longer term goal is to walk 2018km in 2018. (540km in 90 days).
    • Having just taken a look at my Fitbit I’m on 112km to go in the rest of the year. I will definitely wipe the floor with that one!

Projects Worked on in October

  • I worked on 3 baby blankets that are finished and all delivered now.
  • Charity project for the end of November.

Books Read in October

  • The Sally Red Shoes (finishing properly ahead of starting The Keeper of Lost Things in Book Club in November)
  • Remember God by Annie F. Downs
  • The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll.
  • Returned to You by Emma St. Clair (I read it as a Beta Reader but it is now released)

Series Watched (Not full seasons btw!)

  • The Shannara Chronicles
  • 9-1-1
  • Grey’s Anatomy
  • Hyori’s Bed & Breakfast: Season 1
  • Ascension
  • Salvation
  • Salt Fat Acid Heat
  • Jack Whitehall
  • Cheaspeake Shores
  • Scorpion
  • Reign (Didn’t really enjoy it….)
  • The Good Place (Still not really getting into it)

Films Watched

  • Nights in Rodanthe
  • You Can Tutu
  • The Lady in the Van
  • Moana
  • Coco

Goals for November

  • Try and get some of the handmade Christmas presents started and finished.
  • Finish planning the rest of the presents.
  • Purchase some of the presents (the rest get pushed into early December)
  • Book the car service.
  • Get the home stuff sorted.
  • Keep us all alive while Chris is on his adventure.

BEDN: Rebellion

Blog Every Day in November

I am so stuck! Rebellion… what a word. I guess it has negative connotations. Is there a way that rebellion can have positive connotations?

I guess in a way we sort of rebelled last week. For years, when Halloween has come round, we’ve come in from work or whatever we’ve been out to do. Shut the front door and sort of battened down the hatches. When people have knocked at the door we’ve ignored it or turned them away empty handed.

The theme for this term at Community Group has been “Taboo” or “questions you’ve always wanted to ask but never had the forum to do it” or something along that route.

So a few weeks ago, ahead of it being Halloween, we got talking about celebrating or observing Halloween.

We started with a discussion about what Halloween was like for our families growing up. Mine involved sticking a sign on the door and then ignoring the door. Sometimes it would involve decamping to the dining room so that the living room light was off too. One of the other ladies in the group said how it would be majorly embarrassing because her parents would hand out “Jesus Loves You” stickers or something along those lines. There was then the opposite to those, another member of the group said how her Mum would host a party and invite the kids in the street, almost the idea being that they got to join in but had somewhere safe to do it rather than knocking on strangers doors.

We then watched a video from Mark Driscoll titled “Should Christians Celebrate Halloween?“. He kind of breaks it down to three opinions. Receive, Redeem and Reject. So I was definitely brought up in the reject camp. Have nothing to do with it, ignore it and hope it will go away almost. Having watched the video and discussed as a group, I sort of went away still feeling in that camp. We’d previously discussed that we were going to hand out Bag of Hope goodie bags from UCB and Scripture Union. There is an activity sheet and a story booklet and you can add sweeties or other bits. I had only expected to be handing them out to a small group of kids that we knew would be coming on Halloween then probably turn everyone else away.

Following the chat at Community Group, Chris and I hadn’t discussed it more, with all the usual crazy plus him getting ready to go away, it hadn’t got much further than what had been discussed at the group. On Halloween itself, I’d got home with Jaxon and we’d taken up residence in the living room as we do after school and it just happened that the hall light and the kitchen lights were off too, so the house looked really dark. The pumpkin that we’d carved after watching Patch The Pumpkin was still in the kitchen and the battery operated tea light that had been in the pumpkin was still switched off. Other than packing the Bags of Hope earlier in the day, I really hadn’t thought about it.

Chris then got in from work and commented about it being so dark and like we weren’t joining in. I put the pumpkin outside on top of one of the flowerpots we have near out front door, then got some washi tape and taped my blue star fairy lights around either side of the door. I wasn’t going to decorate with skeletons like next door but I could at least add some decoration. I grabbed one of my big granny mixing bowls from the kitchen and emptied the spare packets of sweets that I had and we were ready. Chris and I ended up having to take a call about adulting stuff in the middle of all the crazy. So between Chris and I on the call, we were tag teaming answering the door and trying to get there before Jaxon because he was having such a good time! His main Love Language is defintiely thoughtful gifts, so to be able to stand on our door step and give out sweeties this spoke right to his lovely and caring heart. At one point we were running low of sweeties in the bowl – first year doing it “properly” so I had no clue how much we needed! Chris commented that we might have to raid Jaxon’s treat box but could restock it the next day if needed. Well in the time it took Chris to finish the sentence, Jaxon had gone past me, past Chris, got his treat box from the cupboard and presented it to Chris like “here it is, let’s share it”. So they took it to the bowl and emptied what was going to be shared and then Jaxon put the box back.

