A very happy new year to you all! I know I'm a bit late to the party but I've just got back from Dartmouth in Devon, where I spent my 35th birthday. I'll gloss over the whole 'turning 35' thing because to be honest it REALLY doesn't seem important anymore - just a bit random. Like, I remember every now and then how old I am and think 'huh, that's mad, how did that happen' then carry on doing whatever it is I was doing. Age is just a number blah blah.
Dartmouth was Chip's first official 'holiday' and it went pretty well, all things considering. Four-month-old babies certainly don't travel light - we managed to squeeze her buggy, cot, Sleepyhead, Perfect Prep machine, baby bath and car seat in my old Golf, along with ourselves and our own luggage of course. She coped pretty well with the five-hour journey, bless her, although she did decide to do a poonami both on the way there and on the way back, meaning we had to try to change her at the side of the road twice. Top tip: the parcel shelf makes a very good changing mat.
I've already written about Dartmouth so I won't go into too much detail again. But it was lovely to have Chip there with us in our favourite place, and my parents and sister also came down too so for once I had my whole family around me on my birthday. Oli and I even got to go to the cinema (Star Wars - can't remember a dicky bird about it now) - the first thing we've done together without the baby since she was born!
Best of all, I got to visit my favourite art gallery, Baxters, and bought myself a new piece of art - this serene lithograph by Alan Stones. I'm going to hang it above my pink sofa, instead of the triptych of Vogue ladies (they're framed in cheap Ikea frames and the mounts have gone a not-very-attractive shade of yellow).
Anyway I'm quite glad to see the back of 2015, although all the bad things that happened pale into insignificance when I see my little girl beaming up at me first thing in the morning. But 2016, I have high hopes for you! Namely: we need to find a new home and I need to find a new career. No pressure then...