Jaxon went to bed about normal time and we brought in the decorations/switched off the lights. In a quiet moment, while I did bedtime, it dawned on me that I felt happy. I didn’t feel sort of scared and fearful like I might have felt on previous years. Now I’m not going to be dressing up or going all out as I have seen on FB and Instagram. But if we can make a difference to our neighbours by showing them love and redeeming Halloween in a way to show love to our neighbours then that’s a good thing right? Maybe we’re being positively rebellious right?

BEDN: Healthy Living

Blog Every Day in November

Healthy Living

When people talk about healthy living we generally end up discussing the food we eat, the latest diet that is trendy or the exercise that we did (or intended to do but didn’t get to do). But can healthy living also include our mental health and taking time for self-care?

On a variety of scales used by medical professionals, I’m not very healthy. I’m overweight, my lung capacity is rubbish and too low for someone my age/size etc. But I think on the whole my mental health is reasonably good. It’s also possible that since giving up Diet Cola, things are in general that bit better too. Something that has recently been discussed on some platforms is how if you’re overweight you can go to the doctor and because you’re overweight that is immediately blamed for the rest of the symptoms. Some days I struggle with loneliness. It can sometimes feel like some weeks I see my boys and that’s it. This is part of why I have a couple of things I try to keep in my week even when it can seem a little crazy. Firstly, I try to make sure that I get to the two daytime knitting groups that I am part of. Otherwise, I can end up spending all the time that Jaxon is at school by myself and actually that can be kind of detrimental to my mood. But actually, sometimes I need time by myself. The human mind (or specifically my variation of a brain) is complicated! The second is making sure I get out for a walk, most of the time this isn’t a problem as Chris has the car and Jaxon and I walk to school every weekday. This week with Chris being away we have the car, tomorrow I will drive him to school as I’m going to do the food shopping on the way home and hopefully I’ll be able to walk to collect him in the afternoon. If worst comes to worst, I’ll drive part of the way and we can then walk from the school to the car and drive the rest of the way home.

Arm from Lefty Cartoons

Earlier this year, I had two issues that I had to go and see the doctor about. On both occasions, it took me at least a fortnight to pluck up enough courage to go and figure out if the problem I was having was an actual problem or a weight-related issue. On one occasion I was sort of fobbed off (and that issue hasn’t improved). The second issue was an actual issue and wasn’t weight related at all. But in my head, they were both weight-related and because of that, I felt like I couldn’t go and ask for help. Sometimes, I just need to be able to ask the question which almost seems like it doesn’t need a full doctors appointment and might just need a telephone call along with some treatment at home/come back if it doesn’t get better kind of information. There was a reason to this train of thought and then it took me a little while to find the picture and make sure I had remember it correctly so I think I shot off on a tangent but hopefully it sort of makes sense!

Trying to live healthily isn’t just about taking care of your physical body, it’s about making sure that your mental health is taken care off too. Just because it isn’t visible like a broken limb doesn’t mean, that it doesn’t need taking care off too.

BEDN: Lists

Blog Every Day in November

Lists

I am a huge fan of a to-do list. Whether it’s a short list of errands to run on a Saturday when I have the car or all the things I feel like I need to get done then there’s a list on the go. Basically, all the prompts for BEDN have been added to this month’s list in a way but rather than writing all 30 prompts into one list, I just add the one for that day and any that I missed.

I’m pretty sure this is part of why keeping a Bullet Journal works for me. I’ve got everyday lists, I’ve got “in the future lists”. I’ve got notes I scribbled in meetings. Recently we’ve been sorting out mortgage bits, so there’s lists I wrote down in the appointments at the bank to deal with when I got home. All the notes are there in one place instead of being all over the place on different scraps of paper or napkins!

On days when I don’t write a list, I nearly always miss something. I’ve even told Chris in the past that if it’s not on my list then it doesn’t happen. There are too many other things going on in my head to remember all the other things too. It’s usually at that point he encourages me to be more mindful lol. Making lists is a sort of mindfulness for me. It means I can write down what needs to be done. It also means then it doesn’t run out of my head when I’m not thinking about it.

To Do List
Now time to go and write a shopping list for Monday and a list of the chores I need to get done in the rest of the weekend.